Friday, February 06, 2004

Local News

Fester has already pointed this out, but Pittsburgh has received some new government largesse in the form of a light rail subsidy to pull the system under the Allegheny river and onto the North Shore. While this is all fine and dandy, and I support the expansion of mass transit, I've got to wonder why this is so little. The map shows the total extension to the North shore is two stations within easy walking distance (over the Clemente Bridge) of the existing route.

The article seems to imply that this is to encourage use of new commuter garages going up on the North shore, but the hike in the parking tax should be doing that already with no problem. While the north shore garages will remain at $6-7/day, the city garages are going up to $12/day or more. That's going to bring people out of downtown whatever the transit system does. If you are going to stretch the light rail to the north (which is a good thing &mdash it will be closer to our house) then stretch it. Get a line running up the Parkway North or something and put the park'n'rides further away. According to the traffic reports on the radio, the congestion in town isn't downtown, it's on the freeways leading back to the suburbs. This "solution" doesn't address that issue at all, it just raises the possilbility that a couple of mostly empty bridges will be less used.