Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Streetcar Named Campaign

Big Bobby O' has unveiled a plan to build a street car line from Downtown to Oakland.

Oy, where do we begin:

(1) OK, cool. Pittsburgh does suffer from the disconnectedness between Downtown and Oakland. Conceivably, if we could quickly and efficiently link these two neighborhoods together, we could combine the power of Pennsylvania's #2 and #3 commercial areas and expand the development of both neighborhoods into the Hill. From an Economic Development perspective, urban nodal development supported by efficient transportation infrastructure is a smart way to go.

(2) But why doesn't Bob just propose going to Mars instead? That's just about as likely. Observe:

(a) City is strapped for cash;
(b) Port Authority is strapped for cash (you'd think this would be PAT's job);
(c) As Peduto does note in the article, the State is more concerned with the Mon-Fayette than Light Rail;
(d) No real funding source has been identified;
(e) Having not seen the plans, are we proposing adding additional traffic to the already congested Fifth-Forbes Cooridor to Oakland?
(f) What exactly is the point of this trolley? Commuting? Tourism? Short trips?
Furrow has some additional reading all over his website about Public Transportation in Pittsburgh; it's good to brush up on the technical bits.

From a political standpoint, however, this is a non-starter with Mayor Bob. It's a fairly reasonable attempt to portray Bob as a "visionary" for the City of Pittsburgh, instead of a Party Hack. Unfortunately, it is not so much a viable plan as it is a White Elephant.

Can we propose water taxis now?

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