Saturday, June 07, 2008

I'm All For Intermodal Transit, but *What*?

Saw this in the Trib:

The Allegheny County Airport Authority board Friday approved opening up Pittsburgh International Airport to a Montour Trail extension.

The trail will be extended six miles from Enlow Road in Imperial to the airside terminal, allowing cycling enthusiasts who want to fly in or out of Pittsburgh direct access to the trail.
And I can't help but think that this is the silliest transit oriented decision made in the region since they built the Port-Authority parking garage next to the free lot down at South Hills Village.

There are a couple of things that I can't figure out here:

(1) Who exactly are they expecting to bike all the way to the airport, lock up their bike, and get on a plane? Are these bikers that have already contacted Hertz for a rent-a-bike in Philadelphia or Cleveland? Surely, these aren't travelers that are going on an extended stay, otherwise they'd have luggage and, as they were traveling down the trail, would look something like this:
And if you thought sitting next to the fat guy on the plane was bad, just think about how bad its going to be sitting next to the sweaty guy who just biked in from Coraopolis.

(2) OK, perhaps the trail extension isn't for travelers. Perhaps it's for the Saturday leisure bikers who think "Gee, you know what would be a great way to spend the Weekend? Biking six miles to the airport and getting frisked by the TSA. That way the bicycle seats won't be what's hurting your ass on the way back!" Yeah, that's fun!*

It sounds like someone at the Airport Authority had a bunch of money to blow through and decided that the best way to spend it without getting fired for gross incompetence was to blow it on some funky, urban amenity that no one is really going to use.

If that was the case, they should have just put up a vegetarian coffee house and poetry reading corner in the middle of the runway.

* My guess is that anyone who uses this trail will be immediately put on the No-Fly list by the TSA, because, seriously, anyone who thinks this is a good idea is obviously mentally deranged and, therefore, is a treat to our national security.

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