Wednesday, August 12, 2009

G-20 and Traffic

In the P-G, Michael Fuoco posits the question "Could yesterday's traffic jam be a harbinger of G-20 problems?"

The short answer is yes. The long answer is HOLY CRAP ON A CRACKER YES!

If you've tried to get in touch with pretty much anyone on the service side of City government for the last few weeks, you may have noticed that they seem to be rather busy. Almost as if they were distracted by some upcoming, city-wide event. This isn't to say that regular services (pavings, repairs, Redd-up crew, etc.) are being ignored, just that city employees seem to be pulling double duty.

Now, I mention this because public safety has some prep work to do too, but the bulk of their work will come at the end of September. What that "work" actually entails will be pretty much anyone's guess, but will almost assuredly involve some sort of to-be-determined restriction on Downtown. Where and when that will happen is still anyone's guess at this point, but if I had to hazard a guess, one probably won't be able to get north beyond Forbes Avenue, east past Market Square, or west past 16th Street. Unfortunately, there are probably only one or two folks at DPS that actually know these particulars, if that, and the details will definitely not be shared with the general public until right up to the event.

So, I'm predicting that, unless there's a general order to stay the hell home, it's going to be nearly impossible to get in or out of Downtown, except by foot, bike, roller skate, or possibly trebuchet.

(I'd wouldn't go by trebuchet though, considering that Downtown is going to be one massive no fly area, and I'd hate to be intercepted by a couple of F-10s.)

And that's just the *security* restrictions; it doesn't include organized (and unorganized) street protests that may also restrict movement in the rest of Downtown.

If there is a bright spot out of all of this it's that because of Pittsburgh's odd geography, it's going to be really easy for people in places like Troy Hill, Beltzhoover, or Elliot to sucker out-of-town hippie protesters into renting rooms that are "only a mile away" from Downtown.

Of course, the last thing I need on my commute that week is tailgating a bunch of lost hippies carrying giant paper maché puppets.

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