Thursday, May 20, 2010

Perfect Foresight

Quick: What were Pittsburgh's development plans in 2004?

While you're thinking about that, there's this:

Pittsburgh Councilman Ricky Burgess unveiled today legislation that would require a six-year capital spending plan, potentially totalling some $200 million to $250 million, for the city's spending on roads, bridges, development and other infrastructure...

He cast the legislation as part of a push he launched in March to ensure that lower-income communities get not just federal development funds, but a fair share of locally generated city spending on paving and other infrastructure matters. He said that would be a change from 30 years of inadequate investment in struggling neighborhoods...
While there's definitely something to be said for increased transparency in local government, there's something completely different to be said for planning for something 6 years out.

Heck, within the next 6 years Homewood, East Liberty, and Larimer could turn into fabulous new markets, and the West End could slide off into oblivion. Or the reverse could happen. In early 2008, people across the country thought that the housing market would carry the US economy to untold heights, instead of throw it down a well.

Projections are hard enough 6 months out, let alone 6 years out. Just ask Council members Harris and Shields about planning for business district improvements in their neighborhoods and how that all works out.

And, just to jog your memory:

In January 2004, Lazarus closed. In June, Pittsburgh Development Group II proposed a 175-acre horse track in Hays. In August, the SEA proposed a North Shore amphitheater. In October, Lord & Taylor followed Lazarus into oblivion. In November, Ebony Development proposed building a supermarket in the Hill District.

Notably missing from this list: any mention of a new Arena.

So much for foresight.

1 comment:

MH said...

Notably missing from this list: any mention of a new Arena

I think that make Burgess's point better than anything he said.