Tuesday, August 22, 2006

buses, bikes and highways.....

Lots of transportation related items to choose from today..

Port Authority Budget: I suspect that everyone reading this blog knows this all too well, but the Port Authority is facing a cataclysmic budget shorfall in its current fiscal year. This is no secret and received its due mention in the PG story yesterday focusing on Steve Bland, PAT's new executive director. but to be clear, without some major change in transit funding, PAT is facing a shorfall of 60+ million, or roughly a sixth of its FY07 budget. This will be story #1 at some point, but because that point is more than a week in the future, we can pretty much ignore it for now.

New Bike Lanes! Kudos to Bike Pittsburgh for efforts to put bike lanes in Bloomfield. See the informative post on the BikePittsbugh Blog. I have to say I am rather amazed that this is happening given the history of inter and even intra-neighborhood politics in the east end. As someone who bikes a fair amount I like the idea of bike lanes in the city. but as a driver it's important to note that a lot, if not most Pittsburgh streets are just too narrow to make for safe multi-modal passage. Liberty avenue really isn't the worst place to bike as it is. Probably the only reason bike lanes are possible in Bloomfield is becasue there is some width to the avenue now. Where you really need bike lanes are, not surprising, the places where they are the least likely to be put in. Baum Blvd. for example is just painful to get around given the narrowness of the lanes and the speed at which people go by. I went flying over my handlebars and into the intersection at Millvale and Baum once as a car pulled an unexpected Pittsburgh left once. and no, the media and paparazzi didn't care as I lay there on the steet.

New Transportation induced development. Per this article in Commercial Property News. There is a big new warehouse being planned for the area where 60 meets 76. Supposedly the redesignation of interstate 376 is the reason for this. Economists generally assume some rational behavior in markets, thus it's a little hard to see why just changing signs makes that big a difference... but nonetheless, someone thinks it mattered in this case.

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