Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Mountain Goat Meets GPS

follow that story: just reading about the travails in Pittsburgh City Council over a plan to regularize street names and numbers. A big issue for some folks for sure. Long ago on Pittsblog I had referenced some relevant stuff on the issue. Pittsburgh roads being epitomized by Ernie Pyle's description from1937:
Physically, it is absolutely irrational. It must have been laid out by a mountain goat
I still want to know.... can anyone come up with a set of directions in Google Maps or other software that tells you to drive over a road in Pittsburgh that really is nothing more than steps?

Also, you can read more about the history of the Pittsburgh Street Addressing Project from my colleagues at Pitt's School of Information Science (SIS) which they have been working on for years.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was in Durham, the downtown street layout made no sense. Once I was late to a meeting because I got lost, so the street grid came up in the discussion. One woman reported what someone had told her when she first moved to town: that the streets were laid out well before cars and that to find the quickest routes they let a herd of pigs loose and put the streets where the pigs made trails. She liked this story and repeated frequently. Everybody enjoyed the story until she unknowingly repeated it to the traffic engineer who actually laid-out the streets in the 60s.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger illyrias said...

Well, Google doesn't bring you over a set of steps near me, but it does bring you down a road that used to access an incline years and years ago. The "road" is not drivable and is basically a trail through the woods. Check out Fritz St b/w Brosville St and Hartford St. The extra bonus with this is that this section of Fritz St was recently added to Google Maps and street view now directs you to drive through some traffic barriers.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 10:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes it does. there are city steps between Grizella and swanson streets (named montana, but montana changes into city steps at grizella). This is near the KDKA radr/TV tower in Observatory Hill on the Northside near I279. Here is the link.,+Pittsburgh,+PA+15214&daddr=swanson+and+montana&hl=en&geocode=&mra=ls&dirflg=w&sll=40.493685,-80.017325&sspn=0.000425,0.000864&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=20

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 3:46:00 PM  

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