Tuesday, November 04, 2008

no bus no way

If anyone has any doubt that what is going on down at the Port Authority vis a vis route cuts or contract negotiations is not between those who support public transit and those who just don't like the idea that transit exists... go and read this and then go look up spatial mismatch. That is just wrong. This quote is just scary:
Buses on routes 35A Baldwin-Whitehall and 59A West Mifflin-North Versailles will no longer pick up or drop off riders at the mall. They'll terminate service at the West Mifflin Wal-Mart.

So if you dont have a car, you are allowed to shop at Walmart, but not at the mall...... and people are all excited about change in America. I don't get it.


Blogger illyrias said...

I couldn't agree more.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008 3:54:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

you are ahead of me.. I tried quickly to see what social services were co-located there but didnt get around to it.

You know.. you have to wonder if they threw that out there on election day so as to have it buried by all the election news. I think that will not happen if it is up to me at least.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008 5:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Illyrias, you're kidding me, right? In your blog post, you say that the mall is private property, but then you go after Port Authority for "bending" to its will? It is private property; if you don't like it, have the Port Authority condemn it and/or pay for the right to run service there. The problem is that the Port Authority and its riders have been so used to having everything so subsidized and so accomodated for so long, that they can't imagine anyone not wanting them there.

Here is a fact: less than 9% of the people in Allegheny County ride public transit, period. It is just not that important here anymore. And if you want to throw the "downtown commuter" numbers around, those numbers are more than 10 years old. People and businesses are moving out of the county to Butler and Washington for a number of reasons, few if any of which have anything to do with public transit.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008 10:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris, with all due respect, don't you think that Walmart represents a higher proportion of the riders than the nearly empty and somewhat decrepit C3 mall? Also, other than controlling sprawl through restrictive zoning, how can a transit agency like the ones in the study make any dent in those numbers? (I realize that transit agencies don't control zoning laws).

Tuesday, November 04, 2008 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

if walmart was the destination of most of the riders then I can't imagine the mall would have been spending much effort 'pressuring' PAT to change their route. When you add in other trends like the slow demise of downtown retail, even the closure of the East Liberty Sears years ago the net result is some shoppers have fewer options than they ever have in the past. We sometimes focus on the lack of food options for some, but people need to buy a lot more than that.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008 11:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of East Liberty, how do you think the planned Target fits in to this post? Target markets itself in a more upscale way, but the fact is it is much more similar to Walmart than it is to Macy's, in terms of prices and quality. Do you think these big-box, low-to-middle-end stores in East Liberty (Staples, Home Depot, Target) are part of a trend or an aberration?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008 8:58:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

a couple things. The east liberty retail issue is a big topic. I remember when the Kmart was coming for sure. Then talk of walmart, now Target. There is a trend there. But when it comes I would take it as significant.

but my colleauges worked long and hard to address what was happening to the actual folks living in East Liberty who were being displaced and really got no cooperation on it at all. So I don't think the retail in east liberty is an aberration but the population in East Liberty is being displaced so much you can't say they are necessarily going to benefit directly. and my peeve agains what has happened to retail in the core of East Liberty I have mentioned my thoughts on that here a bit (remember Bolans). and the Boutique hotels that are coming now, I have to admit I don't understand it more than have a comment on it.

It is personal to me. I grew up without a car and the East Liberty Sears was really the only source of shopping for a lot of necessary things. I am a bit unclear what people have been doing these days. Target coming or not.

as for Staples and Home Depot, not quite sure how they fit in.. or at leaat Staples. I am befuddled why Staples is there actually, but I am not sure it filles a neighborhood need. But that has been a tough spot for some time.. pharmor - shop and save - now staples.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008 9:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't the Walmart right behind Century III? It would be a longish walk, but still walkable to the mall proper.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

and I am sure someone will further that argument by saying it's good exercise for them. Is it a safe walk? so this means they are not keeping out the people who really want to loaf there, but only the people who kind of want to loaf and don't want to walk.. like maybe the people who really want to shop? there is no good logic here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008 11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is being missed from the Century III bash-fest is that Port Authority buses are damaging their parking lots and Port Authority is not willing to fix the problem. If you have been out there, you would see that it's pretty bad. The buses loop through the parking lot and also use it for driver rest breaks. If they are causing damage, why won't the Port Authority just fix the potholes?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008 3:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read in the P-G that Century III mall management feels that the buses bring people who hang out at the mall and don't spend money there. Apparently this isn't the type of person they want at their mall, so they're cutting back on bus service in the hope of driving them away.

There's a widespread perception that buses bring an undesirable element to suburban shopping areas. I live near the Waterworks and have heard similar complaints about the "bus people" who come there. I suspect this is coded racism, to be honest.

Ironically, the bus shoppers probably keep many of the businesses at the Waterworks afloat. The Pittsburgh Mills mall has lousy bus service -- apparently by design -- and it isn't doing all that well. Monroeville Mall's bus service used to be decent, but I don't know what the situation is now.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008 4:28:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

curious how the story changed between the two days it was report. On the first day the reason Grata reported was clear and one answer... no mention of roads. then the next day its all about the roads. and isn't there something wrong if buses are causing damage to the roads? I'll ask my civil engineering colleagues about that.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008 4:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FWIW, the parking lots of most shopping areas are not designed for heavy vehicle traffic (that's why loading docks have concrete pads). Not sure if that is the problem at the mall, but that could be it. Also, there aren't any buses (or very few, because i never see them) that go to Ross Park Mall and it's booming. I don't think that bus traffic is a real great factor in whether a mall is a success or not.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008 7:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just had a look at Pitt's new, more detailed strike plan. For Squirrel Hill, they'll run a loop on Forbes/Fifth. They say it will run every half hour. That doesn't seem like quite enough.

They also say they'll only charge $5 to park in the garages if you don't have a pass. I don't think they have the space for that. Maybe I'll be civic-minded and car pool.

Thursday, November 06, 2008 1:14:00 PM  

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