Saturday, May 15, 2010

Far (really far!) Southeastern Pittsburgh

So maybe it's not a Cleveburgh level of symbiosis, but how much can Pittsburgh fuse with the (greater greater) Washington, DC area.

This may be for Jim Russell, and his indefatigable look at the role of talent migration here and everywhere, as much as anyone.  We have bantered in the past on the evolution of Pittsburgh-Washington, DC geography.   It will never be a Cleveburgh level of intergration of course, there is this little problem mother nature put in the way, but I occassionally muse on what the interconnections are already there, and those thatare going to grow in the future.  Worth thinking about more.

Which all leads up to explaining why I am fascinated with a thread on Northern Virginia livability on The mere fact anyone mentions Pittsburgh in that discourse is fascinating in and of itself.  

It's not as silly as you may think to think about the symbiosis that exists between Pittsburgh and DC.  There clearly is a lot of migration between the two regions, always has been and likely always will be... in both directions mind you.  That old link I put from here mentioned some telecomuting going on with folks who live here, but technically work in DC.  How much of that is going on?

It all really harks back to Border Guard Bob...   When Border Guard Bob* was being proposed I would suggest that if somone really had money to spend a far far cheaper and more effective campaign would be to just place some billboards along I-70 between Pittsburgh and DC.   Make it like the Burma Shave ads I would say.  An early one would be counterintuitive and show what a specific occupation made in Pgh and compare it to DC.  Might not be a great comparison.  But then in the following billboard compare the housing prices... for comparable houses that is.   I bet it would have gotten a few people thinking at least and I bet that route has lots of folks going back and forth for work or visiting relatives. Nobody took that too seriously, and when BGB was cancelled the strategy morphed into Project 84**.  I actually rooted for that a bit.  I figured someone might have been brought up on kidnapping charges if it had been implemented. Rationality did eventually settle in there as well however.

* Speaking of Border Guard Bob.   An interminable lurker here suggested to me recently I actually like bringing up BGB.  I'm not sure about liking; Bob may have gone to ground, but he sure isn't gone.  The philosophy of Bob pops up all the time in ways both subtle and obvious.  When Bob retires for sure, I'll stop mentioning him.

** Note that story says folks would have learned Pittsburgh was their destination several weeks before coming..  Let me assure you that was not the original intent which was to tell folks they had 'won' a trip to Pittsburgh once they had arrived.


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