Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I will never again complain about the Mount Oliver doughnut hole

I could not resist making this image.  It was just incidental to a post by DNJ in her CityWalkabout blog where she wondered about the contrasting maps, and municipal histories, of the City of Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio.  Below is what the boundary of the City of Columbus looks like with the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County superimposed on it at scale.

I never really thought about it much, but Columbus must be the city with the least contiguousness in the entire nation.  It must fail one (or all) of those tests for compactness and dispersion. Talk about a tale of two cities when it comes to mergers and annexations that must have taken place, or in our case didn't take place.  The vast bulk of the City of Pittsburgh's territorial growth happened well in the past


Anonymous MH said...

If you work in Columbus, you pay the same income tax regardless of whether or not you live there. That's probably one reason why Columbus has paved roads.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 4:35:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

Having competitive elections is probably another.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 4:37:00 PM  
Blogger Shawn Carter said...

MH: Columbus, OH also has two things running through it Pittsburgh doesn't have.....

Interstates.... 70 and 71 to be exact.

Come to think of it, Interstate 70 used to be the Penn-Lincoln Parkways, but unfortunately, by the time we opened it to traffic, they were both obsolete, and PennDOT built the spur that connected to the Turnpike in New Stanton.

Been meaning to dredge up the link between highway investment and economic vitality for some time, but as a Highmark subscriber, I admittedly have become distracted.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 8:01:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

Being the state capital is probably the real difference.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 8:28:00 PM  
Blogger Shawn Carter said...

MH: That works so well for Harrisburg.

I'd try Ohio State University, and the fact that I-70 goes from the Needles to Baltimore.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 9:20:00 PM  
Blogger Shawn Carter said...

I was recently in Charleston, WV and it didn't look all that great, either to be a state Capitol, but Interstates 64, 77 and 79 all run through it, which explains its stability (that and Robert Byrd was a great bacon-bringer-homer)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 9:26:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

Harrisburg was too close to actual places where somebody might want to live to grow like Columbus did. (I'm passing on other peoples' views here. I've never been to Harrisburg.) I'm sure the university helped Columbus also, but the growth of OSU followed the location of the government. Plenty of cities have grown just because that's where they put the government. That's what happened in most of the flat states. For example, Lincoln isn't on the interstate. Like Pittsburgh, you have to take a spur into town.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 10:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You have to take a spur into town" ... Isn't that by Johnny Cash? And I think Three Dog Night did "I've never been to Harrisburg"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 9:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Harrisburg region is doing very well. It is Harrisburg itself that has problems. A lot like the rest of PA with the cities struggling and the suburbs booming.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 1:12:00 PM  
Anonymous DBR96A said...

I can't wait for Jay-Z's next post regarding the relationship between highway investment and economic productivity!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 11:06:00 PM  
Anonymous MSL said...

St. Louis has 4 interstates that run into or through it (44, 55, 64, and 70) yet it has had a worse population drop than Pittsburgh. If there was a link between highway development and economic vitality, shouldn't St. Louis be booming? Columbus is the only major city (which I'm defining as having pop. greater than 100,000 in the last census) in Ohio gaining population, and the last time I checked Cleveland, Cincy, Toledo, Akron, and Dayton all have at least one major interstate going through them. Columbus is doing well because it's the state capital.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 8:57:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

If you think Columbus is bad, check out Birmingham, Alabama... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jefferson_County_Alabama_Incorporated_and_Unincorporated_areas_Birmingham_Highlighted.svg)

At least Columbus is actually contiguous!

Thursday, July 21, 2011 3:13:00 PM  

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