Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Counting Government

You know it's a new day when Pennsylvania (as in the gnomes in Harrisburg) gets into infographics. Their graphic of local government in Pennsylvania looks like this:




Which is just a cheap excuse to put up my version from a few years ago (large file with scary resolution here). Also, some may remember a local version which made it into ink.




13 Comments:

Anonymous marketdiamond said...

And to think the proposal of "consolidation" is almost a century old in these parts, if infographics are judged by how they impact change, we are going for the world record in longevity (or is 'retardation' more apt?). And to think in the last 100 years places like Phoenix, Las Vegas, Houston and Jacksonville grew land areas by 1000s of percents.

Thursday, March 06, 2014 7:12:00 AM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

Gotta love that we have four "types" of municipalities with only one member each (I believe Bloomsburg is the only "town", incidentally--Scranton is the only Second Class A city).

Thursday, March 06, 2014 8:29:00 AM  
Anonymous DBR96A said...

Comparing Pittsburgh to Phoenix, Las Vegas, Houston and Jacksonville is like comparing an apple to a bowl of oranges. How much has Cleveland's land area grown in the last 100 years? Buffalo? Philadelphia? Boston? Hartford? Baltimore? Cincinnati? Detroit? Chicago? St. Louis? Milwaukee? Oh yeah...

I think if somebody is going to insult other people's intelligence, they better have some intelligence of their own first. Until then, they're protesting too much when they accuse others of "retardation."

Thursday, March 06, 2014 9:24:00 PM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

For what it is worth, I read that as "retardation" in the more general sense of a measure of the effects of delay, rather than in the specific mental sense.

Anyway, comparing annexation histories really is a city by city thing, but it is also true that the City of Pittsburgh ended up occupying a well below average portion of its urbanized/metro area for a larger U.S. city. It is not quite at the bottom--that appears to be Miami by an analysis I once did. Other even smaller (proportionately) ones include Atlanta and Washington, although Washington is a pretty special case since it is constrained by the boundaries of the District of Columbia.

Friday, March 07, 2014 8:46:00 AM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

By the way, if you would like to imagine what a more typically-sized Pittsburgh would look like, it happens that adding together the CONNECT municipalities would put it in the middle range for large U.S. cities:

http://www.connect.pitt.edu/About/Map.aspx

All of Allegheny County, on the other hand, would push it into the high end.

All this is based on looking at the population of the area in question as a percentage of overall metro population. Pittsburgh is around 13%, the median for larger U.S. cities is more around 24%, CONNECT is about 29%, and Allegheny County is about 52%.

Some others:

Boston 14%
Philadelphia 27%
NYC 44%
Baltimore 23%
Cleveland 19%
Columbus 43%
Detroit 21%
Buffalo 24%
Miami 7%
Atlanta 8%
Hartford 10%
Washington 11%
San Antonio 62%
Jacksonville 61%
San Jose 52%
Memphis 49%
Indianapolis 47%

Friday, March 07, 2014 9:02:00 AM  
Anonymous The Wiz said...

Few understand the impact of our fractured governance system. Imagine trying to build a factory in Allegheny Co that would employ 500 people. The permitting system requires traffic studies, utility usage, air and water quality impacts, storm water run off controls, and much more.

You would need to deal with dozens of municipalities to get permission to widen roads, put in water, sewer, power, storm water management systems, and much more. Add in the authorities that have been created over the years that aren't part of that graphic. It would take 2-3 years to get all the permits. Or longer.

Or you could go to a place that is all under just a couple government entities and open in less than a year. With way less costs involved.

Friday, March 07, 2014 3:29:00 PM  
Anonymous marketdiamond said...

DBR96A, time to stop speed reading for 'hot words' and appreciation to BrianTH for reading my "intelligent" comments in context.

Also very interesting link there BrianTH, and yes if it sounds like I am only comparing 'sunbelt' cities, I'm not, just look at Indianapolis, Louisville (southern but not 'sunbelt') and Columbus OH among others.

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