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tooluther

T Extention to the airport

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My biggest regret will be this summer, a few years ago wasn't the northshore extension to be completed or near completion in time for the proposed ASG. Have they even started digging yet? Sad.

Yeah, it would have been nice. But things always take longer than anticipated so I am not surprised.

Urban: Well then I guess it is PennDOT's fault! The state screws over it's cities yet again.... :angry:

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Oh, and as far as a T extension down Second avenue.... It would be nice, but it would not serve the universities very well. Second avenue is a world apart from the heart of Oakland. Believe me, I work down there :)

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I think the 2nd Ave. thing is only to get it past the bluff area for about 20 blocks then head up along Fifth or Forbes to Carlow, Pitt, CMU etc. One nice thing about that corridor is that before it heads up Fifth Ave. in Oakland it can make a stop at the Tech center and Hot Metal Bridge to AEO, UPMC Sportsplex and SSW area.

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Yeah, the 2nd Ave route I believe is only proposed for its easy access to Oakland. It wouldn't be built to serve the tech offices along that route (though I would imagine if its built, that there would be a station along the avenue.

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bypassing the hill district would add fuel to the argument that the T is avoiding lower class communites who get "stuck" with bus service...this is what happened when the first announced an expansion of the East Busway.

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bypassing the hill district would add fuel to the argument that the T is avoiding lower class communites who get "stuck" with bus service...this is what happened when the first announced an expansion of the East Busway.

I'm just glad they're building anything, period. The new tunnel could easily be in service for centuries, after which it won't matter which line got built first. Another way of thinking about it is like this: anyone who uses transit is pretty much in the same boat relative to wealthy Americans, anyway. It's better than building any further limited access highways and its cheaper. 2 lanes of track can carry 6-8 limited access highway lanes' worth of traffic IIRC. What we need is for some of the counter-activists to pipe down and count their blessings, because the other option is to build 6 lanes of turnpike right over some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. Besides, the second ave route could easily serve poor neighborhoods such as Hazelwood while diverting much of the congestation on the 5th and Forbes corridors, where most of the day there are 2 or 3 buses waiting behind each other to let people off at each bus stop. And, a 2nd Ave route is ever closer to nipping off at the bud the plan to build a $7 billion turnpike bypass to the Squirrel Hill tunnel, so I think it's actually critical for the city to push something through as soon as possible and extend it as far out as Forrest Hills.

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Those are some great stats on the comparatives between limited access, busses and rail BBC.

You bring up a great point, I wonder how many "experts" really sat down and did the math on what a T link to the east hills would cost to bypass the SHT (no joke intended there)?

I know they are considering Maglev but even if it is built it would be coming out of E. Liberty through Penn Hills, Plum then down through Monroeville, not a parkway alternative in the pure sense.

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Those are some great stats on the comparatives between limited access, busses and rail BBC.

You bring up a great point, I wonder how many "experts" really sat down and did the math on what a T link to the east hills would cost to bypass the SHT (no joke intended there)?

I know they are considering Maglev but even if it is built it would be coming out of E. Liberty through Penn Hills, Plum then down through Monroeville, not a parkway alternative in the pure sense.

A 12 mile T extention from Downtown, through Oakland, Hazelwood, Homestead, and Braddock, plus an 8 mile Busway extention from Rankin, through Braddock, to Monroeville, was estimated to cost 1.5 billion at the time when the turnpike bypass was being quoted at 1.9 billion. This was part of the Citizen's Plan. You can probably imagine how much cheaper it would be to build it along 2nd Ave and without the busway. I have also heard that modern streetcars are being tossed around as an idea for the 2nd Ave route, and that they cost magnitudes less than light rail, coming in at mere thousands per block (as opposed to millions) and 2 weeks per block to install.

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Yesterday I took a look at that citizen's plan proposed as an alternative to the Mon-Fay. It is amazingly good. I am infuriated that the state just brushed them off. Have the people no voice? Are we at the whim of some despots who just do as they please?

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Again, I think that 2nd Ave is simply an easy route. There is room down there to set up the line, with less obstacles than the Hill. Even if it went through the Hill, it would be the Lower Hill (which I think would be a good idea) but at this point, would it be worth it to dig, when you can travel on or above ground and "quickly" loop to Oakland anyway?

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G, you have a link for that citizen's plan, I don't remember reading over anything like that by that name.

Mj, I like 2nd Ave. but even if it is along the bluff (or "uptown")--an area that is pretty depressed already--5th or Forbes specifically, anything as long as it gets to the Universities!

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Again, I think that 2nd Ave is simply an easy route. There is room down there to set up the line, with less obstacles than the Hill. Even if it went through the Hill, it would be the Lower Hill (which I think would be a good idea) but at this point, would it be worth it to dig, when you can travel on or above ground and "quickly" loop to Oakland anyway?

I think above ground routes within the city should be limited to low cost streetcars or lines that can be kept wholly seperated from car traffic. The T is too big of an investment to risk some Republican mayor or governor 50 years from now creating a crisis and getting it paved over. So I think a low-cost streetcar is the right answer for the 2nd Ave route. Plus, the T wouldn't be much more efficient than a bus or streetcar if it had to compete with car traffic, anyway. Ultimately it's a better idea to put the T underground.

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The T should be underground in Oakland, but it need not be underground on 2nd Ave. There should be enough space to not dig and still be out of the way.

There's actually enough space on both Forbes and Fifth to run it above-ground in Oakland as well. It won't be the best option, but it'll be cheaper and if that's what it takes to get the thing actually built...

The T could run on a loop along Forbes to Morewood and then back to Fifth. On Fifth, it could use the bus lane since there would be fewer busses as the passengers would take the T instead.

BTW - what was the purpose of that bus lane anyway??? I know it was to route busses going eastward on Fifth. However, why was it even necessary? Why not just run them on Forbes since its only a block away? I guess they figured Forbes would be too congested to handle the bus traffic of Forbes and Fifth (when they went one way) and it would be better to put more busses on Fifth because its wider and less trafficked?

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Urban, great question, I think you hit on the answer though . . . Joe Grata over at the PG I know takes questions like those . . . like most PennDOT and PAT issues it is a mystery wrapped in a riddle trapped in an enigma . . . or however that goes :P

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if/when they have the T in Oakland, they should take ALL the bus routes off of fifth and forbes. The bus routes that currently go through Oakland should go to the edge of the district and then head down the East Busway. Its amazing that they spent so much money on that thing but they still have millions of busses on fifth and forbes.

I agree that there could be a right of way built in place of the bus lane. that street is rediculously wide.

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Urban, great question, I think you hit on the answer though . . . Joe Grata over at the PG I know takes questions like those . . . like most PennDOT and PAT issues it is a mystery wrapped in a riddle trapped in an enigma . . . or however that goes :P

I love Grata's column. I wish he had a blog. Then again, if he did the PG probably wouldn't hire him...

I guess another mystery wrapped in a riddle trapped in an enigma is why PAT still seems to be pursuing rebuilding the Drake line. That seems to be an unneeded appendage now that there's the SHV line. My guess is whoever is the Congressman there must have some votes riding on that.

In any event, I think the only foreseeable T extension will be one to Oakland sicne that corridor justifies it. All the other potential corridors (Airport, North Hills, Wilkinsburg) are served by either busway or HOV and the federal govt. will be loathe to grant money for a T extension they will consider to be duplicative. I imagine that the presence of the East Busway may be a huge hang-up in extending the T even to Oakland.

I guess some possible routes where teh T would not duplicate the busways/HOV are the Rt. 8 corridor, Penn Hills, and the Rte. 51 corridor. Of those, only 51 canf easibly tie into the existing system however they'll ahve a hard time getting the right-of-way to extend down along 51.

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From what I've seen they've had a hard enough time expanding, widening and upgrading 51, let alone to try to put a T line down that way, although it would be nice to have T access to the Century III area and the Allegheny Airport corridor!

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In any event, I think the only foreseeable T extension will be one to Oakland sicne that corridor justifies it. All the other potential corridors (Airport, North Hills, Wilkinsburg) are served by either busway or HOV and the federal govt. will be loathe to grant money for a T extension they will consider to be duplicative. I imagine that the presence of the East Busway may be a huge hang-up in extending the T even to Oakland.

That's true, yet in some ways it's actually the essense of problem with funding for transit. One of the biggest expenses of integrating, say, the T on Forbes, is that there aren't any viable alternate means of transportation to smoothly get from one end of the construction process to the other. I admire Berlin because there is a U-bahn (underground) and an S-bahn (elevated), streetcars, and a bus system that more or less replicate every route in a gazillion different ways. They can shut down any line for maintenance or upgrades at any time they please and not affect commuters, and I saw them doing so around the city. They don't have to rush construction projects around the clock and cause gridlock with losses to people's livelyhoods and set up incomprehensible detours whenever there's a new project being built.

You can't just close the Forbes or 5th corridor to bus traffic while you build a T extension for 4 years and force people to walk some miles up a steep hill to catch a painfully slower bus service. With all the roads that Pittsburgh has, there's actually a few key, hard to replicate routes thanks to the complex topography and location of population centers. Ie S.H. Tunnels and Oakland relative to Downtown. The 2nd Ave route is essential because it can be built while maintaining current transit and afterwards it will allow for easier, cheaper upgrades to both the Parkway East and the Forbes/Fifth corridor by providing a permanent (not a detour) alternative route that can carry much more commuters than either LAH or bus routes. When the route 28 "missing link" upgrades are finally completed and a commuter line to Forrest Hills or Braddock via 2nd Ave is built, you could basically shut down the SH Tunnel and retool it for 6 lanes or something usefull.

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What about an elevated line in the center of the 380? There seems to be plenty of space there and it could also connect the now booming Centre/Baum, East Liberty neighborhoods. The route could go right into Oakland.

I would support a raise in the sales tax for this and other transportation projects.

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I don't know the specs on the $$, but I have a feeling that to get this thing done we need some serious WAKEUP calls to our congressman, and SpecTorum :P for some Fed financing, however even with this the city and county need to put up 20% or so, look at how much money is being poured into a 2 mile extension to the northshore, if it is going to be a subway or elevated there is going to be more property acquistion which is the main delay and cost with any of these projects, it is one thing to build it those projections can be pretty concrete, when Grandma Smith sells her old slumlord structure or sells the airrights (elevated) to it, when her attorney signs off on it, and when the Fed financing gets through the herd of cats that can be Congress, then planning the route would be the easy part ;).

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I think Pittsburgh would benefit more with a line running parallel to the underused rail right of way through South Side at the base of the Slopes. It would serve and benefit the people of the city and not just commuters from the burbs. It would take visitors from downtown hotels to the South Side, the South Side Works, possibly a new race track at Hays, Homestead and the Waterfront, Kennywood Park, and help the rest of the suffocating Mon Valley. It would help a lot more than a new expressway there.

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Urbani, I agree. I can't tell you how many times I have wished for a good alternative to the traffic of Carson St.

I'd love to see some kind of trolley that runs (at least) from South Side Works to Station Square, with frequent stops along the way. That way barhoppers and tourists could get around that area without tying up traffic. And Station Square would be much more connected to the neighborhood.

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