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SouthJersey7

The Pittsburgh Busway

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So I was thinking about various modes of transit, and it seems like you hear a lot of people talk about busway or bus rapid transit. Well seeing as how Pgh's is one of the oldest and most established busway systems in the country (world?) I'd like to know your opinions on it.

-How well does it work?

-How does it compare to Pgh's light rail or to rail in other cities?

-Do you/how often do you use it, or would you use it if it served your area?

-Would you recommend it for other cities?

Any other comments or remarks would be great. Thanks!

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The busway is very convenient. It seems to take a bus no more than 10 minutes to get from East Liberty to Downtown by the busway. That is a lot faster than it would take on normal roads.

However, the busway itself is kind of obnoxious. It's like a long canyon that cuts through town. There are bridges over it but you could argue that there aren't enough of them. I'd rather see light-rail vehicles run along it and have it covered up (creating a subway).

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Don't forget that there are 3 additional busways, though not as long as the MLK memorial to the east hills and beyond. The one to the Airport (I-79/279 junction) is VERY useful, the North busway are technically the HOV lanes built into the Parkway North all the way to McKnightmare Rd. and the south busway is also a strong route though u also have the T serve many of those commuters.

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I think light rail prompts more development around the stations. The busways are just easy access to and from the city. The buses continue beyond the busway to normal, meandering routes going to developments, not inspiring concentrated, more pedestrian friendly development around the station. It's just a faster way to cater to sprawl, where inhabitants are less likely to use it anyway.

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I think the west busway is very well planned out in that it moves traffic off the parkway and with the exception of downtown it doesn't just dump busses onto local streets like the south busway does. The East Busway is just a cop out and should have been made a LRT route to start with.

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^^Good pt. on the East Tooluther, the west and north lend themselves to LRT as well I think.

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Here is something not mentioned. The Wabash Tunnel ramp that cost $30 million is hardly used and turned what could have been a part of Station Square future development. It transformed that section of Carson into an unusable unattractive highway ramp. Such an absolute misuse of money.

Incompetent leadership

Not since the Burmingham Bridge has there been such a short-sighted poorly planned project. The Burmingham Bridge was originally planned to have a freeway slam through the South Side. Now we are left with that inappropriate pedestrian unfriendly bridge

This was the original plan for a bridge connecting to the Tunnel.

WabashBridgeProposal.jpg

This was to be the Bridge.

A beautiful new river crossing.

WabashBridge.jpg

http://www.pittsburghcitypaper.ws/archive....mplete&ref=3691

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/search/s_293274.html

http://www.post-gazette.com/localnews/2002...usway0806p4.asp

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Yeah I am no fan of PAT and that stupid Wabash project has simply added to my distaste. I am sick of PAT and the Turnpike Commision and PennDOT forcing crap on us that we don't want. I am sick of sitting back and not being able to do anything except write letters that are virtually ignored.

Who's city is this anyway? :(

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^^I do recall those plans Urbani, if I remember correctly the city's financial problems (they were responsible for the ramps and foundation as well as property rights I believe) killed the deal. The ramp can lend itself to a bridge though I was informed, true you will have to deconstruct before you can reconstruct but it is definetly possible. What troubles me more though is PennDOTs lack of focus around here and long term planning, as well as the absolute struggle we have to go through in congress to fasttrack these things. We really need a congressman to sit down on the transporation committee for 20 years and just never leave. What's Shuster Sr. doing nowadays anyway? lol

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Here is something not mentioned. The Wabash Tunnel ramp that cost $30 million is hardly used and turned what could have been a part of Station Square future development. It transformed that section of Carson into an unusable unattractive highway ramp. Such an absolute misuse of money.

UrbaniDesDev, I don;t know whether you're from Pittsburgh or recently moved to Pgh, but the reconstruction of the Wabash bridge to Downtown Pgh was resoundingly NIMBYed by the people at Firstside. This, as I recall, held things up. Then PennDOT pushed back the renovations to the Ft. Pitt Tunnels which once again held things (because PAT was being pushed to open the Wabash for fear of gridlock caused by teh closing of the Ft. Pitt - they weren't too intersted otherwise). Then the project jsut grew too expensive so they gave up.

Personally, I think the Wabash was a major waste. Tehre's no point in opening a tunnel which is designed to hold only one lane of traffic. Even if connected to Downtown, I don't see how a tunnel taht basically takes you only to Route 51 is going to relieve traffic from the Ft. Pitt or Liberty. Its good that its there but I don't think it was worth the money.

Not since the Burmingham Bridge has there been such a short-sighted poorly planned project. The Burmingham Bridge was originally planned to have a freeway slam through the South Side. Now we are left with that inappropriate pedestrian unfriendly bridge

This was the original plan for a bridge connecting to the Tunnel.

WabashBridgeProposal.jpg

I think by the time they built the Birmingham (mid-1970's) PennDOT had already given up plans for the freeway on the South Side. In fact, those plans never got formalized beyond the conception stage and were probably dropped for good by the late 60's. I think the reason it was overbuilt was because of the spirit fo the era. Basically, back then people didn't care what infrastructure looked like. They just wanted to get the biggest bang for the buck. PennDOT probably figured that there was a decent chance that traffic would increase to the extent that a 6 lane bridge would be needed so they decided to build one right then and there isntead of building a 4 lane one and then expanding it later (which would be much mroe expensive and probabyl woudl require twinning the bridge). The similar I-79 bridge over the Ohio follows the same principle which is why its also 6 lanes wide despite the roadway on either side being 4 lanes.

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I don't know, I was under the impression this huge boulder that fell off Mt Washington made the Wabash ramp unsafe until it could be removed. The tunnel seems to have been shut down for quite some time and I've seen them trying to move that boulder a couple times. This is just speculation. It wouldn't be the first time that a landslide has caused problems for the Wabash: http://www.gribblenation.com/swparoads/coulda/wabash.html

But I don't think the Wabash tunnel is a bad compromise. If the Liberty tubes or Ft Pitt ever have to be shut down again for major rennovations (I see Liberty Tubes badly needing some), this tunnel will be a sorely needed detour and it will save commuters more money than it has cost to build.

Just FYI the Wabash is only a single tube, 2 lane tunnel. It would NEVER be a safe bi-directional thoroughway even if it such a setup could pass highway tunnel standards. Building a car-carrying bridge over the Wabash piers would just create another cluser-#% workaround with very limited traffic capacity that wouldn't put much of a dent in rush hour over what the current layout coud get if the HOV rules were just relaxed a little OR if they just installed toll booths like any regular city does.

I'd really MUCH rather see the Wabash Bridge rebuilt as a pedestrian-only connection to link Point State Park to Station Square and to the Inclines along with the prison trail. It could go over the traffic instead of the pedestrian-unfriendly intersections on the Smithfield bridge and those businessmen at Firstside could set up some retail space on that patio they have there. This makes a whole lot more sense especially when Forrest City ends up building all the condos there and perhaps a casino, too.

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^^ there's an idea a ped bridge or maybe ped/T and bus bridge across would be very useful, economically efficent? Possibly if there is ever a need for a detour.

Just a thought here (and one way way out there to boot) what about a pontoon bridge? That would kill river traffic though, ok nevermind I love the good ship lollipop way too much :P

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^^ there's an idea a ped bridge or maybe ped/T and bus bridge across would be very useful, economically efficent? Possibly if there is ever a need for a detour.

Just a thought here (and one way way out there to boot) what about a pontoon bridge? That would kill river traffic though, ok nevermind I love the good ship lollipop way too much :P

How about a draw-bridge? :rofl:

I think in terms of developing tourism and making Downtown livable, a ped-only bridge would be a huge boon. Just look at the properties being connected... PPG Place, the Hilton, Station Square, 151 First Side condos, new Forrest City plans if they come through, all those walkways and open squares that are near the point. It would really help integrate all those areas into a pedestrian-exclusive park-like network

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I think the west busway is very well planned out in that it moves traffic off the parkway and with the exception of downtown it doesn't just dump busses onto local streets like the south busway does. The East Busway is just a cop out and should have been made a LRT route to start with.

Interesting.. Well I guess they could always convert it into rail in the future. It wouldn't exactly be cheap but it would sure be better than building an all new rail!

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Interesting.. Well I guess they could always convert it into rail in the future. It wouldn't exactly be cheap but it would sure be better than building an all new rail!

What I dream of is a rail line along the East Busway, and the whole thing covered over with a strip of green space including a nice wide bike/walking trail. Voila, an underground subway all through the east end AND an uninterrupted trail!

I may have mentioned this before, I can't remember.

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That is a very nice idea G, very cost effective I would imagine.

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