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Evergrey

Pittsburgh entertains 5 proposals for extending rail service to eastern neighborhoods

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Woo-hoo! It's about time.

Whatever they choose, I hope it is something that serves city neighborhoods as well as it does the suburbs. I would like to see light rail to Oakland and eventually beyond. But not neccesarilly along the east busway. That would sort of bypass the busiest part of Oakland and I think that is silly.

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Interesting article, hope that this gets fasttracked, though I see the Universities as a major priority, I don't see the advantage of extending it much further east of Shadyside, I'd love to see a NYC type system all over the county but with the limited $$ priority should be the airport connection after the universities then up through the northside some. It riles me that even Cleveland has had an airport link in what seems like forever.

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Interesting article, hope that this gets fasttracked, though I see the Universities as a major priority, I don't see the advantage of extending it much further east of Shadyside, I'd love to see a NYC type system all over the county but with the limited $$ priority should be the airport connection after the universities then up through the northside some. It riles me that even Cleveland has had an airport link in what seems like forever.

1968, to be exact. It's the oldest city to airport rapid transit line in the country.

It helps though that Hopkins Airport is not as far from downtown Cleveland as PIT is from downtown Pgh. Also, unlike many other airports, PIT si really "out there". If there was heavily populated suburbia along the way (such as in the South or East Hills) it might make an airport extension more feasible. As it stands, asides from Greetree, there really isn't heavily populated suburbia along the way so an airport line would basiclaly jsut serve the airport (Robinson, despite its commercial growth, is still pretty sparsely populated).

Also, PAT has been running express busses for quite some time - first as the Airport Flyer and tehn as 28X. Neither service seems to be heavily used so a rapid transit line isn't really justified. Its true that they mgiht get more riders if a route was built, but I'm sure their consultants told them that it sitll wouldn't be enough to justify a new line.

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1968, to be exact. It's the oldest city to airport rapid transit line in the country.

It helps though that Hopkins Airport is not as far from downtown Cleveland as PIT is from downtown Pgh. Also, unlike many other airports, PIT si really "out there". If there was heavily populated suburbia along the way (such as in the South or East Hills) it might make an airport extension more feasible. As it stands, asides from Greetree, there really isn't heavily populated suburbia along the way so an airport line would basiclaly jsut serve the airport (Robinson, despite its commercial growth, is still pretty sparsely populated).

Also, PAT has been running express busses for quite some time - first as the Airport Flyer and tehn as 28X. Neither service seems to be heavily used so a rapid transit line isn't really justified. Its true that they mgiht get more riders if a route was built, but I'm sure their consultants told them that it sitll wouldn't be enough to justify a new line.

Agreed on all points... connecting the most densely populated parts of the city (East of Shadyside) is an infinately smarter course of action than extending a rail line through the vast wilds of the Metro West to service an airport. Of course, it would be cool if an airport line could happen... but that would be a luxury and a much lower priority than connecting the East End to the network.

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I also agree that first priority is to connect the "city" neighborhoods" in the east, along with the universities, and also branch out the line within the city on the northside, possibly Carson Street and interior southside.

I agree with the analysis of the airport line but not the verdict. Cleveland's airport stinks in many ways because it is so close to dense population (the city leaders recently lamented that they went broke in 1980 when they were about to develop a massive new airport, that stumble let PIT become an international hub for close to two decades while leaving CLE as a second-rate when compared), but you need to realize that Cleveland has a major advantage when attracting new companies, business and residents, a "gateway".

Imagine the value of the advertising (when compared to print, TV, radio etc.) of whisking executives and conventioneers in a T with "express" stops at FedEXGround Global Center, Bayer NorthAmerican Center, Robinison Towne Center, SKGlaxoConsumerGoods NorthAmerican Center, 911th (and that other one) Air Force, Pennsylvania Air National Guard headquarters (Philly who?), Nova Chemicals USA Center, etc. etc.

Again this is a bit extravagant but having some express stops near and named for those international corporate nodes would be a great way to say to those with false stereotypes of this metro "Welcome to the NEW Pittsburgh".

Having them arrive downtown at the new crystal palace Gateway Station with the point, the Hilton, stadiums, inclines and the skyline all there will make the experience a very unique one. I am reminded that the very first thing they did when building the new (and one of the world's best) airports in Hong Kong was start the subway line allllllllll the waaaaaaayyyyyyyyy out there.

The T should serve Pittsburghers, but you have to ask what better way after the universities and most city neighborhoods could we use the T to change this region for the better?

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A couple things -It's the Port Authority, not Pittsburgh Authority - while I want to the city proper, to be have rail access as much as logic will allow, Allegheny County has many relatively dense burbs that should have service too.

Obviously a downtown-Oakland route makes incredible sense. It also makes sense for that line to hit the eastern neighborhoods and beyond - it really should go to Monroeville.

As for an airport line, yes the western burbs are not that dense, however there would be room to have a station adjecent to a massive mixed use project with apartments/condos mong other things. Honestly the fact that a priority diection has to be decided is frustrating when there should have been a N-S-E-W directional route system from day one - with the only debate as to what will the specific routes be and then how/where to expand.

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The link to Oakland is the single most important link in my opinion. I'm very surprised that this has never been done. After this, I would go to Homestead and other area in the Mon Valley up to McKeesport.

I would concentrate on the depressed areas before going to Monroeville. Most people from Monroeville like to drive other than dealing with the Squirrel Hill tunnel. And Monroeville isn't pedestrian friendly like other areas are. It would still be nice to have a link though.

I hope sometime in my lifetime, we'll be able to take a train anywhere in the region, whether it be city or suburbs.

Maaz

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I would concentrate on the depressed areas before going to Monroeville. Most people from Monroeville like to drive other than dealing with the Squirrel Hill tunnel. And Monroeville isn't pedestrian friendly like other areas are. It would still be nice to have a link though.

Agreed. Rail works best in concert with walkable environments. Homestead, Duquesne, McKeesport, etc are all small urban centers strung along the Mon... this would be the optimum utilization of the rail network... and would definately give a ray of hope to these towns... many of which have poor highway linkages.

The structural density of Monroeville ( or the airport suburbs) is too sparse to make effective use of rail. Sure... we can do a "park and ride" and dream about some fantastic transit-oriented development... but it's just not the same as having rail stops in a real community. These areas are already serviced by the Parkways whereas the Mon Valley has limited transportation connections. I also think it would be better to invest in the existing cities along the Mon as opposed to the sprawl madness "between the rivers".

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As far as fasttracking this I have always wondered (and maybe someone in the know can help out with this) if the single largest expense of building any of these lines is property acquisition (the one and only advantage busses have over light rail/subway), then why not multiplex the lines either under or in the median of the parkways or major state/federal routes? You could build the stations across the top of the parkways. This would leave only the infrastructure costs to be the obstacle in getting these things built. It would also be a constant "billboard" to all those commuters stuck in gridlock that there goes a smarter solution to the transportation problems of the region, right past your car window.

I've never seen this done so I guess there is some huge bugaboo that the Fed DOT has against this, but I see it as the best use for some of the excess land around interstates and federal highways, even raise it to be an el or dig a subway underneath the highways, much much cheaper then the countless court battles over condemnation and the piecemeal way property is bought.

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That's how they seem to do it in DC, at least from what I have seen. The trains run right alongside traffic. It's pretty cool to look out at all the cars and know you are moving faster than them and all you have to do is sit there.

As for serving the Mon Valley, wouldn't it be spectacular if this project was fast-tracked and wound up elimiinating the need for the Mon-Fayette expressway? Hey, I can dream.

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Or be multiplexed into the Mon-Faye by requirement? Great idea Gerbil. Also a Route 51 track would be sooo helpful, all the way down to Uniontown really.

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