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ainulindale

Terrorism in Pittsburgh

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The Fort-Pitt tunnels and Squirrel Hill tunnels are closed today because of a bomb threat! Are you worried about terrorism in Pittsburgh? Personally, I'm not too worried about it, but this is shock to me regardless of whether it is Middle-Eastern, homegrown, or other foreign terrorism.

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Not at all.

But I'm sure the local media is doing its best to scare everybody into a frenzy. Glad I don't watch the local news.

I'm sure on a national level, W would like to keep everybody good 'n scared, too. Maybe the threat level will be raised to "Orange" now.

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Calling in bomb threats seems to be the latest trendy hoax performed by anonymous losers. It seems to be happening with increasing frequency lately... especially since Cho's Massacre. I sometimes wish the authorities would just ignore these bomb threats... as they're obviously just some silly game played by some disturbed mind. If you don't acknowledge these obviously fake bomb threats... then perhaps they would decline in frequency since the anonymous jackass would not get any gratification knowing he/she shut down a school or tunnel or downtown. But then when the day comes when a real bomb arrives and it's ignored... oh boy.

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On a related note... how do suburbanites around here put up with these CRUSHING commutes)? This is the first time I've lived in a major metropolitan area... and I'm just amazed at the rush hour traffic (that really lasts a few hours each in the morning and evening)...

The few times I've had to drive around (usually in the opposite direction of rush hour)... or listen to the news... it's seems like there's an endless line of vehicles standing still outside tunnels... on bridges... at stoplights... and then there's the constant traffic breakdowns due to bomb threats, accidents, inclement weather, construction, etc.... how does Ms. Suburbanite from Peters Township put up with this nonsense day in and day out? Why do people waste so much time... and put themselves through such stress... and danger... every day? I'm so glad I live and work in the city and don't have to put up with that madness.

It's a shame we don't have more LRT and BRT to get around the single-occupancy automobile problem... as even the non-BRT bus routes are subject to the traffic nightmare.

*Amazingly, Metro Pittsburgh has one of the shortest average commute times of any major metro... I cannot begin to imagine what people in places like Atlanta go through.

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how does Ms. Suburbanite from Peters Township put up with this nonsense day in and day out? Why do people waste so much time... and put themselves through such stress... and danger... every day?

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[quote name='Evergrey' date='May 31 2007, 09:29 PM' post='786420'

*Amazingly, Metro Pittsburgh has one of the shortest average commute times of any major metro... I cannot begin to imagine what people in places like Atlanta go through.

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Here is a US Today article with a list of average commute times for major metro areas in 2003... there's probably more recent numbers... but the trends are probably still largely the same. As you can see... Pittsburgh is near the bottom in commute times... 3.3 minutes less than Cleveland.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/empl...mute-usat_x.htm

Metro Cleveland does, however, have the most miles of limited-access highway per capita.

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I'm not actively worried about terrorism, but I do think it could happen here. It would most likely be of the home-grown wacko variety, but then again we do have a lot of universities and hospitals, some of them fairly high-profile. For instance CMU does a lot of high-tech work for the military. So you never know.

I usually expect these threats, such as yesterday's, to be hoaxes, of course. I don't know what kind of moron you have to be to think that is a funny joke.

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I expect that sooner or later someone from the suburbs will leave the service at their mega-church and drive down to the city and try to blow up an abortion clinic or murder some doctors. That's about all the terrorism that I think has any probability of happening around here. Pittsburgh has few if any symbolic international landmarks and very few poor international immigrants that would create a situation conducive to international terrorism. When I was in Iraq and any of the locals asked me where I was from, the best I could narrow down Pittsburgh's whereabouts for them was that it was "near New York City." The goals of international terrorists are always twofold... first is to terrorize their target, second is to grow their support base. They wouldn't be accomplishing the second by attacking Pittsburgh, because all those people would be asking "you did what, where? what is this place? what is there? they are our enemy? Why did you kill innocent people if there is no White House or Wall Street or Pentagon there? Why should I join you and go blow myself up if my friends won't even care about what I do?"

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Pittsburgh has few if any symbolic international landmarks and very few poor international immigrants that would create a situation conducive to international terrorism.

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On a related note... how do suburbanites around here put up with these CRUSHING commutes)?

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I'm shocked, I don't understand how we can be so low when we have 2.5 million in the CSA and such outdated highways. Not to mention all the people who complain about Pittsburgh traffic relative to other cities. Perhaps our traffic is worse at times other than the morning and evening commute.

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When you say ranking, are you saying that Pittsburgh's metropolitan size should only be ranked as 1.28 million? That would put Pittsburgh at 44th in the country behind much smaller cities as Hartford, Grand Rapids, Louisville, Greensboro NC, Raleigh and Salt Lake City (I have nothing against these cities but they are obviously smaller than Pittsburgh).

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PLus, there are comparatively few limited access highways.

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I guess it figures since Cleveland used to be one of the most important cities in the country, once ranking 5th in population (after only NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Detroit). By the 1950's when the highways were planned, they slipped to 7th but, with nearly 1 million people in the city alone at a time when only a handful of cities had over 1 million, it was still pretty important.

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When you say ranking, are you saying that Pittsburgh's metropolitan size should only be ranked as 1.28 million? That would put Pittsburgh at 44th in the country behind much smaller cities as Hartford, Grand Rapids, Louisville, Greensboro NC, Raleigh and Salt Lake City (I have nothing against these cities but they are obviously smaller than Pittsburgh).

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Cleveland was 5th in the 1920 census which didn't last very long since Los Angeles grew like crazy going from 577,000 in 1920 to 1.238 million in 1930. Cleveland had a city proper larger than Boston at the time which testifies that city proper is arbitrary and misleading when measuring size. In fact, Pittsburgh had a significantly larger metropolitan area and urban area in the time period you are referring to. Pittsburgh's metro was 1.36 million in 1900, 1.85 in 1910, 2.19 in 1920, 2.48 in 1930, 2.55 in 1940 and 2.69 million in 1950. The Cleveland metro was 704,768 in 1900, 972,764 in 1910, 1.49 million in 1920, 1.85 in 1930, 1.89 in 1940 and 2.2 million in 1950. In 1950 Pittsburgh's urban area was 1.53 million making it 8th in the U.S. after New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Detroit, Boston, San Francisco and 26th largest in the world. Cleveland on the other hand had 1.38 million in its urban area in 1950 and since Pittsburgh's metro area was significantly larger I would guess its urban area was also larger in the years before 1950 but I can't find that data. Thus, I think it's rather debatable to whether Cleveland really was the larger city in the early half of the century.

None of this was meant in disrespect of the city of Cleveland or the people who live there. I personally like the city very much and have visited there in the past.

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When you say ranking, are you saying that Pittsburgh's metropolitan size should only be ranked as 1.28 million? That would put Pittsburgh at 44th in the country behind much smaller cities as Hartford, Grand Rapids, Louisville, Greensboro NC, Raleigh and Salt Lake City (I have nothing against these cities but they are obviously smaller than Pittsburgh).

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The point I was making was that CSAs are not a good measure of commuting populace. CSAs are almost as arbitrary as city populations since CSAs are (outside of New England) determined by county boundaries. Thus, I was saying that, for the purpose of looking at commuter traffic, we should instead look at the actual commuter populace not the CSA populace. IF we rank areas based on commuter populace, Pittsburgh won't be 44th behind Salt Lake City, etc. because those places also have CSAs that include population over a larger area than the actual commuter belt and thus their commuter populations would also be significantly smaller. I don't know where Pittsburgh would rank. However, I did read somewhere that the "urbanized area" population of Pittsburgh (which is a rough measure of the population of the city and the commuter suburbs) had 1.6 million people in 1990 (don't know the latest figures). The urbanized area figures are a more accurate look at commuter populace than CSAs.

Also, one thing people often overlook is that, as compared to other major metro areas, a higher precentage of metro Pittsburgh's population is retired. Retirees don't typically do the daily commute. Because of this, Pittsburgh won't be as congested as other similarly sized metro areas.

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You make many good points...I completely misunderstood you when I first read over your post and made that comment. Shortly after, I realized what you meant and that I had taken what you said out of context...you make a good point.

Unfortunately city proper, metropolitan area and urbanized area are all somewhat arbitrary figures...but point taken.

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Metros are much more accurate than city numbers. Of course they are not perfect extend beyond the real numbers since they include full counties, but the parts of the counties that would not realistically be part of a metro are the outer parts that likely have the least people anyway, so yes metro (in most cases metro makes sense and I think areas that are questionable are CMSA's)is the best way to measure.

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