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Old Posted Oct 14, 2017, 11:32 AM
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Jonboy1983 Jonboy1983 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: The absolute western-most point of the Philadelphia urbanized area. :)
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I've said for a while that some of the inner suburbs of Pittsburgh should merge with the city if a full-on city-county merger is off the table. I'm not too familiar with the geography of Chicago, but I know Allegheny County has over 130 municipalities. Many of these municipalities formed by breaking away from other larger ones.

I grew up in Baldwin, and my parents house is only 700 yards from the city line. You can see the top of the US Steel Building from their front yard. Baldwin was once part of a larger Baldwin Township. Baldwin Township was so large that if it were still as big today as it was in the '30s or so, it would be over 44 square kilometers and have a population of over 100k people! Sadly, the township shrank and gave way to the boroughs of Baldwin, Whitehall, Brentwood, Castle Shannon, and Mt. Lebanon. Carrick, Overbrook, and Brookline were also part of the township at one point, but these are all now part of the city.

My argument is you have several of these smaller boroughs and townships that form your inner ring suburbs that, in my opinion, put a financial strain on the principal city they surround. They're nothing more than mere bedroom communities whose tax base is almost solely residential property taxes with maybe a few isolated light commercial uses here and there. They want to maintain their isolation/separation from the larger principal city. Yet, they don't have the access to state and federal funds and don't have the proper infrastructure. The infrastructure deteriorates; doesn't get the necessary improvements, and some of these places are "OK" with this...

I can somewhat understand why places are reluctant to merge with larger cities. Sure, the city will just more or less exploit these outer-lying locations for their population numbers to obtain the funds to help fix issues/problems associated with the inner core neighborhoods. That could be an issue. I guess it would help if the civic leaders would have open minds, think outside the box and look at the big picture; look at how the city as a whole can move forward - not just for the inner core but from border to border.

Again, I"m using Pittsburgh as an example here, as I can only assume Chicago and its suburbs are facing the same issue
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