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  #201  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2012, 9:52 PM
Gilamonster Gilamonster is offline
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In every national objective rating on Pittsburgh, starting with it first being named "America's most livable city" in the 80's up to and including the very recent Washington Post report naming Pittsburgh the nation's most "In" city, I have never seen public transportation as a contributing factor as to why Pittsburgh won these awards. PAT Transit has been reducing routes and service for quite a while now and this new round of big cuts will likely not be the last, yet I haven't seen the sky fall in Pittsburgh. Certainly, this is still bad news, but in the big picture, I don't see it as a big deal.
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  #202  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2012, 10:39 PM
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^ But I'm told that Pittsburgh is such a hip, "in", vibrant, hi-tech, cool, urban place now...

As these types of negative indicators continue to be around and continue to get worse, I'll choose to remain immune to the hype.
Pittsburgh IS a great place to be. Just happens to have a transit authority who's leadership needs to be gathered up, put up along a wall, and be executed via firing squad... But in all reality, I would say a LOT of the issues are state-driven, so much of the fault lies with Harrisburg...

Aaron (Glowrock)
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  #203  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2012, 5:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Gilamonster View Post
In every national objective rating on Pittsburgh, starting with it first being named "America's most livable city" in the 80's up to and including the very recent Washington Post report naming Pittsburgh the nation's most "In" city, I have never seen public transportation as a contributing factor as to why Pittsburgh won these awards. PAT Transit has been reducing routes and service for quite a while now and this new round of big cuts will likely not be the last, yet I haven't seen the sky fall in Pittsburgh. Certainly, this is still bad news, but in the big picture, I don't see it as a big deal.
I actually do see it as a big deal -- particularly in the "big picture". An efficient public transit system is a very important key to producing a vibrant and successful urban core at the center of a metropolitan region anywhere -- and in the fractured mess that is the Pittsburgh region, especially.

Some people may view these cuts as not connected to what Pittsburgh is striving to become, and that is an incredibly faulty view to have -- considering transit, as its base function, is about connection. If anyone is in doubt about the wide-ranging effects of large-scale route elimination serving both near and far suburbs bringing thousands of people into the city on a daily basis and the scaling back of city routes, all I have to say is wait and see.
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  #204  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2012, 7:42 PM
TBone7281 TBone7281 is offline
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1/19/2012

Civic Arena demo - roof open.


Lot 24


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  #205  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2012, 8:06 PM
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Downtown Saks announces closing date:

http://www.wtae.com/news/30252297/detail.html

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PITTSBURGH -- Saks Fifth Avenue says it will close its downtown Pittsburgh store on St. Patrick's Day, more than six months before its lease expires.
Saks has been in the city for more than 60 years and at the location on Smithfield Street since 1976.
The store's lease expires on Sept. 21, but spokeswoman Julia Bentley tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the upscale clothing retailer was able to negotiate an earlier exit.
The city had tried to work with Saks and the landlord on plans to improve the store, offering $10 million in tax credits, loans and grants.
But Saks has said declining sales and the loss of several key designers who no longer provide merchandise drove the decision.
About 95 workers will get severance benefits, help with transfers and re-employment assistance.
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  #206  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2012, 9:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Private Dick View Post
I actually do see it as a big deal -- particularly in the "big picture". An efficient public transit system is a very important key to producing a vibrant and successful urban core at the center of a metropolitan region anywhere -- and in the fractured mess that is the Pittsburgh region, especially.

Some people may view these cuts as not connected to what Pittsburgh is striving to become, and that is an incredibly faulty view to have -- considering transit, as its base function, is about connection. If anyone is in doubt about the wide-ranging effects of large-scale route elimination serving both near and far suburbs bringing thousands of people into the city on a daily basis and the scaling back of city routes, all I have to say is wait and see.
I, too, see this as a big deal, and I always have. If they're going to keep cutting back and cutting back, all I can say is they better be ready to build multi-level parking garages to handle the extra traffic from the stranded transit riders...

Not to mention, public transit should be seen and used as an engine to drive economic development and land development. Apparently, it looks like this engine is running out of gas due to Harrisburg siphoning the fuel supply. I think a solution here would be to have a private company handle the transit operations. Is Lenzner still planning to take over some of the routes to the more out-lying suburbs? Suppose the T and other transportation services are privatized...
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  #207  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2012, 9:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Jonboy1983 View Post
I, too, see this as a big deal, and I always have. If they're going to keep cutting back and cutting back, all I can say is they better be ready to build multi-level parking garages to handle the extra traffic from the stranded transit riders...

Not to mention, public transit should be seen and used as an engine to drive economic development and land development. Apparently, it looks like this engine is running out of gas due to Harrisburg siphoning the fuel supply...
And increased traffic and parking issues are only part of the problem, at that. Cutting off access -- any access -- to the urban core, is akin to cutting off veins and arteries going to and from the heart. A seemingly-minor stoppage can result in exponential and widespread effects -- not apparent on the surface.

This point is precisely in line with your comment about driving economic/land development. Make it more difficult or completely cut off some demand fwoor any good or service in the core, and you're going to make development more difficult in kind.

And Harrisburg does not shoulder all the blame here. Terrible mismanagement locally for decades is producing pressures now. Add some of the highest-paid public transit employees on average in the nation and a broke city and an overwhelming number of competing municipalities in the Port Authority's coverage area, and you have all the fixins for trouble.

This is a problem with far-reaching consequences that must be addressed, if Pittsburgh is to maintain its "in" status and progress to become, dare I say it, "Portland-esque"... or it will continue to be the same old story of how Pittsburgh region is scenic, "liveable", and cheap... with a good football team.
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  #208  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2012, 10:00 PM
Gilamonster Gilamonster is offline
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So the urban demise of the future core is predicted by some posters here after another round of PAT transit cuts. Well that's new. I have read essentially the same comments here after every round of cuts and the alarmists have been wrong every time. Maybe they will be right this time but I doubt it and really wouldn't give them much credit for being right. If you predict the same thing enough times,statistically you are increasing your chances at being right one time. Kind of like the the ol' blind squirrel finding a nut.
Nice find on the arena open roof there TBone. I suspect that what's left of the roof is about to be dismantled. I came across a You Tube video from last week that a Noralco worker uploaded, showing them bringing down the mechanism that held up the scoreboard.
Also, thanks for the LOT 24 update pics. I inquired about the pricing structure and received an e-mail back from the Cork Factory Lofts property manager saying that the pricing structure hasn't been determined yet.
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  #209  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2012, 11:05 PM
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^ No one is talking about the "demise" of the future urban core due to transit cuts. Comments were made about how cuts to transit do in fact work to impede Pittsburgh becoming that type of "in" city we are now continuously reminded that it is/should/will be and that local and national promoters so desperately want it to be. A sound and efficient public transit system providing connectivity (to a highly fractured and seemingly inaccessible region in Pittsburgh's case) is an important cornerstone of a progressive city.

If bringing up that inarguable point in response to planned massive public transit service reductions, which will be the largest in the history of the agency, is viewed by you as being an "alarmist", then it is indicative of your lack of understanding of the issue. Do you happen to use Port Authority buses or the T for transportation?

And, I have a hard time believing that in the scant 4 years you've been a member of the forum, you've heard these "alarmist" claims about the demise of Pittsburgh due to transit cuts many times before -- especially considering that Port Authority transit cuts of large enough impact to merit any outcry in Allegheny County are a rather recent issue.
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  #210  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 1:05 AM
Gilamonster Gilamonster is offline
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Since I don't agree with your opinions, apparently I "have a lack of understanding on the issue". Great point. I remember reading a few clueless and pointless messages from you on this forum before, but I see you are trying to outdo yourself. Yes people are being alarmist. My point is pretty much already proven everyday. Pittsburgh, the city proper and MSA, continues to do fine(actually much more than fine on many national indicators,especially economic ones) despite continued transit cuts. Reread above posts, although it probably won't help. I'll help you out some more. In your exact words, "An efficient public transit system is a very important key to producing a vibrant and successful urban core at the center of a metropolitan region anywhere -- and in the fractured mess that is the Pittsburgh region, especially" I guess by your logic(or lack thereof) pretty much any city west of the Mississippi that has or has had a "successful urban core" has managed to somehow pull it off without the critical factor of a "efficient public transit system". I'll give you Portland and maybe Seattle, but again like Pittsburgh, those cities have a lot of other things going for them. I guess there is a lot of dumb luck going around....or wait......could it be.......maybe that factor is not quite that important.
I of course realize that this will be the biggest round of cuts but the most recent ones were pretty deep as well. Also if you look at all of the previous cuts combined since the heyday of bus and trolley service(my best guess is somewhere around the early to mid 70's) the summation of those individual scale backs are much larger than what is to come. Again, show me where the overall problem lies. Facts please, not opinion. I think your problem is you really like public transportation and really, really want it to have a significant presence here and because of that, like many others want to prove how "This is a problem with far-reaching consequences". Of course there will be some hardships on a personal level, especially for some elderly and poor people and I am not immune to that but from a macro level, I still say not a big deal.
Let's not forget there still will be public transportation and it will be the money routes that PAT keeps ; the busiest ones. I think this debate may be moot anyways. There has already been a huge outcry from the public and I think it will only get louder and I suspect something will get pulled off to give PAT some money if not all that they need/want. If not, and if the demand is truly there, then a private company could get into the mix.
Anyways, I can't wait to see the response to this post from the fact haters and chicken littles.........
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  #211  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2012, 1:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Private Dick View Post
And increased traffic and parking issues are only part of the problem, at that. Cutting off access -- any access -- to the urban core, is akin to cutting off veins and arteries going to and from the heart. A seemingly-minor stoppage can result in exponential and widespread effects -- not apparent on the surface.

This point is precisely in line with your comment about driving economic/land development. Make it more difficult or completely cut off some demand fwoor any good or service in the core, and you're going to make development more difficult in kind.

And Harrisburg does not shoulder all the blame here. Terrible mismanagement locally for decades is producing pressures now. Add some of the highest-paid public transit employees on average in the nation and a broke city and an overwhelming number of competing municipalities in the Port Authority's coverage area, and you have all the fixins for trouble.

This is a problem with far-reaching consequences that must be addressed, if Pittsburgh is to maintain its "in" status and progress to become, dare I say it, "Portland-esque"... or it will continue to be the same old story of how Pittsburgh region is scenic, "liveable", and cheap... with a good football team.
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  #212  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2012, 1:40 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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PAT has never before cut service to the degree it would be cutting this fall if its state funding isn't restored. That is because of the sheer magnitude of the funding cut this time, plus the fact that each round of cuts most go deeper dollar for dollar as the least efficient routes are eliminated in prior rounds of cuts.

Of course the Pittsburgh Metro won't stop functioning entirely. It will "just" experience slower growth and lower prosperity in future years because of increased transportation costs (in both time and money) to get to its top employment centers, and it will also experience more concentrated poverty and related social problems, and lower air quality and have higher medical costs, and so on.

Edit:

By the way, in recent years PAT's management has done a lot to trim its labor costs and improve its operating efficiency. More can and should be done, but ironically the more efficient PAT becomes, the more service must be cut as a result of state funding cuts. And unfortunately, current state law prevents PAT from doing anything about its legacy costs.
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  #213  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2012, 3:33 PM
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PNC has some new renderings up on their site. Lookin' Good!

http://www.pncsites.com/pnctower/
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  #214  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 2:32 AM
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Jonboy1983 Jonboy1983 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evergrey View Post
Testify!
Thanks for agreeing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilamonster View Post
Since I don't agree with your opinions, apparently I "have a lack of understanding on the issue". Great point. I remember reading a few clueless and pointless messages from you on this forum before, but I see you are trying to outdo yourself. Yes people are being alarmist. My point is pretty much already proven everyday. Pittsburgh, the city proper and MSA, continues to do fine(actually much more than fine on many national indicators,especially economic ones) despite continued transit cuts. Reread above posts, although it probably won't help. I'll help you out some more. In your exact words, "An efficient public transit system is a very important key to producing a vibrant and successful urban core at the center of a metropolitan region anywhere -- and in the fractured mess that is the Pittsburgh region, especially" I guess by your logic(or lack thereof) pretty much any city west of the Mississippi that has or has had a "successful urban core" has managed to somehow pull it off without the critical factor of a "efficient public transit system". I'll give you Portland and maybe Seattle, but again like Pittsburgh, those cities have a lot of other things going for them. I guess there is a lot of dumb luck going around....or wait......could it be.......maybe that factor is not quite that important.
I of course realize that this will be the biggest round of cuts but the most recent ones were pretty deep as well. Also if you look at all of the previous cuts combined since the heyday of bus and trolley service(my best guess is somewhere around the early to mid 70's) the summation of those individual scale backs are much larger than what is to come. Again, show me where the overall problem lies. Facts please, not opinion. I think your problem is you really like public transportation and really, really want it to have a significant presence here and because of that, like many others want to prove how "This is a problem with far-reaching consequences". Of course there will be some hardships on a personal level, especially for some elderly and poor people and I am not immune to that but from a macro level, I still say not a big deal.
Let's not forget there still will be public transportation and it will be the money routes that PAT keeps ; the busiest ones. I think this debate may be moot anyways. There has already been a huge outcry from the public and I think it will only get louder and I suspect something will get pulled off to give PAT some money if not all that they need/want. If not, and if the demand is truly there, then a private company could get into the mix.
Anyways, I can't wait to see the response to this post from the fact haters and chicken littles.........
I'm not necessarily saying that all economic activity will come to a halt, and I don't consider myself to be an "alarmist," of the sort either. BrianTH, I think, made a rather valid point:
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
PAT has never before cut service to the degree it would be cutting this fall if its state funding isn't restored. That is because of the sheer magnitude of the funding cut this time, plus the fact that each round of cuts most go deeper dollar for dollar as the least efficient routes are eliminated in prior rounds of cuts.

Of course the Pittsburgh Metro won't stop functioning entirely. It will "just" experience slower growth and lower prosperity in future years because of increased transportation costs (in both time and money) to get to its top employment centers, and it will also experience more concentrated poverty and related social problems, and lower air quality and have higher medical costs, and so on.

Edit:

By the way, in recent years PAT's management has done a lot to trim its labor costs and improve its operating efficiency. More can and should be done, but ironically the more efficient PAT becomes, the more service must be cut as a result of state funding cuts. And unfortunately, current state law prevents PAT from doing anything about its legacy costs.
The entire region will grow and continue to grow, both in terms of population as well as economic activity, but having adequate transit service can only accelerate said growth. Before they opened the LRT line from Phoenix to Tempe, it had a profound effect on growth and development -- while it was under construction (I read a research article about this.). It was attracting a particular demographic and spurring higher-density growth within close proximity (0.25 miles) of the line. I'm sure the same thing can be said about Mt. Lebanon, Upper St. Clair, Bethel Park, etc when the T opened 26 years ago. Granted, I believe PCC trolley service existed beforehand, but still, it's an improvement of existing service, so i'm sure growth was impacted somehow because of it...

To add to Gilamonster's post, yes, I understand that transit isn't the only thing that impacts growth. It's other forms of transportation as well as other existing infrastructure and/or planned infrastructure as outlined in the various ordinances. Again, that comes down to the local governments to dictate. It's not just limited to SW PA either about how fragmented and out of touch our municipalities are with each other. Out here in Chester County, we have a road that is a bottleneck (2 lanes, down to one, then back to 2 as you pass through a township because of its classification of the road. The municipality has no interest in updating that code either.)
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PNC has some new renderings up on their site. Lookin' Good!

http://www.pncsites.com/pnctower/
That is going to be a very sharp-looking building. I can't wait for construction to get underway and to see this thing pierce the sky over the Golden Triangle!
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  #215  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 2:40 AM
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Love the new PNC Tower renderings! Can't wait to see it get underway!

Aaron (Glowrock)
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  #216  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 4:20 AM
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Damn those renderings are wonderful. PNC is going to make a great mark on our already powerful skyline.
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  #217  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 9:46 AM
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Does anyone have any additional photos/diagrams of the old "Pittsburgh City Center" proposal from the 1980's?

This was to include a large shopping mall with two department stores, a 330 room Ritz-Carlton hotel (later changed to Grand Bay), two 28 story office towers, and a 53 story office tower, who's spire would have made it the tallest building in the city. This was to be located where Mellon Bank built their operations center.

After spending some time on Google, this picture is the best I could come up with:



Photo: The Pittsburgh Press


Here is a detailed article from the old Pittsburgh Press, mostly on page A4 (also where that image originates):

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...y+center&hl=en
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  #218  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 6:49 PM
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Man, that would have been a rather impressive addition had they completed it. Unfortunately, given the trend of big box department stores as well as the demise of Kaufmann's, I think this thing would have struggled somewhat. However, given the fact that it would have had direct access to Steel Plaza Subway Station, pretty much making that into a hub of sorts on the T, it probably would have faired much better, than, say the Allegheny Center retail complex. I wonder why this fell through... I'm guessing they could not secure tenants for the other buildings or any of the remaining retail space. Given today's market, I'd see this as a rather tough sell still, especially given big box retail.

I always thought Steel Plaza seemed "unfinished," and now I know why that was...
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  #219  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 4:02 PM
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It probably died with the early 90s recession.

I do remember that lot, but the T station sitting vacant for years and Mayor Murphy had talked about Macy's going there - could you imagine that mess, given that Macy's really was/is no different than Kaufmann's and the location is isolated on the fringe of the triangle.
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  #220  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 10:23 PM
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It probably died with the early 90s recession.

I do remember that lot, but the T station sitting vacant for years and Mayor Murphy had talked about Macy's going there - could you imagine that mess, given that Macy's really was/is no different than Kaufmann's and the location is isolated on the fringe of the triangle.
I guess that would make sense, it dying when it did and probably why it did...

About Macy's, why else do you think I made the remark about that? It would have been overkill at the time, and major overkill today.

I could see Allegheny Center being redone as something like that; if they were to somehow put the T underneath South Commons Blvd, and build a new inter-city rail station there. What Penn Station has been relegated to, IMO, is a huge middle finger to Pittsburgh. A substandard rail depot in the rear of the building serving as our city's primary inter-city rail station? From my point of view, it's a freight yard with a canopy...

I have such a vision for this city, and I guess that's all it will ever be. It seems there's no ambition for any future land use planning in this town. It's all about "what could get built and where that could make me (as in the city's officials) look good?"
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