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Mon-Fayette Expressway might never run to Pittsburgh

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salty

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May 30 2013 at 11:05am #

They don’t have another credible option because of foolish choices by government in the past, and at least some of them have personally made a foolish choice about where to live as well. There’s plenty of opportunity for people to live much closer to the city and we should be encouraging rehabilitation of those places (where transit is much more viable as well) instead of encouraging more sprawl.


JaySherman5000

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May 30 2013 at 12:02pm #

What stops the PAT buses from using the MFE to provide improved service to the areas along its path once it’s built? There could even be Park & Rides set up adjacent to the exit ramps just like the ones at Neville Island, Monroeville, and other outlying areas. I can’t see any reason why the MFE should automatically be viewed as a negative for public transit or bike infrastructure. So far, the biggest negative argument seems to be the price tag, and to be fair, that’s a pretty big argument against the project.

I think a lot posters ITT are looking at this from a biased, anti-car view instead taking an objective look. Neglecting the price tag for a moment, is there a concrete reason why another expressway into town should be immediately poo-pooed? If there is, I haven’t heard it. Anecdotes about “urban sprawl” don’t seem to weigh much against Census Data that shows urban growth and renewal is the current trend. Building a new road into town seems just as likely to spur movement into the city as it is to make people want to move away.

That said, $4 billion dollars could arguably be better spent on other projects, but I don’t think the idea of building this highway should be rejected outright.


jonawebb

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May 30 2013 at 12:11pm #

@JS5000, one of the reasons for the revival of urban areas is a shift away from the building of new expressways into cities. In the past, the construction of highways into the hearts of cities has been a major factor in the reduction of vibrant urban areas into car-oriented concrete deserts that are empty after 5 pm. Any modern study of urban planning will tell you that — e.g., a classic like “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” by Jane Jacobs is a good place to start. And urban planners have internalized those lessons and are working to remodel cities so they are more transit, biking, and walking-oriented. That’s why the Mon-Fayette is causing such a fuss. We know it’s not the right thing to do, but it just keeps on coming.


byogman

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May 30 2013 at 12:30pm #

StuInMcCandless wrote:They could, for a whole helluvalot less money, convert one lane of the Parkway East to an bus-only lane, and connect it directly to the East Busway. That third outbound lane starts almost exactly where the busway crosses the parkway. Right now, because of Edgewood’s intransigence against transit, East suburb buses all have to spend 10 minutes threading through brick streets in Wilkinsburg.

Again: Make transit workable. That solves the traffic issues, which obviates the main argument for the tunnel bypass.

OK, who do we scream and wave spears at to resolve this particular stupidity? Or rather, what’s the cast of characters?

Also, please be blindingly specific… send a google maps link to exactly highlight the dysfunctional local street route now, and as much of the improved route as can be drawn (with the rest easily inferrable at the map’s zoom level).

A lot of the momentum behind stuff like this and a willingness to pay any price is the perception that there’s no credible alternative. The more that argument can be undermined with specifics, the better.

I think it’s also time to give a short prioritized list of suggested corridor improvements to/from the GAP for biking. And if you can’t do the length of the corridor, do it from the GAP to a place motorists can get out of their cars (Turtle Creek?? Just seems like a lot converges in on it) and ride bike (or bus) the rest of the way in. And if you can, maybe continue the bike improvements up Monroeville Blvd into the belly of the beast? Anyways, string that all together and it’s a ride that only someone dedicated will do, but having options at the segments make it much more than the sum of its parts.

Anyways, I’m obviously guessing, I can’t do a credible suggestion, because I don’t know what’s out there physically or in terms of traffic conditions, but some folks on these boards, do. Chime in!


JaySherman5000

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May 30 2013 at 12:58pm #

@jonawebb: that seems like a reasnable argument, but is a book about urban planning from half a century ago still relevant to today’s trends? I have no doubt that there are still some basic truths to be found in Jacobs’ book, but I think the urban renewal today is happening in spite of the existence of expressways into the hearts of cities. During the time that The Death and Life… was being written, many of those highways were still under construction. Today, they are still in place, and yet, people continue to choose city life over suburban death.

I still think, during a time when people are actively choosing the city over the suburb, a new road into town might draw more people in just as easily as it once provided an escape route for those looking to get out. Of course, I’m basing all of this on my own observation of headlines, Census Data, and scientist’s intuition, so I could be totally wrong. I just think the social climate today is different from what it was in the middle of the last century.


rsprake

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May 30 2013 at 1:01pm #

JaySherman5000 wrote:Neglecting the price tag for a moment, is there a concrete reason why another expressway into town should be immediately poo-pooed? If there is, I haven’t heard it. Anecdotes about “urban sprawl” don’t seem to weigh much against Census Data that shows urban growth and renewal is the current trend. Building a new road into town seems just as likely to spur movement into the city as it is to make people want to move away.

If you look at a lot of the cities in that study, they have already become so sprawled out that people have realized how terrible it is. Lets learn from their mistakes and not waste the billions of dollars we can’t possibly repay.


Drewbacca

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May 30 2013 at 1:01pm #

salty wrote: What good came of Westinghouse being lured to Cranberry?

That is a valid point.

I also agree that we shouldn’t be promoting suburban living… which is how we got into our current oil-dependence mess in the first place imho (nevermind emissions, global-warming, etc.). Perhaps my assumption is wrong, but I assume that society has started to recenter itself into urban areas and that the cost of time and gasoline is in of itself enough incentive to prevent any sort of suburban migration 2.0. From my point of view, connecting the suburbs and outlying communities helps to promote the center of the hub as a cultural, arts, and business center rather than an incentive to commute long distances just because there is a highway available.

I don’t think, personally, that extending the mon-fay is the best or only method of accomplishing this. I think that a southern loop connecting the end of the current mon-fay with 79 on the west and 76 on the east would accomplish the same desirable outcome (along with a much needed bypass to alleviate some of the tunnel congestion).

I’m partly playing devil’s advocate but I’m also trying to be objective. A lot of highway development was stopped in Seattle in the 1970′s and I’ve seen the first hand results of this thirty years down the road. If Pittsburgh starts to grow again, a well thought out traffic system may make a big difference down the line.

Beyond that, it may just come down to personal views on traffic and infrastructure. Vancouver BC is one example of a city where they went out of their way to prevent highways for better or for worse. I, personally, think that they tied up their hands and created unnecessary bottlenecks. On the other hand, look at car-loving Los Angeles which has more bottle necks than anywhere else I’ve been despite the massive amounts of highways. I really can’t predict the growth of Pgh or future traffic patterns… which is why I’m curious if anyone has seen any projections.


jonawebb

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May 30 2013 at 1:02pm #

@js5000 I don’t know your background — I was assuming from the way you were arguing that you needed to start at the beginning — my apologies if you are already knowledgeable in the area.
But as to your argument — if you’re saying that the urban revival is happening in spite of the existence of expressways into the heart of cities — wouldn’t it seem logical that adding a brand new expressway would set things back some?


Drewbacca

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May 30 2013 at 1:17pm #

You know… speaking of bypasses. I imagine that removing tolls on the turnpike between Monroeville and the 376 extension on the west side would go a long way to help reduce some of the tunnel traffic without the need of building any new roads. If anything, the tool should be on the tunnel routes and not the only bypass we have going east-west. Talk about an easily solved problem that places the incentives in the wrong places.

That said, I disagree with Stu’s take that improved mass transit would put much of a dent in the tunnel congestion. People are going to drive, and while more park-and-rides may help it would take an awful lot of new transit to encourage anyone but the most hardened of commuters to use what currently exists with the addition of a few more busses or even light rail. I’d love to see more fast busses and light rail… don’t get me wrong. My main point is that a lot of people don’t want to take the time to learn a bunch of bus routes to figure out how to get around town once they are in town. Despite improvements, Pittsburgh is a terribly unfriendly city if you don’t have a car to get around. Sure, you can man up and make the system work… but few people are going to be bothered. I have a few friends who have moved on for this specific reason (and they were all living on the friendlier east-side).


salty

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May 30 2013 at 1:32pm #

I don’t concede the point “people are going to drive”. Certainly they are as long as we as a society keep bending over backwards to cater to them by spending billions on highways, fighting wars to keep gas prices down, ignoring the human and environmental costs, etc. So, let’s not do that stuff anymore. Amsterdam was on the verge of being overrun by cars until people stood up and said “no”.


salty

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May 30 2013 at 1:39pm #

It’s also pretty easy to get around the city without a car, without having to “man up”, whatever that means. Most people really mean “riding the bus (or a bike) is beneath me” when they say that.

That’s really the root of the problem – too many people are convinced that driving is better than the alternatives. They’re wrong.


Drewbacca

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May 30 2013 at 1:48pm #

I’m a huge skeptic of excessive highways and wasted military resources being spent on oil. I don’t think that we should build more simply because we can. I took 22 to 66 and then down to 70 the other week and the road was empty. Still, I was one less driver going through the tunnels that day. Obviously, no amount of benefit is justified if the road is unused… which is why it is so important to look at actual legitimate studies on traffic before these things are built.

I’m not pro or anti highway construction, I want to see the details and take it all on a case-by-case basis.

People are going to drive, and I stand by that. There is a slow cultural shift but that isn’t going to change the current status quo. When I am home visiting family I have no choice but to drive in to Pgh. I usually park at my brother’s house in Forest Hills and I bike it from there (unless I need to go out to Robinson for something).

More infrastructure for transit isn’t any better than new roads if they aren’t well thought out. A good fast transit option to get through the tunnels isn’t going to stop a person with a list of places to go from driving into the city. It might be beneficial to have some direct park-and-ride routes into the stadiums if a person is only driving into town for a game and then back out.

It’s foolish to believe that we can’t change the behavior of some drivers… I can see that. But likewise, it’s foolish to assume that you can change those behaviors without addressing some very specific needs.

I’m willing to bike twenty miles, I’m willing to walk six miles, I’m willing to jump on a bus even if I don’t know where it is going… unfortunately these aren’t qualities that most people share. Automobiles are for some a comfort zone and for anyone who doesn’t grow up in an urban environment that is going to be a very difficult thing to address without simply chasing people away.


Drewbacca

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May 30 2013 at 1:53pm #

salty wrote:It’s also pretty easy to get around the city without a car, without having to “man up”, whatever that means. Most people really mean “riding the bus (or a bike) is beneath me” when they say that.

That’s really the root of the problem – too many people are convinced that driving is better than the alternatives. They’re wrong.

You’re wrong to think that the reason people don’t use alternatives is because they think that driving is a better alternative. You need to get into the mindset of these people because to a good number of them driving isn’t the best-alternative… it’s the only alternative. I’m open to ideas on how to change that mentality, but it must be addressed in order to better promote the alternatives.

Man-up simply means a willingness to try new things and leave a comfort zone and/or not be lazy.

Those of us who ride public transit and cycle tend to have either grown up with it… or, we are just more open to new things than the average person. So, it’s either already within our comfort zone or we are open enough to new experiences to do it anyways. Stopping construction of a highway isn’t going to change anyone’s mentality and most of the objection to it in this thread seems to be based on an emotional anti-car response rather than specific examples of why it’s a bad idea. I’m not really arguing that it should/shouldn’t be built but I do fail to see the benefit of not building it. Likewise, I’m arguing that simply improving mass transit isn’t enough. We can build more bikelanes and bus routes and someone who is on the fence may be won over… but that won’t do anything directly to convince the skeptic. What may win over the skeptic, with time, is seeing people using those resources. So yeah, public transit and bicycling investment is probably a better use of the money but the pay off will not be in the short term.

Perhaps that is the disagreement we are having, short term vs long term changes and/or how the money is used. If you are arguing that transit is a better use of the money, I don’t disagree with that… but I’d still like to see some studies. My personal opinion is that addressing road traffic and transit simultaneously is always the best option.


Benzo

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May 30 2013 at 2:05pm #

Drewbacca wrote:My main point is that a lot of people don’t want to take the time to learn a bunch of bus routes to figure out how to get around town once they are in town.

This has never been easier with the advent of Google maps transit directions. Having it on a smartphone makes it even easier for those who have them. Some people heavily rely on the port authority phone service to direct them when needed as well.

I’d love it if even half the buses actually had schedules in them for the routes they were running for the day. I’ve always been disappointed with the availability of maps and time schedules on the buses themselves. When I rode the bus more often, the holders were consistently empty or had a different route’s schedules there.

Having a reloadable fare card is really an awesome addition as well. Not having to worry about weird tickets and exact change made it really nice to ride the bus when I had a broken hand.


jonawebb

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May 30 2013 at 2:12pm #

One of the issues is that the Mon-Fay isn’t supposed to improve transportation within Pittsburgh; it’s supposed to open the Mon valley to development. So any argument based on damage to Pittsburgh by sucking investment out of the city is going to fall on deaf ears. It’s supposed to do that. The only real hope, as I see it, is if we can somehow oppose the extension of it to Pittsburgh, on the grounds discussed here. I expect Peduto being elected will help with that, but lots of construction dollars have a way of turning any politician’s head. And the past suggests that the developers will somehow find a way to win. Remember the Three Rivers Stadium replacement? I think city council voted it down, and then there was a referendum and it got voted down. But it still happened, somehow.


salty

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May 30 2013 at 2:14pm #

I grew up in the sticks (in Madison, which you mentioned earlier). I didn’t know anyone who thought it would be reasonable to commute to and from the city from there, and it’s still not. You can build all the highways you want, it’s still 30 miles away.

I also spent 10 years living in McCandless, and ~15 years commuting from either there or the city (before and after I moved) to Cranberry, Robinson, etc. So, I have certainly been there and done that. I couldn’t tell you exactly what made me wake the fuck up but I’m glad I did. If there’s hope for me, there’s hope for everyone. Certainly it’s not going to happen overnight, or probably even before I’m dead and gone, but step 1 is to stop making the problem worse.


Mick

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May 30 2013 at 2:45pm #

From my point of view, it would be nice if there were a huge park-and-ride at the end of the expressway and regular, reliable public transportation from there into the city (and, of course, regular, reliable public transportation *IN* the city, which we don’t have).

Strikes me as wildly improbable , though.


Mick

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May 30 2013 at 2:50pm #

And , of COURSE, if they included a separated bike path along with any new expressway in the city, my views would change pretty quickly.


edmonds59

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May 30 2013 at 3:03pm #

Regarding specifically the Jane Jacobs book, it is the landmark and THE standard for good urban planning. The fact that it is 50 some years old means nothing. It has taken society 50 years to allow this “automobile experiment” we’ve been participants in to saddle us with the problems it has, and prove her concepts correct. If Jacob’s urbanist concepts are 50 years old, the ideas generating this highway solution are 1920′s-1930′ era Robert Moses modernist automobilist bullshit.
Also, more roads do not alleviate traffic, roads generate traffic. As jonawebb said, people will fill the roads with up to and beyond capacity. This has nothing to do with that. This is all about using public funds to spur development in one very specific area and one limited group of people. You have to seriously question if it is really the best use of 4 billion dollars.
Finally, the plan posted above shows the loss of riverfronts to the highway, riverfronts that activists have scratched and clawed for years to wrest away from nasty industrial uses for the public. It doesn’t appear to eliminate the South Side riverfront park, but can you imagine if we had more riverfront like that? Even aside from the Heritage Trail, it’s a wonderful amenity for the South Side. And we’re going to give gorgeous green space like that to concrete slabs? Despicable.


byogman

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May 30 2013 at 3:06pm #

Drewbacca wrote:ou’re wrong to think that the reason people don’t use alternatives is because they think that driving is a better alternative. You need to get into the mindset of these people because to a good number of them driving isn’t the best-alternative… it’s the only alternative.

That’s a big fat problem it’s important to be honest about. People are not won over quickly no matter how well you do park and ride (bike or bus/carpool on busways/hov lanes) and will be feel ignored and be angry about it.

But you know what, you CAN’T please everybody. Work with what you’ve got, make plans with an eye on the horizon, and learn from history. History (going a LONG way back) suggests expressways brought toward city centers are expensive and create as many traffic problems as they solve.

And mostly, people have learned this.

jonawebb wrote:One of the issues is that the Mon-Fay isn’t supposed to improve transportation within Pittsburgh; it’s supposed to open the Mon valley to development.

Yup… from, http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourmckeesport/yourmckeesportmore/3691284-74/mon-turnpike-expressway#axzz2Uo0KVipj:

“We sit on some of the largest tracts of developable industrial and commercial properties on any riverfront in the eastern United States,” Burgwin said. “That road would be a catalyst to humongous new business investment in this region, and jobs.”

So that’s why there’s the push in spite of the absurd cost and all the convincing urbanist arguments again… from economic interests ogling huge, huge… tracts of land. So I propose, if the highway will create such an incredible economic benefit, let these interests and/or outlying communities that would benefit most directly band together and tell us how they plan to pay for it, or at least the lion’s share of it, so it will not simply create more bills we struggle with while not being able to acceptably maintain what we have.

Equally critically, let them advance a proposal for how they would amend the plans to be even remotely sensitive to our concerns as city dwellers desirous of biking infrastructure and urban renewal.

I suspect neither of these things are coming because they are hard or impossible. Greasing the wheels with some lobbying however…


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe

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May 30 2013 at 7:29pm #

$4.5 Billion.

4500 deficient bridges in PA.


StuInMcCandless

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May 30 2013 at 7:57pm #

The thing has cleared all environmental and legal hurdles. It’s all a matter of figuring out the financing.

One day in 2011, I was out on PA51 south of Large, and stood there by the side of the road and looked at the massive infrastructure sitting there. The supports are bigger than some office buildings downtown.

I maintain that building this road now is like building a canal in 1845, after it was no longer fashionable to do so. Railroads started happening about 1830, and with each passing year, became better, bigger, more able to go places, easier and faster to extend, and didn’t freeze over in the winter. Yet some wanted to keep digging canals because that’s what they’d been doing since New York built the wildly successful Erie Canal in 1818. The canal lovers of 1845 could not let go of the idea that since the first few had worked so well, they would always work well. A generation later, they were in decline, and two generations later, all but a few were abandoned, with a railroad on the towpath.

Even if it does make sense now, will it still make sense in 20 years? 50? How long will it take to pay off the bonds? How long until we start having to rebuild large pieces?

Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.


paulheckbert

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May 30 2013 at 8:30pm #

Have you all written your PA state senator in Harrisburg to tell them how you feel about the MFE and the SB? To contact your state senator, start at http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/index.cfm

In my email to my senator this morning, I cited this news article, http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourmonvalley/yourmonvalleymore/4054245-74/compton-expressway-projects , I explained my views, and also I pointed him to this bikepgh.org thread.


paulheckbert

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May 30 2013 at 8:47pm #

Why I think work on improving 376 is more important than building a Squirrel Hill Bypass (that’s what MFE people call the proposed Bates St-Braddock-Monroeville freeway):

Look at how traffic backs up in the morning commute: it’s due to cars driving slowly (like 30mph) through the Squirrel Hill tunnel, but then, miraculously, they speed up to 60 at the far end of the tunnel! Think about it for a minute and the explanation is pretty clear: claustrophobia plus uphill grade plus dumb drivers. The tunnel feels small, so the tendency is to slow down. Dumb drivers will slow down without feeling guilty. The recent change of raising the ceiling should help reduce the claustrophobia. If they painted the tunnel white and lit it better, that would help, also. If they put cameras in the tunnel that helped them spot drivers that are driving so slowly that they slow things down for hundreds or thousands of others, and then ticket them after they emerge from the tunnel, that would help also!

Look at how traffic backs up for the evening commute: the biggest problem is not the tunnel, it’s that crazy Squirrel Hill (Murray-Forward-Beechwood) interchange. That interchange should be redesigned so you don’t have entering traffic crossing paths with exiting traffic just before a tunnel entrance.

With the 3.9 billion dollars you save by not building the MFE, you could do a lot of other things!

Light rail Downtown-Oakland-Squirrel Hill-Forest Hills-Monroeville would help a bunch. The South Hills has it, why not the East End? Pittsburgh used to have a huge streetcar network and it worked pretty well.


aboykowycz

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Jun 1 2013 at 6:54pm #

Dear all: while I agree with Stu that the Mon-Fay is a terrible idea and should be vigorously opposed, I would like to reassure you all that the likelihood it will ever be built is precisely zero. There is no way the PTC can raise the money it needs from the state, and there is no way the FHA will come through with more money for this project; private investors have been sought and no one has wanted to take it because it’s an inherently bad idea and will never pay for itself. The original EIS for the road has expired, and were money to magically materialize tomorrow there would have to be a fresh EIS done, which would take a couple years and lead nowhere, since in the intervening time the EPA has tightened restrictions on PM2.5 pollution and the road would never pass muster. Community opposition is practiced and ready, and much work has been done to study alternatives, which is an important component of the EIS process. And most importantly, despite all the millions that were spent on design, the PTC never found a workable solution for how to negotiate ROW with the multiple active rail lines the road needs to cross or pass over. Building the Pittsburgh leg would be more expensive — by several orders of magnitude — than building all other sections of the MF/SoB combined, and no one has the stomach for it. As time progresses the project only gets more expensive, less attractive, and more complicated. It won’t happen.


jonawebb

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Jun 1 2013 at 7:17pm #

It really sounds like you know what you’re talking about, and I appreciate the reassurance. Is there anything that you can point us to that will help confirm this? Or maybe you could expand even more in your explanation — what does EIS mean, etc.


Drewbacca

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Jun 1 2013 at 7:49pm #

environmental impact statement… it’s what I was asking about above (somewhere). They are surprisingly good reads for those of us who like analysis and hard data.


aboykowycz

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Jun 1 2013 at 8:25pm #

The EIS and related documents are not available on line, and the information on the Turnpike’s pages on the MFX are out of date. I worked for PennFuture for a couple years as the primary MFX-fighter, and while I definitely don’t know all there is to know about this road, I sure as hell know more about it than Brewster and his pals. The project is an elaborate exercise in delusion and a gravy train for consulting engineering firms. It has been a zombie since the 1950s, when it was originally touted as a natural extension of the Mon Valley’s thriving steel towns, not their savior. The parkway east got built, and helped to kill Braddock and downtown Pittsburgh; but the Valley met a slower more agonizing demise without the MVE, as it was originally named. The Fayette and Southern Beltway sections were added on later — but because they were easier to build, they got done first. And now yes, the MFX is literally a road to nowhere.


Drewbacca

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Jun 1 2013 at 10:47pm #

It annoys me that the thing isn’t available anywhere…

“Final EIS Available For Southern Beltway Project from Interstate 79 to Mon/Fayette Expressway

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed Southern Beltway Project from Interstate 79 to the Mon/Fayette Expressway (Turnpike 43) will be available for public review for a 30-day period beginning Friday, Nov. 14, 2008.

Release of the document, including a Section 404 Permit Application required by the federal Clean Water Act, is an action of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

It will be available for review through Monday, Dec. 15, 2008, at local municipal offices, libraries, legislative field offices and other public locations.”

It was available online during that window, but, no longer…
I guess it doesn’t matter so much since it was dated and a new one is required but I’d still love to read it. :(

Anyways, just posting the above copy/paste so that others realize this type of info is out there for other projects.


ieverhart

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Jun 2 2013 at 8:42am #

+1 for Salty’s comments on options and choices, particularly the poor choices many people have made that leave them with few “options;” and on “people are going to drive.” People react to incentives. A prime rule of public policy is that you should tax things you want to discourage and subsidize things you want to encourage. We haven’t been making the best decisions on that front.

As regards highway departments pitching freeways as fantastic vectors for express transit service, I came across this article, about a new highway in Maryland which first cut a parallel bikeway from the plans, and now is cutting transit service as well.

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/18899/icc-losing-bus-service-in-classic-bait-and-switch/


StuInMcCandless

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Jun 2 2013 at 10:28am #

I will not stand down until the officials promoting it say publicly that they will not try to build it.

The last I heard before this, they were vowing to build it “mile by mile, if we have to”.

Keep those spears and boiling-oil pots handy. This fight isn’t over yet. It took 30 years to get I-279 built.


aboykowycz

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Jun 2 2013 at 12:40pm #

… and building I-279 cost $550 million. The MFX Pittsburgh leg would cost ten times as much. I’m not suggesting anyone stand down. Just reassuring everyone that we needn’t panic just because some politicians are trying to score easy points singing an old tune.


jonawebb

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Jun 2 2013 at 2:16pm #

I talked to my friend the traffic engineer at Meeting today and he says it’s basically dead People are developing places that would get wiped out if it went forward, the EIS would have to be redone, Murphy only supported it because if stare support for the stadiums, etc.


jonawebb

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Jun 2 2013 at 4:55pm #

My friend said that nobody’s going to actually say it’s dead, but it is. The EIS would have to be redone, and Peduto would certainly oppose it. There is no money for it, and it would be far more expensive than when originally proposed. And things like the J&L development going ahead, and even the Bates street bridge, wouldn’t happen if people thought the Mon-Fayette was going to happen. So I’m thinking it’s not something all of us have to worry about. We can let Stu keep an eye on it


jonawebb

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Sep 11 2013 at 3:35pm #

BTW, this appeared a while ago, but the Mon-Fay came up in another thread, so just so everyone knows: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/region/leading-mon-fayette-expressway-supporter-changes-lanes-696148/
The executive director of the Mon Valley Progress council is surrendering and proposing the Mon-Fay connect to Monroeville, not Pittsburgh.


Jacob McCrea

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Sep 11 2013 at 4:10pm #

The road in its present form doesn’t even save time if you are driving to Uniontown and farther south. From a traveler’s perspective it never looked like an improvement over Route 51 from Jefferson to Uniontown, but out of curiosity we tried it earlier this year on a trip to Tucker County. We came away deeply aggravated by the multiple, redundant toll booths and over $10.00 in tolls. We may have saved two minutes (no exaggeration) between Jefferson and Uniontown, which isn’t a good trade off for $10 and the convenience of stopping at the gas stations, stores, etc. along Route 51.

@Stu, if you would like a little more reassurance and a challenging little legal research project, go back and read aboykowycz’s comment about the inability to negotiate easements with the railroad(s), and then try to figure out whether PennDOT or the Turnpike Commission can exercise the power of eminent domain to condemn an easement for the MFX across a railroad, which also has the power of eminent domain.


Pierce

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Sep 11 2013 at 4:13pm #

That’s good to hear because it was also screwing with the Hazlewood development, which according to Friends oTRF, is also holding up the Carrie Furnace Trail

See: http://bikepgh.org/mb/topic/braddock-trail/#post-282248


rice rocket

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Sep 11 2013 at 4:40pm #

Wow awesome. I’m totally down for more HOV lanes, especially since I can use them on my motorcycle. I’m not down for it being tolled though…just pull it from my gas tax or something.


Pierce

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Sep 11 2013 at 5:00pm #

I’m against HOV traffic using bus lanes

Seems like it would make it less likely that they could be used for bicycles


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe

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Sep 11 2013 at 7:53pm #

So let me see if I understand Mr. Kirk’s proposal. He wants to extend the East Busway to Monroeville and dump the Mon-Fayette Expressway onto it.

Hm. Ok. A multi-lane, express highway is going to connect to a two lane (as in, one lane in each direction) cattle chute with no on/off ramps that will dump how many cars into downtown Pittsburgh at the end of Grant Street?

Something tells me Mr. Kirk is looking at satellite images or lines on paper or something. This is a non-starter. There is no way this happens.

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