Local news stories and LTE 2017
Thanks to your letters the Waterworks is reevaluating their stance on the peds ADA walkway to the waterfront
Steven: Interesting. I agree that the failure to normalize by population in the original report is shabby. Various reporters are exhibiting an embarrassing ignorance of statistics and scientific thinking, here.
They should normalize by population when comparing counties, e.g. instead of directly comparing crash count in big county A(llegheny) with that of small county B(erks), say, they should compare countA/popA against countB/popB, or some other justifiable normalization. Comparing counts of counties with widely varying populations is scientifically bogus! (What, you mean New York state had 1100 car deaths last year but Rhode Island had only 45!? Wow, How did Rhode Island get to be 24 times safer than NY?)
(Throwing in the area^.3 factor seems to work ok, but I find it harder to justify).
They should also be normalizing in other ways. In the map, they’re ranking intersection dangerousness using raw crash counts, without normalizing by traffic volume – the same kind of mistake. I made this comment in another thread: http://bikepgh.wahilacreative.com/message-board/topic/bikepedestrian-unfriendly-intersections/#post-348649. They found (surprise!) that the busiest intersections tend to have the most crashes.
Related: a recent Post-Gazette series on the opioid crisis fingers Carrick, saying misleadingly “drugs kill more people here than in any other place in the city” but the reason it came out #1 on their list is that they were ranking by drug-case count, not by count/population, and Carrick is one of the more populous neighborhoods. Same dumb mistake! (When you normalize by population, you find there are actually six neighborhoods with a worse drug overdose rate (=count/population), downtown being one of them!)
I further wish we would stop using deaths as a metric. Instead, I would rather we measure the number of crashes serious enough to result in at least one person to spend a night in a hospital.
Upcoming meetings about city of pgh riverfront zoning. These meetings seem important to increase riverfront access for trails.
chanukah ride tonight. you don’t need to be jewish to go. (or, you could be like me: Jewish but not going)
highland park bridge/route 28 area improvements video and pdf
It looks they may get rid of the death ramp — the ramp you need to cross over while using the HPB sidewalk to get to the spiral section to get down to freeport. i.e, the ramp which has a stopsign that no one stops at and that no one can see you trying to get through that narrow concrete opening in the barrier.
If only they would leave that ramp there for bikes and pedestrians to more easily access the bridge sidewalk.
But that will be awesome if they put stoplights at the on/off ramps on the two sides of the bridge at Freeport Road. When riding along Freeport Road, that is one of the scarier spots on the entire length of it. When riding eastbound you will be cruising through pleasant downtown Sharpsburg, then at the end of town you are all of a sudden in this highway-ramp speeding-vehicle entry-and-exit nightmare for a minute or two, then into pleasant downtown Aspinwall shortly afterward.
By the way, this layout showing the stoplights and the on-ramp from Sharpsburg to the bridge that they are apparently going to close is shown in the last 20 seconds or so of the youtube video.
Rumor is that the r47 development wants that ramp so I bet they will just close it off for now and figure out what to do with it later.
Someone’s planning a development on the Ohio West of the casino that includes a Ferris wheel.
I saw that. Where exactly would this be? They’d have to tear down an industrial building?
The linked article has a map. It runs from Kroll Drive west to the river. I’m not sure if that’s the entire project or just the URA portion.
Got it. Thanks. That’s a triangle of empty land. Sometimes the marina nextto it parks their boats on the side. As long as they don’t (bleep) with the trail I’ll be happy. Wonder if the fenced off dead building between the trail and the river will be part of this parcel.
The Northside Bike/Ped Committee has been meeting with the URA and prospective developer since the summer of 2015 when it became known this parcel was planned for redevelopment.
Along the way the developer has continually expressed that they see the trail as a major asset and would plan, if anything, to enhance trail quality and access. Not much more to say until formal plans are produced, but it’s a good start.
Hotels, sidewalks, and bikelanes, oh my!
On East Ohio between 279 and 16 st bridge
That Trib article on the East Ohio Street hotel is the poster child for the sad state of local journalism.
Had Bob Bauder ever actually been on East Ohio Street, he’d have seen that bike lanes and sidewalks already exist. Imagine that! Then he might’ve been able to push the developer to answer how, if at all, they plan to improve those or else drop them from his piece entirely.
Instead of doing actual journalism, the Tribs plugs existing bike lanes – which no one complains about – into the lede for the entire article because they surely understand by now that contrived controversy is the path to cheap clicks.
Exactly! The trib also has zero fact checking and I think most of the articles are written from info gathered from behind a desk instead of at the scene.
I sent an email to the managing editor of the Post-Gazette asking them to stop using the word “accident” in terms of more scientifically correct terminology.
I’ve hounded many Trib reporters and I’ve noticed that over the last few months the Trib rarely if ever uses the word ‘accident” anymore. (i’m not saying my bugging them was the reason, but I welcomed the change no matter what).
anyway, this is the email I received back:
thanks for sharing that with me. i will definitely pass it on to the editors and keep it mind myself.
just so you know, traditionally, journalists writing about a traffic incident sometimes hesitate to use a word like “crash” for fear that it is an overstatement. in this instance, it was not an overstatement.
i used the word “accident” in an effort to avoid repeating the word crash. however, collision would have worked.
it’s a very interesting and reasonable point you’re making.
again, thank you for taking the time.
Told by someone else yesterday at the PG that their dictionary and style guide both agree with using “accident” so they’re going to keep using it.
AP style says you should avoid “accident” in most cases…
For vehicle crashes: When negligence is claimed or proven, avoid the word accident. In such cases, use crash, collision or other terms.
— AP Stylebook (@APStylebook) August 25, 2016
Housekeeping. Use the new 2018 thread for any further posts.
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