Pittsburgh is safe for pedestrians

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WillB
Participant
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From the PG http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11144/1148820-100.stm

Kind of amazing given our fondness for casually disregarding the rules of the road. I guess the cavalier jaywalking and anarchic driving must cancel each other out somehow.

In all seriousness, though, this is awesome, and I suspect is related to the fact that there are very few roads where you can drive fast and/or straight for more than 1/4 mile.


cburch
Participant
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uh oh, here comes timito…


erok
Keymaster
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this might have something to do with it: The four most dangerous metro areas for walking all were in Florida: Orlando, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and Miami-Fort Lauderdale, according to the report.


Lyle
Participant
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We are just behind New York, Cleveland, and Boston.


Ahlir
Participant
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Speaking of Florida, U.S. Rep. John Mica (R-Florida) is working to eliminate federal money for “unncessary” transportation enhacements such as bike lanes and better pedestrian signage:

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2011-05-05/news/os-gas-tax-bike-paths-20110501_1_bike-paths-bike-lanes-sidewalks

Remember, voting has consequences.


quizbot
Participant
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Also from the PG today: Woman, 70, struck by school bus in Lawrenceville

A 70-year-old woman was struck by a school bus this morning in Lawrenceville, a city dispatch supervisor said.

The accident occurred at Butler Street and McCandless Avenue at around 7 a.m. The woman suffered head and neck injuries and was taken to a hospital. She was reported to be conscious and alert.

No further information was available.


sloaps
Participant
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Schmitz totally supports my letter to the editor from a few weeks ago.

Anyone notice NPR reporting today on the effect of an aging population on future transportation needs and later in the day referring to the dangerous Florida streets and, again, the need for a transportation system that supports all modes.


Pierce
Participant
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I almost got clipped by some jerk on Sunday; Guy honked at me because I put one foot on the road as I was walking along a sidewalk. (Near the island between Greenfield Ave and Ronald St) Another instance of “slow down you idiot”


Mick
Participant
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I was thinking that Pittsburgh was safer because we have more complete sidewalk coverage – but then the ‘burgh ‘burbs have a similar rating and many of those suck for sidewalks.


rsprake
Participant
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No one walks in the burbs. :)


salty
Participant
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I think it’s one of the benefits to older cities – there aren’t too many places in Pittsburgh where your options are to dash across 4+ lanes of high speed traffic or walk half a mile out of your way to get to a crosswalk.


cburch
Participant
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except in front of our stupid office…


salty
Participant
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Right – and no surprise that turd of a road is a huge source of pedestrian carnage.


ejwme
Participant
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That article/study kind of makes me sad. It’s like trying to pick the healthiest option from the dessert tray, or which envelope glue has the highest nutrient content. Ok, maybe not that bad… But comparing unsafe to unsafe doesn’t make one safer, just less unsafe.

Better than bad does not equal good. Doesn’t anybody get that?


Morningsider
Participant
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So then…I am not alone in my public election voting boycott? I have chosen not to vote in any election for that very reason. I don’t believe in the lesser of two evils.


Ahlir
Participant
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@Morningsider: If you don’t care, you end up with the the greater of two evils, like the execrable John Mica (R).

Elections matter. If you need to think about it, consider how each candidate/party relates to cyclists’s concerns.


Mick
Participant
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Lessor of two evils?

There are always write in votes.

The two major parties would have you believe taht any vote for them is a “throwaway vote.” I tend to think the opposite is true.

Any time you vote Green, or for an independent, or make a write-in vote, you are saying “NO” to their false dichotomy.

That’s not a throw-away vote in my opinion.

The bald guy in the suit with the check from the oil companies vs the bald guy with the check from the teacher’s union? That is your basic throw away.

Now one vote doesn’t make much difference, for sure, but what poltician watch more than how people vote is WHO votes. They pander to groups that vote.


Ahlir
Participant
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Uh, Mick, the last notable Green Party candidate was Ralph Nader. Ralph Nader sucked off enough votes to allow GW Bush to assume the presidency (admittedly with an assist from a right-wing Supreme Court). GW Bush was arguably the worst president of these US of A.

Bush ignored all warnings about an impending Al Qeda attack; he then pushed us into his war of choice (that, thankfully, my nephew managed to survive). He turned the Clinton surplus into our current enormous deficit and, of course, precipitated the Recession through his laissez-faire regulatory policies. It was a deliberate attempt to destroy this nation’s foundations.

Sorry. Your nihilism is total bullshit. This is real life, not some drunken barroom debate; you have to make choices.

Fell free to argue that these people could ever countenance the needs of their voters (which include you and me, cyclists).


salty
Participant
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I think “false dichotomy” is a pretty accurate description. Get the people divided over marginal issues so they don’t pay attention to what’s really going on. While it’s really great that since Obama took office he has ended the unjust wars that Bush perpetrated, fixed the economy, rescinded tax cuts on the wealthy, and put an end to offshore drilling… oops, wait, that stuff didn’t really happen.


Mick
Participant
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Not nihilism – optimism.

Our constitution was designed to try o avoid political parties – that’s just one of it’s many failures.

The fact that too many fools vote for major party candidates is not the fault of those that vote otherwise.

I’d rather not try to follow those fools simply because they are overwhelmingly populous.

If I wanted to be nihilistic, I would stop voting.

George W Bush was in my opinon the worst president we’ve had. He had many millions of votes though. You cannot blame that on Nader.

AGAIN, I claim – the major parties want you to believe that a vote for anyone else is somehow wasted. They have it exactly wrong.

Voting for a Republican or a Democrat is throwing away the only real choice you have.


Ahlir
Participant
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@Mick, what you describe as optimism is actually delusion. Choices matter.

The Republicans will take away you Social Security. They will take away you Medicare.They will rip up your stinkin’ bike lanes. They will fuck you up because you are not (as worthy as) Howard Roark or John Galt. Or, Mick, do you think that you are and that you don’t have to worry?


Ahlir
Participant
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Sorry folks, I seem to be off my meds. If I could only figure out what they’re supposed to be…


Mick
Participant
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Actully, in reality, I vote democratic much of the time.

I have in the past voted for people who major party and been later somewhat appalled at the postitions of those I voted for (shrug).

Still a good protest vote.

Interesting to note: Last time there was a new party that took office, it was the Republicans (they were WAY different 150 years ago). Slavery ended.

I think the US wold be a better place if there were more than one acknowledged Socialist in Congress and if independent candidates, greens and others were a threat to some of the [explitive deleted]s we have now.


cburch
Participant
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1) ban all corporate (and possibly union) lobbying

2) eliminate campaign contributions and personal spending by candidates. everyone gets the same amount to run with.

3) ban political parties. all candidates are independent and have to rise or fall based on their own merit.

4) wake up and realize this isnt going to happen. be sad.


sloaps
Participant
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@cburch

1) Colbert’s superpac should change all that, hopefully maybe

2) we have that, but even Barry O’Bama opted out.

3) +1

4) how can we be sad, if we still ride bikes?


reddan
Keymaster
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5) Ponder apropos Mencken quote:

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.


cburch
Participant
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@sloaps

2) no longer opt in or out. you spend outside the allowed amount. or have outside spending on your behalf (like those awful “issues” ads that are now everywhere) and you are tossed from the election. period.

also, i think we need to bring back another great athenian democratic institution. ostracizing.


Morningsider
Participant
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@cburch – Unfortunately, the ones with reason and intellect are the ones that become ostracized in politics.

Edit – officially derailed.


Mick
Participant
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@cburch 2) no longer opt in or out. you spend outside the allowed amount. or have outside spending on your behalf (like those awful “issues” ads that are now everywhere) and you are tossed from the election. period.

Yeah that gets to be a difficult issue – when is moeny being spent on an issue and when it that really on a candidate?

As in, Candidate Smith says “I like bikes” and Candidate Jones says “Bike Pittsburgh made a huge contribution to Candidate Smith.” In that case it is easy to decide, in other issues, maybe not so easy.


cburch
Participant
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mick more like the “call candidate jones to tell him to stop supporting SOCIALIST PELOSBAMA policies” ads


ejwme
Participant
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personally, I think a lot of this nonsense could be solved by term limits – one term. The House of Representatives were supposed to actually represent the people, not be career politicians or stepping stones to more political seats. The senate gets 6 years which should be plenty to get something done. If more time is needed to accomplish something, extend the term limit. If the people REALLY like the way a person serves their term, well then they better elect someone very similar next time.

That ends all the bullshit “freshman” vs. “senior” shenanigans of serving on committees, and a lot of the asinine heirarchy. Refocus them on actual governance and less politics.


fungicyclist
Participant
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“A monarchy is a merchantman which sails well, but will sometimes strike on a rock, and go to the bottom; a republic is a raft which will never sink, but then your feet are always in the water.” Fischer Ames (And I might add, the occupants of the raft will whinge incessantly about their wet feet.)

@ejwme: In my youth I worked for the first woman to chair a committee in the House. Fun times on the Hill then. Without the power of her seniority many of the issues we “negotiated” through the maze would have been cavalierly dismissed by the flatulent old boy network. (Wayne Hays was the worst, legendary in fact for clearing out the restroom with his vocal straining and collateral damage. He was a mean as*hole as well.) However, if you believe term limits are now appropriate, then I totally respect your championing that cause. Times change. As a nation we once enacted (and repealed) Prohibition. Our Democracy is a Grand Experiment and it’s always Wednesday here: “anything can happen day”.

Allegheny County had a sitting Criminal Judge who often wore nothing beneath his robes, drank vodka all day, napped during trials and masturbated like a monkey while Court was in session. It took years to accomplish his removal. Perhaps he was stuck to his bench? His is an elected office. The two Judges in Wilkes-Barre who imprisoned youthful first time offenders in private detention facilities with which they had a fiduciary relationship? They were elected too. Santorum. Nixon. Vote responsibly, vote early, vote often.

We have an ever evolving form of government that has not sunk, with impatient whiny wet footed citizens, and I celebrate it every time I vote. We are a young nation and a nation of two year olds who keep asking “are we there yet?” and we will never be there. It’s an endless journey.

We have responsibilities as citizens, and shouldering those responsibilities does bring change. And change happens, though never as swiftly as those who know better wish, and never as slowly as those in power want.

Realize your feet will always be wet. Kick a little so we get to shore quicker. Be aware someone on the other side of the raft is probably doing the same and canceling your effort out, but that doesn’t really matter; talk with them and see if you can’t work together for a spell. We are always going to be adrift.

Citizens, please do stop whinging; it’s very annoying, and not very helpful.


salty
Participant
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What’s the name of that judge? I want to vote him back in…


fungicyclist
Participant
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@salty: Allegheny County Judge Patrick McFalls. Here’s one article: http://www.cordesemploymentlaw.com/In-The-News/Fired-staff-says-alcohol-impairing-judge.shtml Take note he couldn’t even get his son, nor a federally convicted felon to work for him. Article makes no mention of his dalliances with his own honour, but google is your friend. He was a piece of work.


Lyle
Participant
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@fungicyclist: fiduciary? Or just financial.

@ewjme: single-term limits would result in the government being run completely by the unelected employees and appointees. Probably not what you really want either.


Ahlir
Participant
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Re Allegheny County Judge Patrick McFalls: While conducting a jury trial that day, a bottle of vodka dropped out of the judge’s pocket in front of others I love this guy!

But seriously. Life is not perfect and humans are only humans. The only recourse we have is vigilance. If elected officials are screwing up we should work to remove them (legally, through the ballot box or through judicial process).

We should not presume that elected officials are necessarily corruptible. But we should care enough to keep track of what they are doing with their power. Incumbency is not evil per se; consider Sen Edward Kennedy. I would argue that keeping a decent incumbent, with his/her experience, is of much greater value to our republic than randomly churning through representatives. We value experience and judgement in most other professions (such as the medical), why not in politics? If someone is screwing up, you vote them out. Isn’t that one of the fundamental percepts of democracy?


fungicyclist
Participant
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@Lyle: While it’s known they both received “kickbacks” for each youthful accused they incarcerated, one account suggested one of the Judges was legally, though circuitously, invested in the private prison. And one of them, perhaps the same one, perhaps both, sat on the Board of the private prison company. Details are sketchy as they immediately both made plea deals and were whisked off to Federal Prison for an inadequate amount of time, unless it was for forever and a half.

But your point is taken. “Financial” might be a better word as their alleged fiduciary responsibility to the private prison company and that conflict of interest pales in comparison to their abandonment of their responsibilities as jurists.

A Congress of Mr. Smiths? Much like the first one I suspect. One aspect of stability is the Staff, which changes little. “Once on the Hill, always on the Hill.”


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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When former newsman Ron Klink was elected to Congress and term limits were the topic du jour, he was quoted as saying that if there must be term limits, we should limit House members to one, so they can get it all done while they still know everything.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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@ejwme: “which envelope glue has the highest nutrient content”

(Cue the sound of Homer Simpson salivating…) “mmm… envelope glue…”

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