U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Pittsburgh
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-09-2012, 07:52 AM
 
Location: city of pittsburgh
1,274 posts, read 844,046 times
Reputation: 570

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
the best advice I've read szug is that no place is perfect, it's what you can live with.
the city has been very slow to address the sewer problem though I suspect, like lancaster, they'll be forced to follow Philly's lead and manage what goes in rather than what comes out (which costs far more)
i dont follow - has philadelphia acted on a huge sewer replacement project?

but i pointed out 'sewers' because ours are so old, and often burst (not just in the city, but the old boroughs, too).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-09-2012, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Philly
8,885 posts, read 7,804,726 times
Reputation: 2116
Quote:
Originally Posted by szug-bot View Post
i dont follow - has philadelphia acted on a huge sewer replacement project?

but i pointed out 'sewers' because ours are so old, and often burst (not just in the city, but the old boroughs, too).
yes, it's adopted a plan to manage stormwater runoff to reduce the burden on its aging sewer system. it's received awards and lancaster has adopted a similar plan based on it. one aspect I'm watching with interest is the storm water runoff charge that essentially splits water rates into two...one for usage and one for impermeable surfaces...they estimated that something like half of their expenses are related to runoff, not usage. interestingly, it tends to benefit highrises and other large but dense users at the expense of surface parking operators, car lots, etc. the rest of it involves using parks, greenery around intakes, etc. the sewer problem you mention isn't unique to pittsburgh but is shared by a lot of older cities.
Quote:
Philadelphia's $2 billion plan to manage its storm water with green methods - porous pavement, green roofs, and a plethora of trees - got the official nod Tuesday from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency...a 25-year plan that has been described as one of the most innovative and ambitious in the nation.
It will transform not only how the city handles storm water - treating it as a resource instead of a waste product - but also how the city looks...
Others, including Syracuse, Cleveland, and New York, are following Philadelphia's lead, he said.
Philadelphia's problem is that about 60 percent of the city's sewers are a combined system that carries both sewage and storm water.
During heavy rainfall, the system overflows, and untreated water containing raw sewage, litter, road pollution, and other substances spurts from more than 150 overflow pipes into streams and rivers...
Many other large cities have decided to build massive - and hugely expensive - underground tunnels to solve the problem. Washington proposed three of them, the largest eight miles long and 23 feet in diameter.
Philadelphia had considered it, but then realized it might be looking at the wrong end of the pipe. Instead of managing what came out of the sewer system, perhaps it could manage the water before it enters the system.
Phila. embarks on green stormwater management - Page 2 - Philly.com
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-10-2012, 08:11 AM
 
Location: city of pittsburgh
1,274 posts, read 844,046 times
Reputation: 570
[quote=pman;25088622]yes, it's adopted a plan to manage stormwater runoff to reduce the burden on its aging sewer system. it's received awards and lancaster has adopted a similar plan based on it. one aspect I'm watching with interest is the storm water runoff charge that essentially splits water rates into two...one for usage and one for impermeable surfaces...they estimated that something like half of their expenses are related to runoff, not usage. interestingly, it tends to benefit highrises and other large but dense users at the expense of surface parking operators, car lots, etc. the rest of it involves using parks, greenery around intakes, etc. the sewer problem you mention isn't unique to pittsburgh but is shared by a lot of older cities.

unbelievable - 1/2 of their cost is the management!? thats incredible when you think conveyance is done for free by gravity.

thanks for the information. years ago i worked with SWM and was bored to tears. now, FINALLY there are interesting ways to cope with it rather than installing inlets every 50 feet. unfortunately im not a part of this revolution of sorts.

i applaud philadelphia. its amazing that 15 years ago any mention of an environmentally - sensitive would have been met with scorn. you were, lets see, a commie, a tree-hugger, a liberal, etc. finally, municipalities have seen the benefits.

and, i might add, tough cookies to the surface parking operators, car lots, etc. we have paid for decades to support a personal vehicle-dependent lifestyle, whether an individual opted for that or not.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-10-2012, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Philly
8,885 posts, read 7,804,726 times
Reputation: 2116
Quote:
Originally Posted by szug-bot View Post
unbelievable - 1/2 of their cost is the management!? thats incredible when you think conveyance is done for free by gravity.
conveyance may be free but treatment is not (except during storms when it just goes directly into the rivers). the water gets treated whether it comes from your toilet or the sewer out front. (I found it surprising as well but it makes sense when you think about it)
.

Quote:
Originally Posted by szug-bot View Post
i applaud philadelphia. its amazing that 15 years ago any mention of an environmentally - sensitive would have been met with scorn. you were, lets see, a commie, a tree-hugger, a liberal, etc. finally, municipalities have seen the benefits.
it's amazing what happens when the money runs out. the real beneficiary of a different approach would have been labor unions since it would require a lot of more expensive construction work...and when there's money, that's usually what happens (that's not to say there aren't lucrative constracts for connected construction firms as well)...and that's the way it works in most older cities.
as for car lots, I thought it was sad that they are finding this stuff just as the last "efficient" car sales place shut down (they still operated with a street fronting sales floor, storing cars in a vertical warehouse). that may be old school, but apparently it was more efficient. when it was built, land values probably dictated that kind of usage but it's environmental impact was much small.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-10-2012, 08:52 PM
 
1,149 posts, read 1,131,304 times
Reputation: 719
Quote:
Originally Posted by dissident View Post
The city was built for 700,000, but only 305,000 live here now. Something's got to give.
Once upon a time, circa 1950, 700,000 people filled 175,000 homes. With today's household size, Pittsburgh would have to build 197,500 new houses to accommodate a population of 700,000. The city really hasn't been shrinking; however, the average household size of an American household has been cut in half.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-11-2012, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Philly
8,885 posts, read 7,804,726 times
Reputation: 2116
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyev View Post
Once upon a time, circa 1950, 700,000 people filled 175,000 homes. With today's household size, Pittsburgh would have to build 197,500 new houses to accommodate a population of 700,000. The city really hasn't been shrinking; however, the average household size of an American household has been cut in half.
the population of the hill has declined by 80-90%. the population has indeed been shrinking (which is shown in both fewer units and people per units). of course, the real point, I don't think, isn't about houses, but the other infrastructure.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-11-2012, 09:18 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,875,311 times
Reputation: 2827
The City is in fact down some housing units from peak, but not nearly as many as the population decline would suggest if not for the changing size of households. And for the same reason, with the population likely now growing, the City will approach the peak housing unit count pretty fast.

Again, though, I think the takeaway from all this is not that our existing infrastructure set is just fine. That's because residential patterns have shifted (and will likely keep shifting), as have commuting patterns, and so on. Plus, a lot of our infrastructure is pretty outdated and in poor condition.

But disinvestment alone is not the answer. Rather, we need to be investing in upgrading and rationalizing the core area's infrastructure set to better meet present and likely future needs. I think that is the crucial point to keep in mind--our infrastructure needs are not less, but they are different, and in the future they will likely be different still. Preparing for that future should be our focus.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-11-2012, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Friendship
59 posts, read 59,835 times
Reputation: 77
"To the extent I was implying any particular policy, I think it would be something along the lines of making sure that our transition to a different infrastructure set in light of shifting needs did not just take the form of disinvestment where needs are less, but also increased investment where needs are more.

I'd further suggest we keep an eye on the future--we are likely entering a period of core area population growth, and given the long lead time to put in place new infrastructure, we should be cautious about abandoning infrastructure that could be maintained at a reasonable cost in anticipation of future use. That doesn't mean we shouldn't do any of that, but when making such determinations we should be looking ahead, not just at current conditions."

Oh I think that is a perfectly reasonable stipulation. The loss of so much heavy industry has certainly freed up plenty of land that perfect for redevelopment (as we all know), so it seems unlikely that people would want to build on unstable hillsides again. I'm certainly not advocating disinvestment from, say, the Hill District just because some areas are currently underutilized. I'm really referring to streets to nowhere.

Last edited by dissident; 07-11-2012 at 11:43 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-12-2012, 06:27 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,875,311 times
Reputation: 2827
I agree the slopes are an interesting case, with brownfield redevelopment leading to residential additions in various formerly-industrial flats. I think some are likely well-located enough, and/or have good enough views, to still be desirable residential locations. Others maybe not so much.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-12-2012, 04:15 PM
 
583 posts, read 425,641 times
Reputation: 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
If you look at the population decline you will see quite a drop over the long term.

1960 604,332 −10.7%
1970 520,117 −13.9%
1980 423,938 −18.5%
1990 369,879 −12.8%
2000 334,563 −9.5%
2010 305,704 −8.6%

We seem to get all excited when 600 people move into the city. What are the city's shortcomings and can they be addressed?
Well, you asked, so here's an honest answer from someone who has absolutely no axe to grind against the city.

Not to be a jerk, but here's what I noticed on a recent trip.

I didn't see a single nice, impressive part of town. I visited Plum, Oakmont, Aspinwall, Sharpsburg, Penn Hills, Monroeville, West Mifflin, Washington, Trafford, Verona, Pitcairn, Turtle Creek, North Versailles, Irwin, McKeesport, White Oak, Wilkinsburg, Forest Hills, Duquesne, Universal, Oakland, Munhall, and many others, and I didn't see a single, neat, charming, cute-as-a-button immaculate neighborhood with manicured lawns and edged sidewalks. I drove on Carson St., which appeared to have some vitality but was in no way polished or attractive.

Everything seems run-down and in need of a pressure-wash.

The houses often look moldy, mossy, and streaked. Often, the wood siding is sagging or pulling away from the houses.

The hills are horrible. Everything seems built into a valley, so you're losing at least four hours of sunlight, every day, down in those things. The hills make driving very unpleasant, and they give Pittsburgh an utterly unintuitive road system.

Intersection upon intersection and shopping center upon shopping center appears run-down and unkempt, as if there's no pride in the city. Frequently, these intersections and shopping centers are found abandoned, as people just moved away and gave up on them.

Often, the houses are built on or into the hills, worsening the trapped moisture and exacerbating the lack of sunlight.

I don't mean to be rude or insulting, but Pittsburgh has to be the least attractive large city I've visited, and this sample includes Cleveland. Being there even on bright sunny days made me sad.

A Pittsburgh realtor I spoke with said this: "If you've been somewhere else, it's just not that pretty here."

If the Pilgrims were coming to America in 2012, with America being a new and virgin land, the settlers would have no need of making steel in this area, and Pittsburgh would be passed over as a major settlement.

If I could remake Pittsburgh, before I'd let anyone move in, I'd have every hill ground to flat earth, and I'd send the rock downriver to New Orleans to use as reclamation landfill. I'd then plat the area in neat grid streets, and I'd make a building code that all buildings be constructed with materials that wash squeaky clean and bright and shiny with a garden hose.

Pittsburgh just seems sad, run-down, unkempt, dark, dingy, in no way sharp or meticulous, and I am not surprised to see people leaving it. In other towns, I love to see people rehabbing their old buildings, bungalows and houses. In driving around Pittsburgh, I concluded that the best thing for the town would be to bulldoze most of the houses, buildings, and stores and start over.

I love other Ohio River towns. Cincinnati and Louisville are utterly lovely places, charming, open, sunny, and while they have hills, the hills don't bind the city in bleakness nor make driving too unpleasant. Madison and Owensburg are also quite nice. Evansville even has its moments. I now know why Pittsburghers (?) emigrate to Florida in mass.

Pittsburgh: Metropolitan, Suburban and Core Losses | Newgeography.com

Again, I have no axe to grind against Pittsburgh; I was just so disappointed - and sad.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2011 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Pittsburgh

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top