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Old 05-06-2012, 03:08 PM
 
7,112 posts, read 10,130,763 times
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But direct rail routes coupled with Pittsburgh's walkability and not having to hassle with downtown parking makes it more appealing...and possibly cheaper too. Pittsburgh's terrain does discourage mobility. I've seen its effect in Atlanta and I'm sure it would work in Pittsburgh. Ease and convenience will bring more people downtown...and possibly even to and from the airport.
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:09 PM
 
20,273 posts, read 33,009,142 times
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Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
But direct rail routes coupled with Pittsburgh's walkability and not having to hassle with downtown parking makes it more appealing...and possibly cheaper too.
Evening parking is $5 or so. There is no way you could price a roundtrip cheaper than that without ridiculously large subsidies. And of course most people would have to drive to their local train station and park anyway. People in the suburbs won't add that step if the roads are clear and parking is cheap.

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I've seen its effect in Atlanta and I'm sure it would work in Pittsburgh.
Of course I realize that Atlanta is the Platonic Ideal of City--who could possibly deny it?--but sadly Pittsburgh resides in an imperfect world, and may continue to fall short of that Ideal.

Quote:
Ease and convenience will bring more people downtown.
Perhaps, but again there are many other things that we could do that would provide better access to Downtown for more people than new heavy rail from the farther suburbs, so it doesn't make sense to start with the low-benefit/high-cost ideas.

Quote:
and possibly even to and from the airport.
It will be a very long time, if ever, before that becomes a significant priority for this region. And yes, I know, this is yet another area in which Pittsburgh much concede its lowly state in comparison to the Olympian heights of that paradise known as Atlanta.
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:59 PM
 
7,112 posts, read 10,130,763 times
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Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Evening parking is $5 or so. There is no way you could price a roundtrip cheaper than that without ridiculously large subsidies. And of course most people would have to drive to their local train station and park anyway. People in the suburbs won't add that step if the roads are clear and parking is cheap.
The subsidy is pretty much a given. I doubt any system really charges the true cost. But if the roads are clear and parking cheap, then PAT could cut back service during those hours.

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Of course I realize that Atlanta is the Platonic Ideal of City--who could possibly deny it?--but sadly Pittsburgh resides in an imperfect world, and may continue to fall short of that Ideal.
You obviously have never read one of my posts on the Atlanta board. But Atlanta does have some good ideas worth emulating. The MARTA rail system is very good...but alas...it hurts me to admit that even it is...imperfect.

Quote:
Perhaps, but again there are many other things that we could do that would provide better access to Downtown for more people than new heavy rail from the farther suburbs, so it doesn't make sense to start with the low-benefit/high-cost ideas.
If there's something better, I'd like to hear it. Perhaps...?

Quote:
It will be a very long time, if ever, before that becomes a significant priority for this region. And yes, I know, this is yet another area in which Pittsburgh much concede its lowly state in comparison to the Olympian heights of that paradise known as Atlanta.
See my comment above.

For instance, the Brave's Turner Field is pretty good, but I'll concede that PNC has it beat for ambiance and view alone.

But here is a present for you Brian.

Hail Atlanta - Video Clip | Comedy Central (http://www.comedycentral.com/video-clips/xnlkj0/futurama-hail-atlanta - broken link)

That should make you feel better.
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:18 PM
 
20,273 posts, read 33,009,142 times
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Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
The subsidy is pretty much a given. I doubt any system really charges the true cost.
Correct, but it can make overall economic sense to subsidize commuter rail operations when the roads on the relevant routes are already at capacity, as is your parking system in your CBD. Remove those conditions, and the case for such large public subsidies for heavy rail service is greatly diminished.

Again, 140,000 people or so already have a way Downtown. If the evening crowd is bumping up against that number, then we can revisit the issue of new infrastructure for evening use.

Quote:
But if the roads are clear and parking cheap, then PAT could cut back service during those hours.
Which of course it already does. But at least PAT's service area includes a decent number of people who don't have a car, or prefer not to drive, or who could do an entire trip Downtown without a car (a good idea for those who like a drink or two in the evening). So if you were going to start subsidizing more evening trips Downtown, providing PAT with more funding for evening services would be a WAY better idea than building new commuter rail lines from the suburbs and then trying to subsidize those instead.

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You obviously have never read one of my posts on the Atlanta board.
Indeed, I have never been to the Atlanta board, and that's because I have zero interest in using Atlanta as a model for Pittsburgh, and in general don't really care how Pittsburgh compares to Atlanta in any particular way.

Quote:
But Atlanta does have some good ideas worth emulating.
If so, then presumably an independent case for those ideas as applied to Pittsburgh could be made. "That's how we do it in Atlanta" adds nothing to that case for me, and if anything relying on such an argument just makes me more skeptical about whether or not the proponent of said ideas has thought carefully about the specific needs of the Pittsburgh region and how best to address those needs.

Quote:
If there's something better, I'd like to hear it.
I already mentioned two much better ideas:

"So if you just wanted to improve evening accessibility to Downtown, I wouldn't start by blowing a ton of money on new rail lines to the suburbs. I'd start by funding better evening operations on the existing PAT system. After that, I would focus on better rapid transit options (better meaning faster, more convenient, and cheaper for PAT to operate) from close-in neighborhoods."

Dollar for dollar both of those ideas would do WAY, WAY more to improve evening accessibility to Downtown than new heavy rail lines to the suburbs.

Quote:
That should make you feel better.
Seriously, I just don't care about Atlanta--I don't care if people are praising or bashing it, either way I'm not interested, because this is a Pittsburgh forum, and Atlanta isn't on my list of cities I think Pittsburgh could benefit from using as a model.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
349 posts, read 616,123 times
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Jesus. Traffic rant! LOL

Guys, I had a GREAT time. I'm not sure what I enjoyed most- the view, the park (BEAUTIFUL!!), the game itself, the crowd, or the fireworks. I didn't even make it to my seat until the 4th inning- I was too busy exploring and photographing and I'm sure, looking like a complete tourist. It was a perfect night! I can't wait to go back. I'm thinking maybe sometime this week, after work... since we're already parked at the First Ave. garage, we can walk to the park, then take the T to the garage to get the car.

That's just about the only thing I would change- next time we'll either bus in, then take the T, or park at our usual garage and take the T. We parked right across the street (forgive me, I forgot the name of the stupid garage) and it was a nightmare to get out of at the end of the night.... and smelled heavily of exhaust- kinda gross.

I'll post pics as soon as I figure out how! LOL

(And to whomever said "go to 316 for pics!" my seats were in 316, and yes, it's quite the lovely view. Thanks!)
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:39 AM
 
20,273 posts, read 33,009,142 times
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Sorry, got distracted--I'm glad you had a great time!
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:20 AM
 
1,714 posts, read 2,358,437 times
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Originally Posted by Paint It Pink View Post
Jesus. Traffic rant! LOL

Guys, I had a GREAT time. I'm not sure what I enjoyed most- the view, the park (BEAUTIFUL!!), the game itself, the crowd, or the fireworks. I didn't even make it to my seat until the 4th inning- I was too busy exploring and photographing and I'm sure, looking like a complete tourist. It was a perfect night! I can't wait to go back. I'm thinking maybe sometime this week, after work... since we're already parked at the First Ave. garage, we can walk to the park, then take the T to the garage to get the car.

That's just about the only thing I would change- next time we'll either bus in, then take the T, or park at our usual garage and take the T. We parked right across the street (forgive me, I forgot the name of the stupid garage) and it was a nightmare to get out of at the end of the night.... and smelled heavily of exhaust- kinda gross.

I'll post pics as soon as I figure out how! LOL

(And to whomever said "go to 316 for pics!" my seats were in 316, and yes, it's quite the lovely view. Thanks!)
Traffic Saturday night was unusually bad. There was something going on trying to get onto the Ft Pitt Bridge. It's typically smooth sailing after you finally get out of a parking garage.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
349 posts, read 616,123 times
Reputation: 281
Yeah, but it wasnt too bad... I had the iPod loaded up with Flaming Lips and Grateful Dead... didn't mind sitting and listening to it while stuck in line to exit the garage

Brian, it's ok! Rants happen. haha!
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
12,529 posts, read 17,540,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paint It Pink View Post
Yeah, but it wasnt too bad... I had the iPod loaded up with Flaming Lips and Grateful Dead... didn't mind sitting and listening to it while stuck in line to exit the garage

Brian, it's ok! Rants happen. haha!
Next time park on the NortSide for free.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Yeah
3,164 posts, read 6,701,325 times
Reputation: 911
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paint It Pink View Post
That's just about the only thing I would change- next time we'll either bus in, then take the T, or park at our usual garage and take the T. We parked right across the street (forgive me, I forgot the name of the stupid garage) and it was a nightmare to get out of at the end of the night.... and smelled heavily of exhaust- kinda gross.
Gotta plug parking in the casino again. And its a beautiful walk with lots of great photo opportunities
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