U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Pennsylvania > Pittsburgh
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 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.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Closed Thread Start New Thread
Old 03-21-2008, 09:56 AM
Location: Work is based nationwide
570 posts, read 1,347,697 times
Reputation: 133


My Negatives for the burgh.

1) Long term bad city government- lack of leadership and willingness to adapt to challenges and changing economic make up.

2) Trashy city streets

3) Lack of public outdoor recreational venues within downtown-southside-northside areas. ( Skate parks, tennis-basketball-volleyball courts, etc.)

4) Climate- You had better enjoy overcast conditions around these parts.

5) A seemingly 'cap' on development and real estate values of amazing geographical areas within Pittsburgh such as Perry Hill Top, Mount Washington, etc. Partially due to a lack of local government support and development savy ways.
Rate this post positively

Old 03-21-2008, 10:03 AM
Location: Pittsburgh
28,216 posts, read 31,104,563 times
Reputation: 70066
I have found the signage to be a little lacking as well. Maybe it's better in the touristy neighborhoods.
the color-coded wayfinder signs (U.S. Markers: Pittsburgh Wayfinder System) were really helpful when I first moved here.
Rate this post positively
Old 03-21-2008, 10:05 AM
20,273 posts, read 31,589,885 times
Reputation: 2909

I've been in Pittsburgh about 15 years now, although I have recently been splitting my time between Pittsburgh and Chicago and now DC. I have also lived in Detroit and CT, and have close friends and relatives pretty much throughout the Northeast, Midwest, West, and West Coast.

Based on my own experiences and what I know of my friends' and relatives' experiences, I would largely agree with your post. I'd also note that in many areas in Pittsburgh, things have gotten a lot nicer in those 15 years (although the signage they have put up only helps if you are headed toward a landmark, and unless they bulldoze the whole area flat and start over, the streets will always be somewhat confusing).

But to be fair, there are parts of the region which are not doing well, and things in some of those parts are likely to keep getting worse for a while yet, all because of the mass contraction of manufacturing from 1970-1990 (concentrated in the early 1980s) and associated population loss.

So, I am always sympathetic to those who are not seeing the more positive aspects of the region, particularly if they grew up in the area and/or are living in one of the parts of the region that is still in decline. But at the same time, I do think sometimes people like me who are new to the region have an easier time seeing the positive aspects, particularly if we have a good sense of how things can also be less than ideal in many other regions as well.
Rate this post positively
Old 03-21-2008, 02:07 PM
Location: Pittsburgh, the Iron City!!!
803 posts, read 2,865,529 times
Reputation: 241
Put wonderfully, Brian... and perhaps I am seeing thru somewhat rose-colored lenses, but that is based on the areas I've seen, as well... good to know I'm not alone, in that...

As for the areas "not doing so well" due to job losses from 1970-1999 or so, I would have to assume that those who wanted out have already found their way to greener pastures, and those who stayed are now largely assimilated into different working environments, right? . . . I mean, no one stays on welfare for tens of years (at least I hope to hell not...)! So, as everything is cyclical, I can see where the area is experiencing job GROWTH, and many more people are now considering moving TO Pittsburgh, as opposed to away FROM it. . . maybe the national economic downturn will wind up having been a GOOD thing for the area, as more and more people seek cheaper housing and other costs.

I can handle cloudy days... actually, in the City-Data "precipitation" section, it looks like Pittsburgh is fairly well within the averages most months, but that the cloud cover IS quite a bit higher... that said, I'll trade cloudiness for less crime and filth, any day of the week...

Of course, I'm NOT saying there isn't any merit to peoples' complaints about what they see as needing improvement in the area, but of course, I come in with unjaundiced eyes, fresh from experiences in other cities whose public personasare alot more brash and mysterious than Pittsburghs', but whose boundaries are also filled in with a lot more of the things that Pittsburghers are trying to avoid....

In essence, I see Pitt as having everything you'd want FROM a city, with a lot less of what you DON'T want . . . . and I can't imagine that being a bad thing...

Hopefully, my standards will soon become as high as longtime Burghers' are, where griping about liquor purchasing and clouds can be, in my mind, a "serious issue"....

Butfor now, I simply can't wait to GET THERE, and crack open that first Iron City on my front porch, and not have to worry about drive-by shootings, muggings, and drinken New Yorkers pissing in my lawn....
Rate this post positively
Old 03-21-2008, 02:53 PM
20,273 posts, read 31,589,885 times
Reputation: 2909

I don't think you'll be disappointed--I certainly haven't been.

But there are indeed still some ripple effects from the 1970-1990 period. Basically, what happened is that mostly young people left (people just starting out in the workforce, or without much seniority). But many older people (those with seniority, or already retired) stayed. And so you are right, those people haven't been living off welfare since 1990, but they have been living off pensions and Social Security.

And what is still happening in the region is that those older people mostly are not replacing themselves with kids (they had kids, but they moved), and at the same time that population is dwindling (through mortality or migration). That means an ongoing population loss in some areas, and also some job loss (e.g., if your neighborhood is still losing population, local shops may still be closing, which means jobs are being lost).

But what you are talking about is also right. There is an entirely new Pittsburgh economy being built out of medical, educational, and business services, new forms of manufacturing (generally more high tech), and so on, and all the jobs required to support those industries. And that new Pittsburgh is indeed attracting and keeping new people.

So, that is why some areas seem so vibrant, while other areas are still declining: it all depends on whether they are more part of the old Pittsburgh which is still winding itself down, or the new Pittsburgh which is in the process of building itself up. And this difference between the two Pittsburghs probably won't be eliminated for many years yet.

Which is unfortunate, but it is also temporary, at least from a sufficiently long view. And not to be gushy about it, but you and your family are part of that long view, and so for that matter am I and my family. So, welcome!
Rate this post positively
Old 03-21-2008, 03:26 PM
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,351 posts, read 115,666,321 times
Reputation: 35920
Originally Posted by Elder18 View Post
We both love it. We love where we're living (off Murray Ave. near Greenfield) and every day it seems like there are at least a few cool things to go do.

I really can't imagine there being a city as small as Pittsburgh with as much going on. We're already planning on staying here long-term as long as I can find a real job.

Biking is a bit of a chore due to all of the hills, but I need to get fit anyway, so it's not so bad.

We're eager to look around more.
Originally Posted by Elder18 View Post
It's sick how often it's rainy and gloomy here. I can't believe people who live here for a long time don't shoot themselves because of the weather.

It's sooooo depressing. I hear it's because Pittsburgh is in a valley, but I think its because the sun has decided to forsake Pittsburgh due to all of the pollution that used to block it out even during the middle of the day. Seriously.

While other cities may be as corrupt as Pittsburgh, which is really saying alot, at least it's nice and sunny there while you are getting fleeced as opposed to perpetual gloom interspersed with abyss-like darkness.
No offense, Elder18, I am using these two quotes to show what a difference about 8 months in the burgh makes in one's outlook on the place. Elder's experience may not be everyone's, but don't judge till you've walked a mile in the residents' moccasins.

BrianTH's assessment is pretty good. I would only say that education and health care have always been a big scence in Pgh, not just something newly developed since the steel crash. So Pgh is building on its assets, which is a good thing. The temporariness (sic?) may go on for quite a while yet; it's been going on for 25 yrs now. That said, if you've got a job and you like it, life will be good.
Rate this post positively
Old 03-21-2008, 03:40 PM
20,273 posts, read 31,589,885 times
Reputation: 2909
It is definitely true that the "new Pittsburgh" is not entirely new, in that Pittsburgh has always been a service center as well as a manufacturing center. In fact, Pittsburgh has long been the de facto capital city of a pretty large region covering parts of several states, with all that implies.

And I think it is fair to conclude that Pittsburgh is not on the verge of recreating anything like the economy it would need to sustain its former peak population on the basis of these industries. That is true despite these being good growth areas: eventually the "new" regional economy might grow that big again, but it will take a pretty long time starting from such a smaller base.

And that in a nutshell is why the "old" Pittsburgh has and will retain an influence on the region for many more years to come: the "old" Pittsburgh was just a heck of a lot bigger than the emerging "new" Pittsburgh, so the "new" Pittsburgh is not about to replace the entire "old" Pittsburgh.
Rate this post positively
Old 03-21-2008, 03:57 PM
Location: Pittsburgh, the Iron City!!!
803 posts, read 2,865,529 times
Reputation: 241

Wow!--Elder18 sure did an "about face" there. . . . LOL!

Thanks for the info there. . . I find it amusing, that you had those two posts available without deep-searching, but it does show a striking difference in his attitude over a short period of time.

The way I see it, we are into it for the long haul. I grew up in Texas with over 250 sunny, hot & miserable days a year, and for me, Seattle or Portland's dreariness would be preferable, so I don't see the cloudy days as being so much a negative... beside, Ocean City, MD ain't THAT far away, if I simply HAVE to go get some sun...LOL!!!

I think the medium- to long-term city outlook is another thing though, which must be addressed by city elders/leaders.... as for corruption, no city is worse off than right here in the Big Apple, but if Pittsburgh has a corruption issue, it needs to be addressed by the citizenry and whatever watchdog groups there may be available in the area. I will be happy to oin in one of those groups after I get settled in, if need be, but after living in so many places and seeing the same stories repeated over and over again almost everywhere, I've learned that criticizing the "city" itself as a place not worth living in is a terribly shoersighted viewpoint, and usually brought on more so by personal experiences than by any real and quantifiable issues, in and of themselves.

Let's be hypothetical, for a moment: I'm moving to Pittsburgh for lower housing cost, less commute time, and a better overall quality of life than what we are able to afford in NYC..... so, I'll play "Devil's Advocate" for a moment...

Let's say I get there, the job market tanks and I wind up unemployed. Then, the skies turn black for a month at a time. Then, the crime levels skyrocket, and the politicians start robbing people door-to-door, just to finance their whores and carribbean cruises (or whatever they do with their ill-gotten gains)... and, to make matters even more dismal, the Steelers go 1-15 (like the Jets and Cowboys both have, in recent memory).....

I still would not bring myself to say that it is "Pittsburgh's Fault", that all these things conspired to screw my world over... okay, the weather can't be changed by man, but almost everything else CAN be... I can find a job somewhere else, even if it means I'm doing menial labor instead of management... the politicians can be run out of town on a rail, just as soon as the public gets tired of their corruption and rise en masse, to fight it... and even the Steelers could simply clean house and bring in some coaches & players to get the job done... so, as bad as things were, it "was" rectified by simple actions being taken, and that made the city begin to look "better", again.... (except for the clouds, of course).

My point, is only that people can complain about whatever they like; all cities have corruption, crime, job market ebbs & flows, and the unique issuse that ace each city, individually (like Pittsburgh's lack of a grid, due to topography). But earlier in this thread, the MAIN things I saw mentioned over and over, were the cloudy days (which don't bother me so much) and the liquor purchasing situation (which I grew up with in Texas anyway, under the famous "Blue Laws"), which is so easily worked around as to be a non-factor in 99% of peoples' books....

Pittsburgh has every chance to be a welcoming, beautiful, wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family... it's affordable, small enough to not feel lost in (except for driving...), has abundant cultural opportunities, a burgeoning medical industry and high-tech opportunities for tomorrow's grads, incredible atural beauty (rare, for ANY city) . . . . . . . hell, this place has so much going FOR it, that the few things it has going AGAINST it are really outweighed by a country ton!!!

I'm just sayin' that those who do the most complaining here, would likely be the same ones doing the complaining just about anywhere they wind up living, anyway. Every city has its faults, Pittsburgh notwithstanding. . . but I am coming to live there, and I'm a-gonna' like it, gosh-darnit!!!!!

And hopefully, in about another ten years, when my house value increases back up to near $200K and the city is in the midst of a huge boom in growth, then people can start complaining about the REALL issues it will be facing, and I may very well be one of them, by that point. . . but whatever the case, I certainly won't be telling people that it's no place to live. . . .

(Please feel free to save this post as well, and to paste it in 7 months, to see if my attitude changes. . . . I'm seriously interested in doing this, as a case study, now....)

Rate this post positively
Old 03-21-2008, 04:09 PM
8 posts, read 23,323 times
Reputation: 13
I think the negative aspects of Pittsburgh everyone pretty much hit on the nail. I will put into order of my opinion. Granted I am a young professional myself, born here and have lived in others areas including out of the country. My list is as follows:

1.) Negative attitudes and lack of open-mindedness from the "older generation"
2.) Lack of young professionals, especially single young professionals. Its really hard to find a single person none-the-less one who is worth dating or whom you like.
3.) Weather during the winter. I like the summers here. Rainy days are nice sometime but all the time is another story.
4.) Lack of availability to purchase alcohol conviently.

Otherwise I don't know why people complain about the roads. The condition of them are bad, but the lack of a grid system is great. One thing to know about Pittsburgh is that there is always a short cut. You can almost avoid traffic completely if one was so inclined. Also the lack of development stems from PA being a commonwealth, ie every twp or borough has their own governing authority thus making develepment a royal pain in the a$$. Plus most people on the twp/borough/city councils are older narrow minded individuals. Not trying to insult anyone on here if they happen to be on their towns council, but you could probably agree with me.
Rate this post positively
Old 03-21-2008, 04:27 PM
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,351 posts, read 115,666,321 times
Reputation: 35920
Well, I didn't save Elder's post, I just remember him as one of posters who was moving here and loved it. Then we didn't hear from him for quite a while, pretty much unitl he started this rain thread. So I checked back and sure 'nuff, he thought it was wonderful way back when (July). And he is from Ohio!

Both my daughters went out of state to college. One in particular tried very hard to convince her roommate that living somewhere else is different from visiting a place. The roomie didn't believe her until she moved herself to Atlanta from Minneapolis.

I always want to say to everyone who has "just" moved somewhere and absolutely adores it, "wait until the honeymoon is over". You eat, work, sleep everywhere.

Re: Pittsburgh's corruption-you have no idea how entrenched politics is in Pgh. My bro told me that Pgh hasn't had a Republican on city council since some time in the 1930s (can't verify). It's not going to change in my lifetime. I'm not sure how much political will there is to change it.
Rate this post positively
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.

Closed Thread

Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 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.

© 2005-2023, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - 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, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top