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Old 01-30-2007, 03:49 PM
 
487 posts, read 1,280,711 times
Reputation: 149

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What's the deal with the Squirrel Hill tunnel at rush hour? I don't get it. I've been through many times at non-peak hours (though never at rush hour) and breezed right through. I understand that people will naturally slow down a little when going through a tunnel, but 15-20 minutes from the Wilkinsburg exit to the tunnel? I mean, what are people doing in there?
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:37 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 98,158,652 times
Reputation: 30523
You should have moved to the North Hills if you don't like rush hour traffic!

I found an article about the Squirrel Hill tunnel: http://www.post-gazette.com/regionst...5gratacol2.asp

I personally think the problem is compounded by the fact there are on/off ramps so close to the tunnel. The traffic slows down naturally when approaching the tunnel, but during rush hour there is an incredible amount of traffic coming onto the parkway from those ramps. People sitting in traffic waiting to get into the tunnels alternate cars letting the people sitting on the ramps to get in. As a result, the cars coming onto the parkway from the ramps near the tunnels also contribute to backing up traffic too.

Anyone who doesn't like traffic congestion should stay away from living in the south or east of Pittsburgh.
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Saint Petersburg
632 posts, read 1,615,514 times
Reputation: 319
I agree with Hopes - the reason that tunnel is so screwed up is because of the screwed up on/off ramp thing immediately preceding it (the Squirrel Hill exit). That's the most dangerous freeway entrance I've ever seen in any city. Someone I know calls it "dysfunction junction".

Traffic and driving in general is a big problem in Pittsburgh. It's hard to know what to do to fix it, though, because the whole city is laid out on top of hills and rivers.
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 93,442,987 times
Reputation: 29741
It's simply a domino effect. When you have a few people in traffic slowing down, nobody notices. When you have a LOT of people slowing down, it keeps building up. Think of it this way: when you turn on a garden hose to a trickle and kink the hose half-way, the kink has no impact because there's not enough flow for the kink to obstruct the flow rate. Now, turn the water up full blast and half-kink the hose again. Now the kink will impact the rate of water flow and slow it down to a fraction of what it would be without the kink. There you have it: tunnel traffic flow at off-peak hours versus peak hours.

At least the tunnel backups have some obvious cause. One of the things that drives me batty about driving on Chicago expressways is when there's a three-mile backup because there's an accident on the other side of the expressway. Knotheads slow down to look, and the next thing you know there's a line of traffic for miles. It's not uncommon for those backups on both sides to still be there an hour after the wreckage has been cleared off the highway. You'll be driving along at 75MPH, hit a traffic jam, make your way through it, and suddenly start moving at 75MPH again, all the while wondering why the hell there's a traffic jam in the middle of nowhere, for no reason. It's downright maddening sometimes.
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Old 01-31-2007, 09:13 PM
 
487 posts, read 1,280,711 times
Reputation: 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
You should have moved to the North Hills if you don't like rush hour traffic!
Well, actually I don't live in the area - just visit - so I don't deal with rush hour traffic.

Thanks for the article. Loved the 'solution' of posting police near the portals - waving - encouraging motorists to speed up.

Last edited by bboy36win; 01-31-2007 at 09:27 PM..
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:22 PM
 
Location: pittsburgh
913 posts, read 2,202,271 times
Reputation: 411
there is a tunnel monster that lurks in all of pittsburgh tunnels and will snatch u up if you go to fast through the tunnel.
if you slam on the brakes before you get in the tunnel it will scare the monster away
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Just East of the Southern Portion of the Western Part of PA
1,267 posts, read 3,373,910 times
Reputation: 1496
Tunnels are traffic problems in all cities - not just the 'Burgh. People are afraid of them and naturally slow down. All it takes is one person in each lane to hit the brakes,and then its backed up for hours.

Pittsburgh traffic is a breeze when compared to many other US cities. Take a trip to LA sometime and you will be stuck in traffic at midnite.
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:37 PM
 
3 posts, read 13,003 times
Reputation: 10
Nah, Hoops is right. The main reason for the congestion is that idiotic on ramp right before the Sq Hill and Homestead exit. The same goes for the Ft Pitt tunnel coming into the city. You have the on ramp right before the exit to 51. Giant cluster****s cause everyone to crawl crawl crawl. Brilliant.
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Just East of the Southern Portion of the Western Part of PA
1,267 posts, read 3,373,910 times
Reputation: 1496
Explain why traffic is slow entering the SQhill tunnel in the AM, then? There is not an on-ramp directly infront of the tunnel there.

Fact remains that tunnels are traffic headaches EVERYWHERE. I have seen this in several cites I have lived in.
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, USA
3,133 posts, read 8,637,113 times
Reputation: 1094
There's relatively no traffic hold-up once you get through. I buy the theory that it only takes one person in each lane to make a congested backup. I always imagine it's little old ladies that shouldn't be permitted to drive there during rush hour.
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Our traffic may be a breeze compared to LA which has over 4 million people in the city, but what about compared to other cities our size?, Buffalo, Cincinnati . . .
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