Thursday, June 30, 2005

Rant: City Paper, T Extension is an Abomination

Pittsburgh City Paper - Views The T Extension Is an Abomination, #245 by Matthew Khoury.

See the comments for the entire rant. A great one.

I love the line: There are so many better things this city could be doing.


Anonymous said...

The T Extension Is an Abomination


Have you heard? Aren’t you excited? Are you ready to burst with pride and tell ’em you’re from Pittsburgh … and that yes, the natives, though bankrupt, are just burning to dig another tunnel and connect dem dere stadiums an’ ’at ta Dahntahn so’s we won’t have ta pay for parking on da North Side? Now we’ll be paying for equally expensive parking Dahntahn an’ ride a train an’ ’at that costs two dollars each way underground an’ under da river an’ shit to the stadiums fer Stillerz gamez.

Yeah, did ya hear? Pittsburgh’s adding a new line to its light rail system that already doesn’t go anywhere. Guess where it’ll go now! Two stops at Heinz Field, one at PNC Park, and get this -- an island where less than a thousand people live, and anyone who works has free parking in an industrial complex.

So stand up and tell ’em yer from Pittsburgh. We’re bloody freakin’ brilliant. Four hundred million dollars of federal and local funds to do absolutely squat for the city’s image, public transportation, convenience of city residents or the area where the rail line is to be built. This line won’t go anywhere on the actual North Side that is densely residential, nor to any struggling commercial areas that aren’t sucking at the giant tit of corporate welfare.

So stand up and tell ’em yer from Pittsburgh, where corruption runs rampant in urban-renewal funding. And just about any other funding you can think of.

What have we got for our $400 million? We get a tunnel under a river, classic. Stand up and tell ’em all about that next time you visit San Francisco or Portland. Maybe they’ll find it a little more impressive in Baltimore and Cleveland. But that’s beside the point.

You know what’s really freakin’ amusing? Cost. Money spent for nothing. There’s a spot, right in front of the stadium, where a perfectly functional-looking set of bridge piers are just sitting there. I’m not a civil engineer or architect, but wouldn’t it be cheaper to build a bridge for light rail than a tunnel? Especially when half the work is already done?

I know all about the pristine beauty of Point State Park, unobstructed by a bridge, is something we should all swell with pride about. But to me, if you want to impress someone -- a visitor, perhaps, or (God forgive them) a tourist -- you’re not going to impress them with a tunnel under a river where they won’t get any sort of a decent view of the city, that will take them nowhere they’d want to go unless they were here for a ball game.

I know, I know, it’s Pittsburgh: All we’ve got is our good ol’ Stillerz, right? Fucking bullshit. Impress people with sleek innovative design, usefulness, public access, civic brilliance, not a bloody boring super-expensive tunnel under a river that goes nowhere! It serves no purpose!

Goddammit, SOMEBODY LISTEN!!! Protest for the sweet love of Christ, Buddha, Allah or whomever you atone to. This is un-fucking-forgivably stupid. There are what, half-a-dozen home games a year in football? Tack on some various small events, and those stops will be in use a whopping month out of the year at most. And a stop at Washington’s Landing as opposed to Central North Side? Are you kidding me?

There are so many better things this city could be doing. To let this go unprotested is an absolute travesty on the part of every tax-over-payer in this city. We’ve been had. As a city you already told them that no, we didn’t want the stadiums, or the convention center. All of them are floundering financially. And now we’re expected to bail them out by making them more conveniently accessible, when nothing else in this city is conveniently accessible?

Imagine if this dumb idea was even marginally better. Perhaps an architecturally stunning bridge that could be small, light (as in “light rail”), pretty to look at or look out from, wherein an occupant would have a view of the city, both inbound and outbound. That might impress someone -- more than a dark dreary wet tunnel under a dark dreary wet sky.

So what are you waiting for? Stand up and tell those twits in Washington yer from Pittsburgh and you don’t want their stupid tunnel.

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