For every blog promise I keep, I break 500,000 more.
It’s impossible to not talk about Pittsburgh. Half the people that read this are currently living in Pittsburgh. And a quarter have lived in Pittsburgh at some point in their lives. So, 75% of the people that read this care about Pittsburgh on some level. Therefore, I shall continue blogging about Pittsburgh. It helps me feel connected. Although, I should blog about Mobile more often. That would be more interesting. After Pittsburgh emotions subside in my heart, the Mobile posts will pick up. Some things about this city you probably don’t even want to know, though. For example, when I registered to vote, I saw that some politician’s pamphlet said something about fulfilling the will of God through the sovereignty of the people or something like that. That was his tag line. If this guy was running in Pennsylvania, not one single person would take him seriously.
Anyway, I basically stay up to date on all things related to Pittsburgh sports. Which means I visit lots of Pittsburgh blogs. Particularly Pittsburgh sports blogs. Although, because Pittsburghers love sports so much, a lot of Pittsburgh blogs are at least 50% about Pittsburgh sports.
SmorgasBurgh rarely makes me smile (it’s usually kind of obnoxious, actually) but I still check it out to see what’s going on when I’m bored. However, today it kind of made me laugh because of the most accurate description of Pittsburgh construction that I have ever read.
I have been listening to a lot of talk radio in the car recently because my commute has been extra long. There’s construction near my house…By the way, why is the posted detour always the most ridiculously long alternate route? There is always a much faster detour that they don’t tell you about. Do they do this on purpose to fuck with us? Only a moron would take the posted detour. (I had been taking the posted detour until like two days ago when my wife finally told me about the shorter route.)
If you live in Pittsburgh or near Pittsburgh, there’s ALWAYS construction by your house and your commute is always extra long.
Whenever that damn truck got stuck under the bridge at 2nd Ave and Bates, it took them FOREVER to fix it. I even moved away for a bit during that time and when I moved back, they were still working on it. Basically, one lane at one of the most critical intersections for Pittsburgh commutes was closed the whole time. My trips to/from Greenfield and then to/from Oakland and then to/from Greenfield again (I moved a lot that year, if you recall) were screwed.
And getting from my office in the South Side to CCAC South and then back home (3x/week) for A&P was HELL because they were fixing that bridge on 885. My life was construction every time I got in the car. The only alternate route was 51 and everyone knows that 51 is ALWAYS A BAD IDEA.
Even when I started A&P2 at CCAC Allegheny, I had to deal with construction (although it wasn’t nearly as bad).
You kind of need to stay on top of things in terms of knowing about the construction or else there’s a lot of time wasting going on. For example, during the same summer, Matt/Bill/Vince and I were trying to get to the North Hills on some lovely weekend morning. The easiest way to go from Greenfield is the Boulevard to 579 to 279. But the ramp from the Boulevard to 579 was closed. And there was no warning that it would be and we apparently neglected to watch the news that week. So we had to take the ramp that puts you on the Liberty Bridge (and anyone from Pittsburgh knows that the bottom of that ramp is congestion hell even in light traffic and especially during construction) then obviously across the bridge and through the tunnel then up 51. And you basically can’t get to the Fort Pitt Tunnel from that direction so we had to go all the way to the West End Bridge and I think we were in the car for 45+ minutes on a no traffic weekend morning when it would normally have taken like 10-15 minutes.
I mean, construction difficulties are not usually THAT bad. It was just a very unfortunate summer. However, it’s usually way worse compared to the construction in other cities. Almost anyone who’s living in Pittsburgh but not originally from Pittsburgh will verify that.
It’s just a generally bad city for getting around anyway. I kind of think it’s a combination of terrible planning for the future (but who can predict the future?) and geographical limitations. It’s surrounded by three rivers which are surrounded by mountains. You can’t exactly just build an interstate loop around the outside. So Pittsburghers have to go through everything to get to where they want to be on the other side. All the interstates go through downtown. And if you want to get from one side of the city to the other side of the city, you inevitably just have to drive through multiple neighborhoods of slow neighborhoody traffic and stoplights to get there. Pittsburgh does not have turning lanes. The neighborhood streets are too narrow. That must be why the Pittsburgh Left exists.
I never had someone from out of town visit me without getting lost on the way to my house.
And don’t ever mention the construction on 28 to someone from Pittsburgh without being prepared for an opinion that can only be described as sheer irritation. I really think it’s been a construction zone by whole life. I certainly don’t remember when it wasn’t.