KQV Newsradio Pittsburgh Daily Opinion Poll
The federal government is contributing 290-million-dollars toward the 365-million-dollar cost of the Port Authority's North Shore Connector. The massive project includes twin tunnels under the Allegheny River, extending the 'T' light rail line from Downtown to the North Shore stadiums.
I hate the idea of the light-rail to the stadiums for a number of reasons.
The federal money is our money too. The money can come from our back pocket or our purse, but it is still from the people.
Pittsburgh will never get its fiscal health back when we squander good money on bad projects.
The local match is needed for this project and there isn't any. The county's chief executive has said there is no money to do the project from county sources. The city is broke.
We need to extend the light-rail in meaningful ways. If the light-rail went to CCAC on the North Side -- I'd have a different opinion. But this is to service PNC Park and Heinz Field.
Boston's "big dig" is leaking. That extended a road under Boston Harbor. It went over budget. It is now built and with serious problems. I fear that this project is going to net the same results.
We want game-day pedestrian traffic in the greater area. Let's keep the festive crowds on the closed Clemente Bridge. Let's allow for vendors, and others throughout town and the North Side to capitalize on the fans. If the light-rail stops are put at the stadium doors, the rest of the neighborhoods see no upside. Walking from town is NOT a big deal. Taking a cab is easy.
The PAT plan calls for the re-do of working, existing stops. Gateway Center stop works now. But with the new plan it is totally rebuilt. Same too with the stop near the Pennsylvanian close to the Convention Center. All in all we get four new stops, but two of them are re-done construction projects. The net gain is half. Rather, let's extend the light-rail to Oakland, Lawrenceville, (new Children's Hospital), and even out to Highland Park.
We should be pushing mass transit to places where people live.