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Why I created this blog

October 11, 2010

I moved to the city of Pittsburgh 3 years ago.  I couldn’t believe how hard it was to find my way around, or what bizarre traffic situations I encountered.  Even to this day, I’m still shocked about some of the decisions the civil engineers make around here, and hope to gain some insight from anyone who knows whats going on.   Here I’ll address all the crazy road conditions you’ll find in western Pennsylvania, from the on-ramps with no return, to the multiple direction one-way streets, and the pot holes the size of a car.

But first some background on me.  I figure I’ve driven over 200,000 miles in my life.  I’ve driven in almost every major city in the USA, and have drove cross country.  I’ve driven on the wrong side of the road in England and Australia, and in little medieval castles in Portugal.  But I’ve never encountered roads as poorly designed and maintained as we have here in Pittsburgh.  I understand some of the decisions are made by the geography.  You have a city surrounded by rivers and hills, I get that.  But yet San Francisco and Cincinnati seem to be able to follow reasonable road conventions.

This won’t be a commentary on Pittsburgh drivers.  I’ve come to think that people are products are their environment.  So when you are used to having STOP SIGNS where you would normally merge onto a highway, you can’t blame people who have never lived anywhere else for stopping when they encounter a rare yield sign.  Sure people hit their brakes when then enter a tunnel, but that’s probably because the roads here present you with so many dangerous and mysterious conditions here, that Pittsburghers have been trained to slow down because you never know what you might encounter.

This will be a place to vent and discuss, but keep in mind I’m not a Civil Engineer.  I’ve played a lot of Sim City and driven in many other cities, but have no formal training, so please chime in if you know why something was designed a certain way, because I truly want to know.


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