Archive for September, 2009

PATransit Tuesday: Post G-20 Edition

Ok, so I’m not really writing this until Wednesday, but I’ll back-date it to put it on a Tuesday, but really, I was late.  I’ll go to detention now.

I think I might have thought that this would be a bigger post, at least when it was in my head.  Really, I just wanted to thank PAT for how they handled the G-20.

It was stressful for everyone, commuters and anyone trying to travel especially.  While the detours seemingly were posted later than I had hoped for, or thought they would be available, getting reliable information about the G-20 seemed to be an issue that just about every company had trouble with.

So with my detour map in hand, I headed downtown.  The map actually proved very useful, as I said before, I work at the end of town near the Convention Center, so I’m not that familiar with the end closer to the Point.  The map helped me on more than one occasion, and helped me find my bus stop to get home, even though I kept double and triple checking it.

I ended up the wrong side of the street, to catch my bus home (a different route too, so all kinds of new experiences smashed into one day), but since the Boulevard of the Allies had as much activity as a graveyard, I was able to run across and get on.

As I stood there, waiting on what was to be the wrong side of the street, I did call PAT, just to make sure things were still running smoothly.  The customer service rep was nothing but helpful and very kind, a big thumbs up for that.

And of course, the constant e-mail and twitter updates, even retweeting messages from outlying transit agencies, kept everyone in the loop.  I am glad I didn’t have to experience the total shut down of transit during the march for peace on Friday, but PAT seemed to take it in stride.

All in all, a commendable experience.  Will it encourage anyone to make the switch to transit?  Sadly, I don’t think so.  With the TDP changes coming, and what will probably be the most noted, the fare increase, I seem to think that the deft handling of the G-20 summit will be lost in the PR shuffle.  Hopefully I’m mistaken.

Thoughts on the G-20, the third

logo with bridgeAs promised, here is part three, the part where I talk about my day in the Golden Triangle for the summit.  Pictures are coming in the fourth installment, I find myself with my camera at the moment (but using free WiFi at a Barnes and Noble!) and a fifth installment will go over how a “company” tried to scam me during the Summit.

It started, as most days do for me, with riding the bus into town.  Not unexpectedly, the bus was almost vacant.  Once we got past a couple stops on the East Busway, it turned out that there were two of us going into town.  And for almost the entire trip, we pretty much flew into town.  Until we got to the Arena.  Then, we pretty much just sat there, crawling down Centre Ave.

I think the slow speed, the detours, plus the fact that there were exactly two of us on the bus all contributed to the bus driver’s surly attitude, not that I could blame him for it.

But truth be told, the delays allowed me to view the first of a recurring theme throughout the day.  More after the jump.

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Thoughts on the G-20, the second

logo with bridgeA couple thoughts for everyone.  Part three will be coming, probably tomorrow.

  • See, this is what we didn’t want to happen, now go home!  Police say that most damage caused by man from California (the state, not the city).
  • Apparently the rebound of Pittsburgh is due to the Penguins, most notably, the Canadian and Russian players.  Wow, the logic (it does seem to be tongue-in-cheek though)!
  • Honestly, I think this is a good idea.  The Pirates can’t get any worse, right?
  • I met up with a friend during the day, his thoughts and photos are here, make sure to check out the awesome Pirates protest sign.

So what did the Pittsburgh Summit produce?  Here is a link to the document, and the main points of it are after the jump

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Thoughts on the G-20, the first

logo with bridgeI’m been ruminating (can that be used as a verb?) about  the G-20 for a while, and I’ve had all kinds of thoughts, random bits of brilliance and so much mulling around in my head.  It’s strange to think it’s practically come and past already.

My day in the Golden Triangle during the summit was uneventful in the traditional sense, but gave me even more to think about.  After the jump I’m going to write about the lead-up to the summit, protesters, violence, the media, and probably some more stuff.  I’ll have my own pictures (which I am sorting through), and if I can get my computer to work, possibly a short presentation of sorts, but that may be a ways off .  See you after the jump.

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G-20 day one: what you (probably didn’t) missed

logo with bridge

Here’s a quick recap of what went down as the G-20 summit opened:

  • Downtown roads began to shut down at 8 p.m. on Wednesday night, throughout the night, additional closures went into affect and barricades were erected
  • The Golden Triangle was shut down to motorists, although cyclists, walkers and certain vehicles were able to enter
  • Various protests were marked throughout the day, including a Free Tibet rally
  • Protesters squared off with police in Lawrenceville as well as Oakland.  At this time, the police are still working in Oakland.
  • President Obama arrived at the 911’th and he and the First Lady welcomed the dignitaries to the opening reception at Phipps later this evening
  • Spouses left to go to the Heinz farm and the meetings will continue tomorrow morning

More thoughts, reactions, recaps and pictures tomorrow.  Be safe tonight.

Programming Note, the second

logo with bridgeI’m back safe from downtown.  I’ll be writing up thoughts and reactions from my day at the G-20, as well as uploading more pics from my camera.

For now, enjoy the continuous coverage on TV and I’ll be back soon with more.

Two more weekends: Pittsburgh Ren Fest

The Renaissance Festival is in town for two more weekends, if you need to escape the insanity of the G-20 or are just looking for a fun time, grab a bunch of people and head down Route 70.

I hadn’t been to the Ren Fest for a number of years, and while the basic set up is the same, a lot has been added.  I happened to go during Kids Weekend, so things were a bit toned down, but I do suggest seeing the Washing Wench show.

Added bonus of going to Ren Fest, you can say “wench.”

Washing Wench Show

A very polite sign

Newscaster

Newscaster, originally uploaded by Mike @ pittsburgh.metblogs.com.

I didn’t catch her name but she is from the national news organization of China, and was featured on WTAE’s coverage.

March for Tibet

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