Archive for October, 2011

PATransit Tuesday: Stupidity or lies

I was hoping to write this week about the new website that PAT rolled out.  I don’t go to the site very often as Google Maps does a better job when I need to find a bus, but I clicked over there and was very pleasantly surprised with the redesign.  I have to poke around a bit, but generally I like it.  More about that another time though.

Let’s talk about the restructuring of all the routes.  And of course, the massive service cuts.  Paired together, my neighborhood lost service.  Instead, it, and several other neighborhoods now go to a local park ‘n ride.  And honestly, it’s not as bad as I imagined.  Yes, it’s more of a pain than walking four houses up the street to my old stop, but sometimes, at the end of the day, it’s nice that I’m already in my car so I can force myself to run the errands I have to before going home.

Another nice feature, was the creation of a transportation hub.  Multiple bus routes all coming together at one stop: one location where riders could transfer if they needed to and get where they had to go.

Well that was too good to be true.

Last Thursday, signs went up that Friday would be the last day for three of stops, they would be detoured to another area of the mall.  Let’s be honest, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a long walk, but I just don’t understand why the change.  And there could be other factors at work (I have no idea if the mall was somehow pushing for this change), but it makes no sense to have four routes run so close together, and at one point create a shared hub, to then rip it apart.

Either it’s a stuipd plan, or the tranpsoration hub was a lie all along.  Just like the cake (sorry, couldn’t resis the Portal joke).

Book fair!

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The United Way book fair continues today and tomorrow in the Steel Plaza T station.  I totally started my Christmas shopping!

Igloo watch: 10-19

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Shame on IUP Professor

A professor at the Eberly graduate college of business is accused of making harassing and homophobic remarks to a student.  IUP is investigating, and good for the students who rallied today after words spread of the incident.  KDKA covers the story here.

IUP is a public school: our tax dollars help to pay for it as part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and from what I’ve heard from some current students, a fairly tolerant place (and their actions today show that).  However, for this professor to spout off like this, at a public institution, is reprehensible.

If you’d like to contact the Dean of the school (be respectful!), his contact info is here and his direct e-mail is bobcamp@iup.edu

Update: A second student has come forward with similar accusations.  I have the link at home, I’ll be updating more later tonight.

Here’s the link to the follow-up story.  Five years ago, the same happened to another student, who complained to the school, although it seems nothing was done.  He has a fantastic quote:

“You see teenagers and college students committing suicide because they don’t feel accepted, and you know we just can’t afford to lose another life to bullying,” said Michael Heller. “Especially from a university professor – a tenured university professor – who should be teaching business not bigotry.”

Igloo Watch: 10-12

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The progress of the dome removal

PATransit Tuesday: Seattle does Rapid

Part of PAT’s grand plan has been the inclusion of RapidTransit, dedicated buses (which look different in design and paint to differentiate), which make fewer stops at dedicated shelters and get you quickly from one dense area to another.

I’ve been a bit skeptical of this plan, mostly because I haven’t heard of another city pulling it off successfully.  And it also seems very much like the East Busway, which works, because it is a dedicated road.  This would take the busway concept and make it travel through normal roads, with traffic and everything, even if it would get priority at lights.

Well, Seattle is rolling out their Rapid transit, and it doesn’t look good:

[It] really tests the definition of the word “rapid.”

While I appreciate the re-envisioning of bus service to make the details run more smoothly—I wish every bus line in the city could be replaced with RapidRide buses and bus stops—this isn’t anything revolutionary.

Read the whole thing here.

As seen this morning

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Steel Plaza T station

Igloo watcj: 10-7

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More people on the dome

The passing of William S. Dietrich II

We just learned here at work that Bill Dietrich passed away last night.  Mr. Dietrich was a former steel executive, and major philantropist to the Pittsburgh region, including large gifts to CMU and Pitt.  He was a member of our board and also a major donor. In fact, our board room was just renamed in his honor, and will feature a newly commissioned work of art featuring Mr. Dietrich and his passions: higher education, Scouting, The Marines (I think that’s the flag), the Pittsburgh Ballet and the PSO.

The flags Council Flag at Flag Plaza is at half staff today in his memory.

The Post-Gazette has a small write-up, with a follow up coming tomorrow.

Igloo watch: 10-6

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Holy crap, people at the top of the dome!

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