Driving Notes

January 15, 2004

I've come to have a very strong dislike of the Port Authority since I got my own car about four years ago. Stuff that I used to like when I was riding the bus has now turned into annoyance when I have to share the road with them. And a lot more people drive than ride (as evidenced by the pathetic state PAT is in) so I think I'm in the right now.

For starters, that "don't block the box" rule applise to buses every bit as much as cars. I really wish the cops who get paid (probably overtime) to foul up the traffic lights during rush hour would ticket those asshole drivers who cut off all the traffic in one direction and the turn lane and half the through traffic in the other.

Also, there's no need for the bus to stop every single fricking block. Yes, I know it rains here, and it gets cold in the winter. People can handle walking a block to catch a bus. They won't succumb to the elements in the time it takes to walk 200 feet.

Finally, there's the size of the buses compared to the streets. Pittsburgh is an old city (for the US anyway), clocking in at about 200 years old.A full-length bus just can't turn from a two-lane street onto a two-lane street easily, even if the other drivers stay behind the "stop here" line on the road.

Now, I know that in theory buses solve more traffic problems than they create. I just think it's BS, and the long line of cars behind me as I followed a 77D down Friendship Ave. last night would appear to support my hypothesis. For more backup, I present the 64A that started a left turn at the end of a light, then took the entirety of the green light in the other direction to complete the turn.

Basically, I can't wait for the Port Authority to go bankrupt. That'll get their monstrosities off the roads, leaving the way clear for people who drive. And since most of the people who work downtown live in the suburbs anyway, there won't be much more traffic on the city streets. With more cars coming in to town, maybe (just maybe) the city would drop its parking tax from 50%.

(No, that's not a typo. Come July, half the money you pay to park here goes straight into the city's coffers.)

Anyway, to get back to the point, I just want the damn things out of my way.

January 13, 2004January 16, 2004