A permanent fix

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I believe it's time for our state and local leaders to exercise common sense and solve some of our regional problems. Parkway East drivers are facing the sixth consecutive summer of construction delays with no visible improvements from the previous years' work.

PennDOT needs to bite the bullet and begin design of real improvements that were needed decades ago -- an additional lane where Route 30 joins in, another at Swissvale/Edgewood and an additional tunnel. Opening the roof of the tunnel hasn't worked because they left the roof in place at the entrance, precisely where drivers slow down, and they added traffic-calming "bump-outs" inside. A tunnel bypass won't solve the problem especially if it is a toll road. If you added up all the wasted dollars from the past five years worth of "improvements" plus the cost of the gas wasted sitting in traffic, the total would exceed the cost of additional lanes and another tunnel.

Ramp restrictions and closures are not going to solve the problem; they will just shift it to alternative routes. Come on, PennDOT, just do what needs to be done.

My second example is the South Side mess. If the Pittsburgh Parking Authority constructed garages within close proximity of the Carson Street destinations and included public rest rooms within, two problems would be solved. You would reduce the demand for parking on the adjacent residential streets keeping the rowdy revelers out. By providing rest rooms, you would eliminate public urination, which is not only annoying but a health hazard. People who have been eating and drinking need a place to "go." Parking revenues would pay for the garages.




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