A recent survey of cyclists on the South Side revealed that 85% of them owned cars. So, there's that. Students really don't count since they are not yet in the job market. Contrast that with the great amount of poverty in Allegheny County, much of it in the suburbs, and the need for transportation for poor people to get and keep jobs. Sure they can get bikes if they have some money, but 2 hour rides each way isn't going to work for them, even if there were safe routes and it never snowed or rained here. Mass public transit that serves the whole population, not just centered on affluent neighborhoods is what is needed. Instead of bike lanes and bike rental centers, we need something that works for lower class residents as well as everyone else. 40 years ago we had a great trolley system that served everybody quite well. This focus on bikes is just fiddling while Rome burns.
Where does the idea that biking is for the well-to-do come from? It's an affordable alternative for people who can't afford vehicles or rising bus fare, including students, who are keeping the universities populated. PAT is failing, inconsistent, and often unsafe.
Go to East Lib and Garfield and Homewood and tell me it's only white folks on two wheels.
All Hail the mighty upper middle class cycling lobby, how else can they gentrify a neighborhood if there is no support for bikes? We need to chase out all the old residents so that they can get a chance at buying up the homes while they are still relatively cheap. Look how effectively they've been at chasing out the black residents of East Liberty, er, I mean Shadyside North. Why should we have a decent transportation system when we can allocate resources for affluent white guys who ride bikes? How dare anyone complain!
It's not just "cycling advocates" who don't want Cercone and her cronies to derail the planned bikeshare stations. It's those of us who are Bloomfield homeowners and taxpayers and people with vested interests in the neighborhood who they do NOT speak for, that they constantly presume to speak for, without ever even giving us an opportunity to have any input. Seriously, the woman is upset because ONE of the stations will be on "her" street, and suddenly the entire project is going to change? Just tell her to eff off and put the station where it makes the most sense!!
With the increase of bike traffic over the last ten years, accomodating all types of commuters needs to be considered, making safety and access paramount. Giving up a parking space or two for a bike dock makes obvious sense, as it also relieves car and car parking congestion. Think about everybody's needs, not just one's own.
New home owners and (gasp) renters are also equal residents and part of the community. Who besides renters do you think pay the bills for Bloomfield landlords?
Really???? ..... There are serious concerns and you should have had a meeting earlier in the process design??? Why should they consider the life long residents or business owners of a community before they propose something? You need to balance between the new and the old. However, you need to give the life long residents and home owners and property owners and business owners and life long taxpayers a vested interest over those of short term renters, transient residents, and suburban drive-thru's. I have seen the city alter major streets, install bike paths, and make the environment more convenient to those who want to bike. But they also need to realize that those biking daily are such a minority of the population that they also need to balance out the safety and convenience of the majority of the population that are drivers and non bikers.
we will take them in squirrel hill if they don't want them! we aren't even on the map!
I had to shoot a wedding there yesterday, plans were made before I heard of this. I will never set foot in that place unless it is absolutely necessary. For a "Five Star Hotel" this was a "One Star" move. Classless and I will take my clients elsewhere.
I think it`s time to boycott the Wm. Penn Hotel. If they want to let go my cousin Joe there should be reprecussions. When I was a young man this would have involved a few broken bones, but my youth having been flung, I guess l`ll have to settle for bitching and moaning. Still a bad move f---king with my family. This is a great example of the Pittsburgh Family theme.
What about Frank Cunimondo on Sunday afternoons?
Alex Zimmerman, you wrote that Joe is a noted "classical" guitarist. Wrong. Joe is a world renowned jazz guitarist. Joe can play a bit of classical, but his forte is jazz.
These Omni Hotel guys used myself and another singer to audition for 2+ hours for that job (we didn't know we were trying to replace Negri). Who makes people audition for 2+ hours? That's a gig, not an audition. Unpaid.
"Joe has always been very respected by this hotel. It’s a little frustrating that people are making this out to be a negative thing.” Uh, yes, Mr. Page, firing an 88 year old musical legend in order to "freshen things up" is a negative thing, no matter how you try to spin it.
John -- Thanks for your comments and clarifications. I'm sorry if you feel I misrepresented some of your points or was unaware of pertinent information. I have to say that while I am often accused of excessive irony myself, I didn't pick up on some of your intended ironies. (For instance, while I didn't think you were truly slagging off Rachel Carson, it did seem to me you were genuinely saying we were past the need to focus on "calling 911." Obviously, we need solutions as well as alarms.) Additionally, while I was not previously familiar with your work, I did see your presentation, and did grasp your concern about resource limits. What escaped me, however, was a clearer sense of what you mean by "resource-based economics," or in what fundamental way they would differ from the economics we have now. I have to say, for example, that I did not gather that the concept was critique of "growth" as a standard for success, let alone that it made a case for "steady-state" economics or the like. Admittedly, this disconnect might have been partly due to the limitations of the summit's format. But while the idea of "unrestrained" growth might have been off the table at the summit, as you say, it's hard to imagine that too many attendees walked away thinking that sustainability as discussed there poses any threat to the regime of economic growth as we have known it -- not when the air is one of general boosterism, and you're hearing quotes like "we do understand the economic opportunities of making change" (Gabe Klein) and "efficiency is a huge, largely untapped resource ... and I hope you all make a lot of money at it" (Amory Lovins). In fact, the summit's unspoken motto might well have been "sustainability will help us grow," but without any real modification to our sense of what growth can or should be. (Side note: You cited Phipps' CSL as an example of an approach to the built environment that you favor, but that further muddied the issue for me: While that building is many things, many of them very good, it was not priced to move, as your talk implied; it was actually quite pricey.) At any rate, I appreciate your thoughtful response and hope to look into your work further.
"Kiruna is literally one of the cleanest mines in the world. And when I say that, I am as cautious as you of the role of the extractive industries. Kiruna is an iron-ore mine, not a fossil-fuel mine, or a toxic mineral mine, and while it disfigures the landscape to some extent,"
You are one very funny environmentalist! To say moving an entire town "disfigures the landscape to some extent" - genius comedic underplay!
I wouldn't call you ironic so much as ironoreonic ... Or the corporate brainwashed Manoocherian Candidate?
Hi Bill, I want to say I think you have covered this well, and I myself love the attention and care for detail you are putting on this. This is what the media should / must do!
I do want to comment on your analysis of my input here though. I think in seeking to uncover cynicism, you may have over-interpreted some of my points. I appreciate the element of irony, or the extent to which I am referring to myself may not have carried over, but I'll comment here to make sure you know there's no cynicism - not an iota - in my input, regarding environmentalism and environmentalists.
To be fair, also, you didn't correlate my introductory points to my actual presentation, which is pretty critical. You also, it seems, haven't read or studied any of my actual work (fair enough, but it speaks for itself if you do)!
To start, you seem to have missed the inherent respect I have for all the folks I was quite ironically describing as "nearly extinct". (Most of half of the ones pictured are dead, but their legacy is historic.) Rachel Carson's passionate insight about nature damage, to take one example, was on the launch poster for the first event by Futureperfect, the non-profit I created to raise the quality of the sustainability debate. Futureperfect is the project vehicle through which I worked to contribute to p4, so that might give you some sense of how deeply these folks resonate for me personally. Have a look at the poster.
For the other environmentalists 'becoming' extinct - these are all my personal heroes and iconic change pioneers: biz sustainability guru John Elkington, designer Victor Papanek, policy-maker Maurice Strong, campaigner Julia Butterfly Hill.
Secondly, on resources, you are being multiply unfair, I believe. First, Kiruna is literally one of the cleanest mines in the world. And when I say that, I am as cautious as you of the role of the extractive industries. Kiruna is an iron-ore mine, not a fossil-fuel mine, or a toxic mineral mine, and while it disfigures the landscape to some extent, it is not an open-cast and is to all intents totally non-toxic. The specific type of iron-ore that comes of out it is some of the least toxic of essentially non-toxic iron ores, also. And in any case, the work I did on that project is not for the mine itself - to which no-one was invited to contribute - but for the town around and over the mine. So, I hear your concern, and there's no reason why you should know the details, but it's important the record is straight.
Otherwise on resources, did you not see my actual presentation? I situated the entire presentation on the basis that what we as a society (or a set of modern societies) increasingly agree on is "the bad news" of natural resource overextraction. I used the entirely uncynical - and extremely alarm-inducing, but fundamentally science-based - framework of planetary boundaries, I showed the diagram, to set up the whole input I was making.
I even continued to point out precisely what you are most concerned about - that economic growth is a runaway train, a dangerous abstraction - that does not respect these environmental boundaries, calling for an explicitly resource-based economics, so that there can be no more fudging the distinction between environmental sustainability and business sustainability. They are either connected or they are not, and if they are not, that's a serious problem.
If you doubt my professional focus on the seriousness of rebuilding this link, look up with my UN or research work. I think you'll be suitably comforted.
I don't know how you missed this input to the event. I am an environmentalist, and I have no shame in saying so. But I also do believe, and presented this in a rhetorically provocative way on purpose!, that those who have called attention to problem - including me - do not, at least as a function of the alarm-raising, have a guaranteed pathway to solutions. You understand the difference - we all do - between someone who dials 911 (critical to saving a life in one way), and the first responders themselves (also critical, in another, and somewhat more complex way). Both are needed, but in sequence.
I think that, in reacting unfavourably to a certain few of my opening inputs, you might have missed the real content of what I contributed in the presentation. I hope so, anyway.
You may indeed disagree that the alarm has been sufficiently sounded, but I still believe myself that the p4 event is proof of my point - that we are building futures based /on/ the understanding and acceptance of resource limits, not a waving, vague regard for them!
And don't forget, the speakers in the session on Planet were curated by a team including myself! This is no accident. My input was intended to set a forward-looking frame for this, and induce conversation about how these folks in their work - imperfectly but seriously - are basing value-creation (by which I don't just mean money for shareholders, c.f. Larsson / Malmö!, and Nygård / Copenhagen) on a resource-limits recognition.
You may say the p4 event didn't talk up sufficiently enough the problem with 'growth', but again, I think you overlooked my point about the need for scientific, resource-based economics, but by contrast, did you hear anyone call for unrestrained growth? I don't think so - because it was out of the question in the concept of the event.
Finally, what becomes most important is this very debate. You will be aware that any new attempt to bring truly sustainable themes to life in any city with a transitioning economy has to speak to many different constituencies - do you think that the leadership in so many sectors would have been galvanised by an event fixed on Naomi Klein's framework? I don't know, but I am not confident - even while I know Naomi Klein, and believe she is an incredibly effective communicator.
Anyway, I hope this is a useful comment. What I believe and hope going forward is that this quality of analysis and scrutiny - that you have offered - continues to be part of the ongoing discussion. Everyone involved that I have been exposed to is on the look out for cynicism, and I'll make sure - for my part - to clarify the seriousness of the base in recognition of resource limits. This is the first time in my career I have been accused of not being environmental enough !, and so I am taking it seriously!
If I were to come down from Mars and look at the city's unfunded pension liability, I would attack.
Sheldon Williams is one who definitely does not want to be transparent...
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