Official Public Comment: TDP

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 7:33 PM

From: "Glenn A. Walsh" <gawalsh@planetarium.cc>

To: "Dave Wohlwill" <dwohlwill@portauthority.org>

c: "Glenn A. Walsh" <gawalsh@planetarium.cc>

Bcc:

To:   David Wohlwill
From: Glenn A. Walsh

This afternoon I attempted, and I think I succeeded, in posting my public comments to the TDP web site. But, I cannot be sure!

This is why I prefer sending comments in by e-mail rather than posting to a web site. With e-mail I have a record of what was sent and what time it was sent, hence proof that it was sent before a deadline. I have none of this posting to a web site. On the web site, the only acknowledgement I received was:

Glenn Walsh

Thank you for your feedback.
Your comments have been submitted.

I have to record the time myself, which I recorded as:
2009 September 29 2:37 p.m. EDST

David, the problem is that during my posting, an error message came up indicating that my message had exceeded the 4,000 character limit.

LIMIT--WHAT LIMIT? I thought there was no limit for written public comments. And, how could there possibly be a limit for such a huge service change proposal. This proposal is GAZILLION times greater than the 4,000 character limit. It should be expected that there be would large public responses to such an all-encompassing proposal of change!

The problem is, I now cannot be sure that my entire message was received by the TDP system. I fear that my message was cut-off at 4,000 characters, and the rest of the message was lost.

Hence, I am now sending the entire message to you by e-mail, to ensure you receive the entire message before the deadline:

The following are my official public comments on the final recommendations for the Transit Development Plan of the Port Authority of Allegheny County:

1) I STRENUOUSLY oppose the renumbering system they propose for bus routes. This is a throw-back to the old Pittsburgh Railways numbering system. The new numbering system implemented by PAT in 1964 is one thing PAT got right. It numbers buses by corridor and often by main arterial into the city; specific bus routes that branch off of the arterial get a letter. So, you know one bus number for whatever part of town you want to go to.

For instance, when you are Downtown and some asks how to get to Oakland, you can simply say "take any 61 or 71-series bus." You can not do that with the proposed renumbering.

This renumbering proposal comes under the file, "If it ain't broke don't fix it!" The current system works well. The only problem is that there are some inconsistencies in the present system.

Probably the most glaring inconsistency is the 36A Banksville Road bus route. 36 routes are supposed to go through the West End, but the 36A has not gone through the West End in years; instead, it uses the Fort Pitt Bridge and Tunnel. Hence, it should be redesignated as a 38A to stay consistent with the present system.

AND, both the Allegheny County Transit Council and I have pointed this out to the PAT Service Development Staff. They ignored our advice to make the 36A consistent with the rest of the system.

There are a few other inconsistencies with the present system that could easily be ironed-out. Iron-out these inconsistencies to make a very consistent system that works as it was designed to work in 1964!

2) If a color-code system is used for rail lines (as Atlanta is now starting a color-code system for their rail lines as of October 1), the South Hills Village and Library Lines must have separate colors, to avoid confusion. If they both have the same color, as is presently proposed, there will be people jumping on any Blue Line train expecting to go to South Hills Village, but ending-up in Library.

3) If colors are used for the Busways and the HOV Lane, which I do NOT support (colors should be reserved for rail lines, as in all other transit systems), then the bus line designation prefix should be "EB" for East Busway, "WB" for West Busway, or "NH" for North Hills HOV Lane--NOT the letter prefixes for each color as presently proposed; this proposal is just nonsensical.

4) I oppose folding Fare Zone 3 into Zone 2--there should be a discount for people who actually live in Allegheny County [all of Zone 3 is outside of Allegheny County]. People who flee Allegheny County for lower taxes should not get the same transit fare as Allegheny County residents.

Actually, the Port Authority Administration really wants to eventually eliminate all zones and have one flat zone, which I STRENUOUSLY oppose. A flat fare zone means that suburbanites that travel by bus ten miles pay the same rate as a city dweller only going a few blocks! This is completely unfair with city dwellers subsidizing suburbanites.

At one time PAT had a 13-zone fare system. I agree, this was too cumbersome. However, a 3-zone fare system, with Zone 3 for all areas outside of Allegheny County, is a simple system and a good compromise from the early arrangement.

5) Reducing Rail and Bus Stops – The primary concern here is to ensure speedier rail and bus service *during rush hours*. Yet, due to the demographics of our region, additional rail and bus stops are needed for the transit-dependent, particularly senior citizens.

Hence, rail and bus stops should only be reduced during rush hours. This can easily be done by using two specific types of bus stop signs:

a)      Red Sign—Clearly stating that this stop is served at all times.

b)      Blue Sign—Clearly stating that this stop is not served during rush hours.

6) I support maintaining the two-dollar base fare.

7) The Overbrook Junction--Willow Avenue Rail Station Complex was poorly designed for the type of transfers that will occur with the Red Line ending at Overbrook Junction instead of South Hills Village. Hence, at the least, I suggest building a canopy over the entire walkway between the rail platforms of Overbrook Junction and Willow Avenue Station.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh
P.O. Box 1041
Pittsburgh PA 15230-1041 U.S.A.
Telephone: 412-561-7876

Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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