The last seven years have shown a dramatic change downtown. More residents, more students, more pets, more bicycles and even more children. There is a growing trend to recreate on the rivers edge downtown. Even more people are commuting now by public transit, with an increase in ridership from 48 to 53%. There are very few downtowns in America that can boast of such healthy public transit usage.
All of these things point to one thing – our urban center is on the rise.
Still, there are not quite enough people to make Downtown Pittsburgh feel like a thriving neighborhood… yet.
And so I was puzzled that the press found one statistic in the study not so rosy. Oh woe is me, they reported. Commuting costs have increased. Parking is up 8%, public transit fares around 22% and roadway tolls a whopping 89%.
Do you think that’s a problem? I don’t!
The parking increase is hardly worth talking about. The transit increase is slightly worrisome. We need fabulous public transit to free our city from congestion and smog. The whopping 89% increase in roadway tolls is worth a gasp… along with a moment of joy. Finally, those who are costing our cities are paying for it.
Perhaps some of those tollees will get fed up, move closer in, and get with the trend. Pretty soon we’ll have a thriving neighborhood after all.