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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

One way to reduce congestion tomorrow....Open the Wabash Tunnel to all vehicles

The Wabash Tunnel was opened in Pittsburgh in 2004 and was supposed to be used by 2,500 cars per day. The sad thing is - since the tunnel is HOV during peak commuting hours people in Pittsburgh will not use it. People here do not carpool - there is no incentive to which is why I have been a proponent of bringing NuRide to the region.

Now, I drive by the Wabash tunnel entrance every day I never see cars taking the ramp off of route 51 to the tunnel. The three entrances to the city in that area - Liberty and Fort Pitt tunnels, and the West End Bridge entrance - are all congested. So, my question is this, and it is self serving since I would use it - why not open up the tunnel to all vehicles? A recent report said that the Port Authority was debating closing the tunnel. Well, I say at least open it to all vehicles and charge a toll. That would still save many of us time in the morning, and, it would alleviate some of the congestion that is detrimental to the air quality in our region.


Anonymous said...

Schultz I'm thinking you work for NuRide and you want that big fat government contract!! I'm all for carpooling, and Pittsburgh has a program already. A better alternative you ask???? Transit, dedicated bus lanes, light rail. Yes expensive to build but they do generate revenue... NuRide is just a cash cow for the current owners.

Schultz said...

No, I do not work for NuRide but they are a huge upgrade over our current ride share program. I have statistics for their first full year of operation in the Houston Texas region. They take a lot of vehicles off the road which means less pollution and congestion - and the costs aren't as high as you think they are.

By the way, this post was about opening up the tunnel to all trafic instead of restricting it to HOV. What do you think of that? Notice the live picture with zero cars using the tunnel. It is only HOV during peak rush hours but since it is marketed as a HOV tunnel I don't think many people use it to get into and out of the city. Too bad.