A plan to re-route buses out of downtown is put on hold. And the story gets a little weirder:
A project to reroute buses in Downtown Pittsburgh, moving them away from the center of town, goes back to March 2012, when the Port Authority quietly amended a contract to include a study of how that might be done.
The agreement with consulting company Parsons Brinckerhoff was amended without being brought to the authority’s board of directors for a public vote. The amendment set forth a detailed plan for analyzing how routes might be realigned, and it created a steering committee of Port Authority, local government and business interests to guide the work.
The original contract was for planning a BRT route. Developing a comprehensive realignment plan as part of a BRT is not necessarily a bad idea. But the lack of transparency is a bad idea:
Pittsburghers for Public Transit have grave concerns about a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story titled, “Proposal will make Downtown Pittsburgh core totally bus-free: Overcrowding at bus stops frustrates business owners.” Precedence should not be given to the few businesses that have called for removal of bus stops in front of their establishments, when the greater good of the entire community should be our first public priority. We urge our elected officials and policy planners to invite all major stakeholders to the planning table.