Summerset Residents say NO to public transportation.

This is so classic. I honestly don’t believe for one second that the rich residents of Summerset are worrying about the noise of an occasional PAT bus cruising through the neighborhood. They ARE however totally concerned with the image problem associated with an occasional PAT bus cruising through their neighborhood.

A few awesome things:

Besides noise and fumes, they say they fear their streets will become a park-and-ride lot and that other areas of the city need the service more.

I’m just guessing that 60 people getting in their cars to go to work is more fumes than all of them getting on one bus and going to work. Nice try, guys.

The PAT spokesman at the meeting said:

“We want to build ridership. This is a great opportunity for all of you. Parking Downtown is $15 and gas prices are going up. Do I need to be a two-car family to live in Summerset? This opens the community to people who want transportation options.”

Um, I get the feeling that these residents are fearing just that. That by allowing buses in, it opens the community to people that are not two-car families. I think these people associate buses with riff-raff.

Then this gem by one of the residents:

“People who are going to spend the kind of money they’re asking (to have a house in Summerset) for are not going to take a bus,” he said. “But we’ve been told buses are coming in, like it or not.”

That is just so ignorant. Not only poor people take buses. Some people take buses so they aren’t turned into mad raving lunatics pounding on their steering wheels every day at 5:10 p.m. as they try to get through the Squirrel Hill Tunnels. Some people take buses so they can sleep. Some people take buses so they can do their makeup on the bus (that would be me).

Many in the crowd of about 60 were most ruffled by the fact they were not part of the planning process.

That would be because the bus service was planned five years ago as a part of the community, before the community was built. That’s like saying, “You didn’t ask us if we want this road to be going over this little hill or around this little hill.” Obviously, the universe now revolves around Summerset at Frick Park. No wonder the tides have shifted lately.


  1. blee1
    August 30, 2005 1:25 pm

    If you are stupid enough to pay close to $500k for a town house (see here) then you will more than likely not be smart enough to realize the advantages of public transportation.

    It’s the exact reason why I bought the house I did near CMU. Yes, the buses going by every 10 minutes make some noise, but they go by EVERY 10 minutes.

    It’s called city living. Kind of like city chicken, but, you know, with chicken.

  2. Julie
    August 30, 2005 1:57 pm

    Things like this make me want to stab people. Viva la bus rider!

    However, there is a point that if they are so certain that they aren’t going to use it, then spend the money to expand service somewhere else. Maybe have a 61C come every 32 seconds. One of the big squishy ones.

    I am so excited about the new lines (61D, 61F) that I tremble with joy at the thought of them! I think I’m going to have a bus party the day they are unveiled. I’m going to ride those babies until they say, “End of the line, chump,” and make me get off. Which sadly enough, has happened to me before when I was an unseasoned bus rider and I didn’t realize I was going the wrong way on the 54C.

  3. pittgirl
    August 30, 2005 2:00 pm

    Can I come to your party?

    Also? I love city chicken and I haven’t had it in like ten years. Damn. Where can I get me some good city chicken?!?!

  4. blee1
    August 30, 2005 2:00 pm

    New 61’s? Cool. They stop on my block.

    Now all I need is a bus that goes from Wilkins Ave to the Southside and I’ll be set!

    Got I hate the public transportation here. London and Dublin are so much better.

  5. blee1
    August 30, 2005 2:13 pm

    I can get you a recipe for city chicken. I have my grandmothers recipe at home.

    Basically, if I remember correctly:
    whip an egg, dunk pork in egg, dunk egg covered pork in italian bread crumbs, put on a stick, bake.

  6. Julie
    August 30, 2005 3:11 pm

    I could go for a bus that goes from Squirrel Hill to Shadyside. I think there is one, but it isn’t that frequent.

    It’s funny – I used to live in North Oakland and I now live in Squirrel Hill (commence stalking… now!). I work in Oakland, but I now get home faster than when I lived in Oakland due to the large number of buses that go to Sq. Hill. However, I still wish I could fling myself home via catapult.

  7. Anonymous
    August 30, 2005 4:24 pm

    Considering how undependable bus service has always been in Pittsburgh, I don’t entirely blame them.

    The interesting thing is that the fumes issue is legitimate. The pollution monitors Downtown used to show spikes when the buses went by and drop back down.

  8. pittgirl
    August 30, 2005 7:50 pm

    However, I get the feeling that if all of those people riding that bus drove individual cars by, the pollution would have spiked even higher. Again, and this is totally a guess, I think that 60 people riding 60 different cars would create more pollution than them all piling into one bus. I could be wrong.

  9. Anonymous
    August 31, 2005 8:58 pm

    You pretty much miss the point. The developer [Rubinoff Co.] is using the allure of PAT buses [perhaps an oxymoron] sell more of its unbuilt houses. The current residents bought property not knowing of 28 scheduled routes per day starting at 5:27 and continuing till 10:00pm. Why should PAT become Rubinoff’s unpaid partner to sell unbuilt homes?

  10. Anonymous
    September 1, 2005 2:08 pm

    You people are uninformed and couldn’t be more off base in your loud, yet ignorant rants.

    I’m very familiar w/the Summerset situation. It has NOTHING to do with image as nameless, faceless people like you like to point out.

    This is a neighborhood that had to receive special zoning ordinances from the city to build as it is much smaller in scale than other city neighborhoods. Front porches are a mere few feet away from the street in many cases. It was not built with the idea of bringing in huge buses. During test runs by PAT these buses completely dominated the neighborhood.

    People in Summerset are actually in favor of public transportation, and would like for the bus to pick up any residents at the entrance to the neighborhood on the corner of Commercial and Summerset.

    This neighborhood currently has a population of approximately 225 people, with 20-25 more houses being built this year. From polling recently completed, only 7-9 people will use the bus either daily or occasionally. But PAT insists on running 28 buses a day through the neighborhood. This bus will be EMPTY 95% of the time and will have 1 rider on it the other times.

    The people of Summerset realize the financial problems that PAT has had in the recent past. Why would PAT send 28 buses a day into an area where nobody will use it instead of sending 28 buses a day into areas that desperately need it? Areas where people NEED the bus to get to a job or the doctor or do grocery shopping?

    Some of the comments I’ve read on this board remind me of an old saying: “You can let people think you’re a fool, or you can open your mouth and confirm it.”

  11. "O"
    September 1, 2005 11:45 pm

    Actually Anonymous, the Lincoln quote is: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

    I guess a better question for the neighborhood is how many NON-residents (housekeepers, nannies, babysisters, gardeners, etc.) may use this bus route.

    Of course, as PAT has not seen fit to publish the ROUTE of the damned bus yet, we can only speculate as to where it will ultimately end up. My guess, educated though it may be, is that it will eventually cut through the development on its way to Browns Hill Road and the Waterfront.

    And the comment about 60 people in 60 cars is close to being correct: One person using mass transit for an entire year, instead of driving to work, can keep an average of 9.1 pounds of hydrocarbons, 62.5 pounds of carbon monoxide, and 4.9 pounds of nitrogen oxides from being discharged into the air. One full, 40-foot bus also takes 58 cars off the road. [source]

    In any case, it seems hypocritical for people who’s houses were developed with massive amounts of public subsidy to start complaining that they’re being forced, FORCED to accept a public service.

  12. pittgirl
    September 2, 2005 10:03 am

    Hey, I was right about the 60 cars thing? Cool!

  13. Anonymous
    September 2, 2005 3:19 pm

    It’s real easy for someone like you with very little info on the subject to make a quote like: “In any case, it seems hypocritical for people who’s houses were developed with massive amounts of public subsidy to start complaining that they’re being forced, FORCED to accept a public service.”

    The facts of the matter are these:

    1) The developer told the residents that at some point there would be bus service, but were promised there would not be full-sized buses that are clearly too large for this scaled-down ‘hood.

    2) The people who bought homes in Summerset are actually pioneers who took a big risk when many questioned their sanity by investing $$$ and moving their families to an industrial-waste site. I can assure you that no government money is helping any resident of Summerset pay their mortgage.

    3) I’d bet that none of you “experts” have even been through the neighborhood to understand the “scale” of the place

    4) And again—the residents of Summerset are all for Bus Service. There’s a hut at the entrance of the development that is perfect for a bus stop. It’s insanity however to bring that bus through the development 28 times a day when most residents would only have a short walk to the hut…

    5) Summerset is a wonderful melting pot of nationalities, religions, and races that have quickly gven this neighborhood a truly international flavor. It is the most ethnically diverse neighborhood in the city…

    6)If all 60 people were headed to the same place then your argument may hold some validity, but the last time I checked this bus doesn’t go to Monroeville or Millvale or Wexford or the South Side or Bloomfield or Shadyside…

    So to those of you who take the bus regularly I suggest that you take a ride into Summerset one day to check it out. It should be a comfortable ride. After all, you’ll have the whole bus to yourself!

  14. pittgirl
    September 2, 2005 6:35 pm

    Anonymous, do you live in Summerset? I’m not asking to be a smarty pants. I am truly curious.

  15. fester
    September 2, 2005 6:37 pm

    First, to “O”: PAT has not released the full route yet, but in the press release the route is the same as the 61-C going outbound until Forward and Murray, at that point it takes a left up Forward, goes through Beechwood, and then it looks like the 61-D goes into Summerset to turn around.

    To Anonymous — this sure as hell looks like PAT is not particulary running service to Summerset per se, but is using the neighborhood as a very convienent turn around location to take some pressure off of the overused 61-C mainline routes. Having ridden the 61C at least 300 times in the past 7 years, my experience has been on weekdays (the only time that the 61-D is supposed to run), the 61C goes from crowded but OK on the heavy run to overcrowded someplace between the Murray Avenue overpass of 376 and the first Starbucks in Squirrel Hill. This routing for the 61-D looks like a cheap way to add capacity without running more buses to the Mon Valley.

    28 buses over the course of 17 hours is not a whole lot of traffic if you live in the city. Especially if those buses are primarily rush hour buses looking for a space to turn around in. That is why running a bus into the development makes sense and not just passing by the shelter.

    And by the way, Summerset is one of the frequent itenaries on my walks through the neighborhood as seeing that I now live less than 1,000 yards from the Forward Avenue entrance and it has an absolutely amazing view of the Mon Valley. The streets are small, but no worse than the other parts of the city that are walkable.

  16. Anonymous
    October 7, 2005 1:14 pm

    It is interesting to read some of the commments. People like Blee1 and Julie think that by calling people names, they can get people to listen to their delirious rants.
    My comments are addressed to those who are more interested in reasoned debate than ignorant name-calling rants.
    I am not a Summerset resident. However I have looked into the possiblity of buying.
    Someone made a remark about City subsidies to Summerset. If the city is paying a subsidy it is to the Rubinoff Company and Montgomery-Rust (the marketers and builders). They are not paying subsidies to the residents.
    Moreover, as a bus-rider, I welcome public transport, but the two issues here are
    1)Why did the developers hide the fact of public transport from the buyers until it was too late?
    2)Why is PAT cutting back buses from communities that are begging for them and instead routing their buses where they are not needed?
    and finally
    3)Why is PAT so desperate to help Rubinoff company sell $500,000 condos by sending buses through the development.
    Is there an unholy nexus between the URA, the PAT and the private developers?