Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Saint Paul

Paul Skoutelas, "visionary" director of the Port Authority who left Pittsburgh for greener pastures, had pretty damned good timing. Since his exit, two projects he headed up have been tanking.

The first of which is the T link to nowhere, connecting the vacant North Shore to Downtown. Over budget, underfunded, and of dubious merit, this thing aint goin nowhere.

The second is upgrades to the Overbrook line, including a massive pay-to-park garage at South Hills Village. The 2,000+ 7 story garage sits mostly vacant inspite of its $2/day fee. PAT is bragging about 200 lots to be leased to Giant Eagle, boosting daily occupancy to 25%. In real estate, we call that a Vacancy Rate of 75%, but who's splitting hairs?

At this rate, the garage can probably service only $5 million of its $21 Million price tag. Like I said, who's splitting hairs?

Inspite of evidence to the contrary, Skoutelas may have been simply implementing the plans of brain-dead elected officials who were ignoring the region's truest needs. But soaked riders waiting for the 71D along 5th Avenue in a driving rain probably won't be too sympathetic to that argument.

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