So here I am, blogging/bitching about how transit does not get enough attention and funding, and how more people should drive less and use public transportation more frequently. Well, I should come clean.
I live a double life. In my ideal (weekend) life, I either walk, or hop on the busway or another bus to get to things that I need to. (That is slowly becoming easier with continuing development in East Liberty, and that pace will hopefully quicken) Life is good.
Then there is my dirty little secret. 5 days a week, I get in a car, and I drive 40 minutes in the car, by myself to work and back. Don't worry, I hate it. It's stressful, tiring, and long. In fact, I daydream about being able to hop on the busway, or any other form of public transit and sit back, and relax, read, listen to music etc, while I am taken to work.
Why do I live this double life you ask? Because I have to. I really tried to find a way to make it work using mass transit, but I can honestly say it would not work. I would have to take a Port Authority bus to Pittsburgh Mills, wait (and I mean wait), get a Westmoreland transit bus to New Kensington, (wait again), and then take another Westmoreland County bus the remaining distance to work. If it were to work for me, I would have to leave three hours before work started. That would put the start of my journey at 5 A.M. Even if I were committed (or crazy) enough to undertake that daily sojourn, it would not be possible, because of how early my trip would have to start.
My goal is to at some point take a job in Pittsburgh that is more commuter friendly. For now I am stuck. Even if I wanted to move to a location closer to work, where I could take public transportation, I would have to get in my car anyway to run errands because the area is so rural.
What's my point? Plan development intelligently. The office park I work in was created for people to drive to individually, access to public transit was not even an afterthought, it was NEVER considered. Now we're paying. From a completely practical perspective, gas won't be cheap forever (thank god my car is fuel efficient). At some point $50.00 a tank for a small car will become the norm again. This is not to mention the other effects (the least of which not being my sanity).
Sure we have to bring transit to the people, but in some cases, you need to bring people to the transit. Part of a good T.O.D. plan is to integrate workplace space, so people can live shop AND work. Part of building a good transit infrastructure is integrating development that supports public transit, not development that barely takes transit into account, or does not take it into account at all.
My hope is that some day office parks like the one I work in now will be considered relics of a bygone era.
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