When the participants and protesters arrive in Pittsburgh for the G-20 summit they will no doubt notice a glaring absence in what has been touted as a "green" city: a viable mass transportation system, meaning an interconnected rail system including an airport-to-city-center line. And, no, buses are not a mass transit system in themselves but a secondary and feeder system to the rail lines.
I arrived in Pittsburgh as a graduate student in 1973 and watched as the local politicians (read: county commissioners) turned themselves inside out trying to figure out what to do with federal transportation funding. Instead of building a system from the four directions into the city, they decided to build Mister Rogers' neighborhood trolley from the South Hills.
What they lacked was vision: the ability to imagine what a major city looks like when people can be moved in large numbers and not in automobiles. So now we're left with pollution-spewing buses and highways clogged with cars and no money on the horizon to take Pittsburgh fully into the green revolution.
Are the current politicians and regional planners paying attention?