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A better way from Downtown to Oakland

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

Someday, this project will make everyone glad we never got around to building a rail line to Oakland. Bus Rapid Transit is a concept that imitates a rail line using larger, specially designed buses, bus-only lanes and stations (set a bit farther apart than typical bus stops) where fares are collected and real-time arrival information is displayed. It's like a subway, at ground level. Big benefits: Faster than regular bus service; much cheaper to build than a rail line; quite possibly a better stimulus for development.

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Cleveland's done it, with unimaginable success: an estimated $4.3 billion in development along the Health Line corridor. This quite possibly is the next big thing in regional transportation development, if we ever decide to do more big things.

Backers of BRT are having four public meetings to show proposed alignments and hear the public's comments. All are scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Here's the schedule:

Hill District, Tuesday, Hill House Kaufman Center Auditorium, 1825 Centre Ave.
Oakland, Wednesday, Carnegie Mellon University, University Student Center, Rangos Ballroom 3, 5032 Forbes Ave.
East Liberty, Thursday, East Liberty Presbyterian Church Social Hall, 116 S. Highland Ave.
Uptown, May 8, UPMC Mercy, Sister Ferdinand Clark Auditorium, 1400 Locust St., Building D, 2nd floor, validated free parking in hospital garage.  
The Pittsburgh-Oakland-East End Transit study is a cooperative undertaking of Port Authority, the city, Allegheny County and more than 30 organizations and institutions. Additional information is at www.GetTherePGH.org.

Time to talk traffic. Boyce Road in South Fayette has reopened after repairs that followed a Tuesday water main break.

You may run into short-term lane closures on parts of Interstate 79 and the Parkway West on Saturday morning as crews repair guide rail. The work will occur from 6 a.m. to noon in both directions of the parkway between Robinson Town Centre and the Beaver County line, and from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on I-79 between Cranberry and the Parkway North.

Short-term lane closures on Route 8 (Butler Street) under the Highland Park Bridge are possible from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday during bridge inspection.

Drilling and research for a future project will cause lane closures on West Carson Street between the West End Bridge and Stanhope Street from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays starting Friday and continuing through early May.

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Short-term lane closures are possible on inbound Route 28 in Millvale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Monday through Saturday next week. Crews will be landscaping between the Millvale exit and the former Millvale Industrial Park.

Check back for updates and view previous posts for additional road work info for the weekend and beyond. Happy motoring!

jschmitz@post-gazette

@pgtraffic on Twitter

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