John Oliver's hilarious take on failing infrastructure (and failing Congress)

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

Congress’ inaction on funding infrastructure has attracted the attention of “60 Minutes,” Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” and now is the subject of a fabulous and funny 21-minute sendup on “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver. You’ll laugh and maybe shed a tear and shake your head at the inability of our elected leaders to do anything about a deadly serious problem.

Online ConnectCard site: Beware

Port Authority is set to debut its online payment option for ConnectCard users on Thursday. The important thing to bear in mind is that online purchases will not show up immediately on your card — the data is uploaded to bus fareboxes when they are at the garage. So if you buy a pass or add value, it might take up to three days to be available to you. If you buy a weekly pass on Monday morning, the fareboxes aren't going to see it on your card until Tuesday.

If you have regular access to a ConnectCard vending machine, that will remain the far better way to replenish your card. It takes about 30 seconds and the transaction shows up immediately on your card. The online site will require you to enter your 10-digit ConnectCard number, which by itself might take longer than the entire vending machine transaction.

The online site will be useful to those who want to replenish their cards or purchase passes at regular intervals (for example, buying a monthly pass on the 25th of each month, a weekly pass every Thursday for the coming week or add $50 every two weeks). It can be set up to do that. Occasional card users who don’t remember how much is on their cards can check the balance at the site.


roadworkaheadIn case you missed it, you can read up on the forthcoming Parkway West closures here. The inbound side is closed all weekend.

Construction begins Thursday on a long stretch of Penn Avenue and Butler Street in Pittsburgh from the 31st Street Bridge to 57th Street. Alternating one-way traffic will be in effect weeknights at 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. the next day, with some Saturday work possible.

Bridge washing will cause traffic restrictions on the ramp from southbound Interstate 79 to the outbound Parkway West starting at 7 p.m. today (Wednesday) through Friday. Flaggers will control traffic. Work concludes by 6 a.m. daily.

Liberty Bridge inspections won’t affect traffic on the bridge but may cause restrictions on First and Second avenues and Municipal Court Drive under the bridge from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays through April 22.

Tree cutting to prepare for bridge replacements will cause these restrictions from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.: on Thursday, Saxonburg Boulevard in Shaler will be reduced to one lane at Little Pine Creek; on Friday and Saturday, Bull Creek Road in Fawn will be reduced to one lane at Bull Creek between Huston Drive and Jones Hollow Road; on Monday and Tuesday, Center Street in White Oak will be reduced to one lane at Long Run, south of Long Run Road. Flaggers will direct traffic.

Streets Run Road and Baldwin Road in Baldwin Borough will have alternating one-way traffic from 7 p.m. today (Wednesday) to 6 a.m. Thursday for water line repairs.

Mayor Bill Peduto will demonstrate a new mobile pothole patching machine at the corner of Sandusky and General Robinson Streets, North Side, at 4 p.m. today. The city is leasing it for a four-month trial. Hope the demo doesn't tie up Pirates traffic.

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