Road orientation mapping tool

18 Jul

Everyone knows that Pittsburgh’s roads go every which way. Well now there’s a new tool to let you pick any place on a map, and it will generate a road orientation image that visualizes how twisted your streets are.

Pittsburgh’s always comes out like a shining sun.

Whereas, for comparison, here’s a shot of Indianapolis, Indiana, a city with a near perfect street grid.

Fun!

You can play around with this tool here.

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A 1978 Allegheny County 171-Mile bicycle network that never happened

18 Jul

171 miles of bikeway that never happened, 1978. Click to make BIG.

So it looks there was once a plan to connect large swaths of Allegheny County with a connected 171-mile bikeway network, linking 25 communities. The bikeways went through the City and connected to the major County Parks of South Park, North Park, and Boyce Park. The County was ready to spend $5.6M on the network. The plan even called for “coin-operated bike locks stationed periodically along the route or lockers where commuters could stash their bicycles, then walk to work.”

According to the article, “it would be possible to commute to work, pedal to three corners of the County, or visit major parks along safe, well-marked lighted bikeways.” At the time, the project manager, David O’Loughlin claimed that there were 650,000 bicyclists in Allegheny County.

To repeat, there was once a plan to for 171 miles of bikeways for Allegheny County. They were ready to install it for $5.6M.

Does anyone know what the hell happened?

Click here for the October 4, 1978 Pittsburgh Press article.

Where was Pittsburgh located in Pangea?

18 Jul

Pittsburgh City-County Building’s location in Pangea, 240 Million years ago. Click to make big

There’s a cool website that allows you to plug in any address and see where it was located on ancient earth and see what was going on in the atmosphere and life at that moment. For instance, 240 million years ago, or Pangea, the City-County Building was located on a mountain range, during a time when oxygen levels were low due to extinction of land plants, but fortunately some birds, mammals and dinosaurs survived.

Here is the City-County Building 300 million years ago, when Pittsburgh was some ocean front property.

The website allows you to go back to 750 million years ago.

Check it out here, and find out more about the project on this article.

Pittsburgh Commuter Rail Long Gone, 1942

5 Apr

Click map to make BIG or click here for interactive

Another depressing map about things that we used to have, that leaders in all of their wisdom drove into the ground, and now we wish we had again.

South Side resident Aaron Reinard created a map that plots the old commuter rail schedules onto a Google map to show how extensive our train lines once were, color coded with all 245 stations. Schedules are from the June 1942 “Official Guide Of The Railways.”

According to Reinard, service was abandoned in 1964, making it the largest commuter rail service in the country to be completely discontinued.

Pittsburgh Dirty Dozen Hand Drawn Map

1 Feb

A little late on this. But this is the 2017 Dirty Dozen – a bicycle race up the 13 steepest hills in Pittsburgh. For over 30 years, Danny Chew has been running this iconic event. If you don’t know Danny, please take a minute and google him and his story of being a two time Race Across America winner and his lifetime goal of riding a million miles. This goal was recently thwarted after a crash left him without the use of his legs. But, he is not giving up and is will be attempting to accomplish this feat with a hand cycle.

Marry Me on Pittsburgh’s streets

4 Apr

So this happened.

Yes, I rode this on my bike and used it in a proposal.

Thanks to Strava for the assist.

Stolen Native Lands or the Invasion of America Map

2 Feb

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How the United States took over an eighth of the world

While executive orders are all the rage, this map shows how the US stole Native land, often by executive order. In one of Trump’s first acts as president, putting his views of Native Americans and the oil/gas industry in plain view, he carried on this tradition and signed an Executive Order to move the Dakota Access Pipeline forward.

While everything below the Allegheny was “seized by colonists before 1776,” anything North of the Allegheny was taken from the Six Nations of New York from a treaty in 1784. If you go to the map, you can turn on a layer of the source maps, as well as click on an area and find a direct link to things like: the related treaty, description of the tract, and the source map.

“In the 1850s, US presidents began using a second legal instrument to secure land, the executive order, and this prerogative grew in importance after 1871, when the federal government unilaterally stopped making treaties with native peoples. The power of the president to seize land by executive order may appear contrary to the sanctity of private property, one of the great legacies of the American Revolution, but white Americans never set Indian land title on the same footing as their own. Nor did they recognize the irony of their presumptions.”

Check out this incredible map here. It truly is an amazing map.

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