adBlockCheck

Urban Planner Stuck In Traffic Of Own Design

Top Headlines

Local

Mom Sleeps In Past Sunrise

WOBURN, MA―Noting that she had somehow managed to sleep through both the dawn chorus of birds and her neighborhood’s early morning garbage pickup, 53-year-old local mother Laura Maloney confirmed that she did not awaken Monday until after the sun had risen.

Area Dad Needs More Time With Museum Plaque

NEW YORK—Leaning in close to the paragraph of text as his family continued on to the museum’s other exhibits, area dad and Frick Collection visitor Phillip Schermeier, 58, reportedly needed more time with the plaque beside Rembrandt’s 1626 painting Palamedes In Front Of Agamemnon Thursday.

Friend From College Wasted No Time Becoming White-Collar Professional

CHARLOTTE, NC—Noting how his fellow 23-year-old now takes business trips and apparently has a company-issued cell phone, local barista Daniel MacKenzie reported Friday that his friend Eric Sanford—with whom MacKenzie attended the University of Virginia from 2011 to 2015—has wasted no time at all becoming a full-fledged white-collar professional.

Waitress Who Took Over At Table Just Doesn’t Have Same Spark As Richard

FREEPORT, ME—Sensing things wouldn’t be the same once the woman removed their empty potato skin basket without so much as a playful acknowledgment of how much they must have enjoyed the appetizer, patrons at Downeast Grill confirmed Wednesday night that their new waitress, Allie, just didn’t have the same spark Richard had.

Man Practices Haircut Request Before Heading To Barber

MINNEAPOLIS—Having scripted a set of lines he hoped to deliver with confidence and decisiveness, local 34-year-old Jason Clyne carefully rehearsed his haircut request several times Friday before heading to his local barbershop, sources confirmed.

Ronald McDonald Statue Bears Full Brunt Of Teenagers’ Mockery

CLEVELAND—Remaining stoically silent throughout the barrage of vicious insults, unsavory accusations, and various other indignities directed at it, a statue of Ronald McDonald seated on a bench outside the fast-food chain’s Clark Avenue location is said to have borne the full force of a group of teenagers’ mockery Thursday.

Woman Leaving Meeting Worried She Came Off As Too Competent

OXNARD, CA—Silently chastising herself for the way she behaved in front of her colleagues and supervisors, Cobalt Property Insurance sales associate Leah Manning, 36, was reportedly deeply worried Tuesday that she came off as too competent during the company’s weekly sales meeting.

Mom Has Stacked Dinner Party Roster

GOLDEN, CO—Their eyes widening in amazement as the 43-year-old rattled off the names of heavy hitter after heavy hitter, impressed members of the Dreeshen household confirmed Friday that the roster for their mom’s upcoming dinner party was absolutely stacked.

Bold Intern Giving Parents Tour Of Office

CHICAGO—Brazenly strolling through the rows of desks while pointing out the firm’s various departments to his two guests, Lodestone Media intern Nate Kapper, 19, made the incredibly bold move of giving his parents a tour of the company’s offices Wednesday, sources reported.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Urban Planner Stuck In Traffic Of Own Design

PITTSBURGH, PA—Bernard Rothstein, an urban planner and traffic-flow modulation specialist with the Urban Redevelopment Authority, found himself stuck in rush-hour traffic of his own design for more than an hour Monday.

Rothstein contemplates traffic-flow problems.

"This happens every weeknight," Rothstein said, inching through the Allegheny Center district he designed in 1987. "When will I learn to avoid this part of town during rush hour?"

The gridlock-bound Rothstein, who has worked in urban planning for 24 years, passed the time by devising possible modifications to his original design.

"A direct path to I-279 and wider on-ramps would have helped, for starters," Rothstein said, drumming his fingers on the steering wheel. "Sure, a six-lane street wouldn't look as nice as that tree-lined square with the fountain—Jesus, lady! Move!—but with six lanes, I wouldn't be sitting here breathing fumes."

While attempting to nose his Lexus GS 300 into a line of honking cars, Rothstein brainstormed more solutions to his current predicament.

"With more lanes, tourists wouldn't have to cut across commuter traffic to get from the area around the Buhl Planetarium and the Institute Of Popular Science down to the Three Rivers area to buy hot wings at those crappy jazz clubs," Rothstein said. "You might have thought of that, genius. After all, you're the one who convinced them to re-zone it commercial. Moron."

Added Rothstein: "Who wants a shopping area in—move your ass, blue Taurus! Come on! Who wants a shopping area in an access-limited waterway confluence, anyway? Oh, yeah: the genius Bernie Rothstein!"

As Pittsburgh, America's steel capital, made the transition to high-tech and service industries in the 1980s, many thought its rusting, blighted urban landscape was obsolete. According to Rothstein, it was then that the Urban Redevelopment Authority, along with several private urban-planning firms, began the slow process of rethinking the city's roads, parks, and commercial and residential districts. Today, the city's designers are regularly lauded for their elegant, modern buildings and stuck in traffic of their own making for hours at a time.

Abandoning his plan to get on the interstate with a hasty U-turn, Rothstein explained that he was also part of the eight-person team that created Crawford Square, an 18-acre residential development on the eastern edge of downtown Pittsburgh.

"Crawford Square is a pedestrian-oriented neighborhood with a large public recreation center, a three-mile jogging trail, and residents with a wide range of incomes," Rothstein said. "Green space is great. It felt wonderful to turn four defunct foundries into a park-lined community with access to downtown. Would've been even better to turn it into a community lined with, say, 85 percent of the existing parkland and a few more goddamned dedicated turn lanes."

Hastily executing two left turns to re-enter the interstate on-ramp, Rothstein described the Three Rivers traffic hub. He said he considers the hub—with its long, flowing, elevated contours and broad, boulevard-lined access ways—an aesthetic triumph, as well as "a complete bitch to navigate."

"Medium-interval on-ramp traffic lights, my ass," Rothstein said. "Very nice sweeping compound curves on the bridge thoroughfares, Bernie. They're very fluid—unlike the traffic stuck in them right now."

Rolling down a window and shaking a fist at the traffic ahead, Rothstein said: "This is about that Route 28 thing, isn't it, God? If I promise to put in more HOV concessions, will you please get things moving here already?"

A cell-phone call from Rothstein's wife Marjorie interrupted the angry tirade.

"Well, I'm sorry it's taking so long, Bernie," Marjorie said. "But remember, honey, that you're the one who said I-279 was a horrible scar gouged into the city for the sake of efficiency. It was your own enthusiasm for small, two- to eight-acre city parks that made Pittsburgh a nicer place to live and got you into this mess."

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close