Urban Planner Stuck In Traffic Of Own Design

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Neighborhood Starting To Get Too Safe For Family To Afford

CHICAGO—Explaining that the sense of unease she felt walking to and from her home had declined markedly over the years, Humboldt Park resident Kirsten Healy expressed her disappointment to reporters Thursday that her neighborhood was becoming too safe for her family to afford.

Area Dad Informs Busboy He’s Ready To Order

NASHUA, NH—Raising his arm into the air while leaning outward from the table in a bid to command attention from the other side of the restaurant, area father Walter Bierko called over a busboy at DiCapri’s Italian Eatery to inform him that he was ready to order, sources reported Wednesday.

Winning Argument With Aging Parents Less Satisfying Than It Once Was

CINCINNATI—After firmly telling them that she was okay paying city prices and that she would not move back to her hometown just because it was cheaper, local woman Ellen Wallace, 40, confirmed Thursday that winning an argument with her parents has become much less satisfying as they have gotten older.

Rescuers Heroically Help Beached Garbage Back Into Ocean

ATLANTIC BEACH, NC—In what many described as an inspiring display of selflessness and teamwork, a group of rescuers heroically saved a beached mound of garbage by helping the stranded trash back into the ocean, eyewitnesses reported Thursday.

Man Races Against Time To Take Out Trash Bag With Widening Puncture

RIO RANCHO, NM—His pace steadily quickening as he rounded the corner out of his kitchen and made a beeline for the front door, local man Henry Parnasse reportedly found himself locked in a race against time Wednesday morning to take out a trash bag with a widening hole in its side.

Man Pushed Off Plate Of Chicken Wings By Larger Male

WARMINSTER, PA—Looking on as the intense display of aggressive behavior played out over several minutes, sources at Flannigan’s Bar & Grill confirmed Thursday that local man Pete Samuelson was pushed off a plate of buffalo wings by a much larger alpha male.

Grandma Guts It Out Through Lunch On Sunny Patio

MALVERN, PA—Making the audacious decision to dine outdoors with her family despite a noticeable lack of umbrellas or awnings, grandmother Diane McGilvery, 83, reportedly gutted it out through lunch Friday on the sunny patio of a local restaurant.

Parents Formally Announce Transfer Of Expectations To Second Child

GRAND JUNCTION, CO—Explaining that the adjustment made the most practical sense for all parties involved, local parents Beth and Ryan Morgan held a press conference Friday morning to announce the official transfer of expectations from their oldest child, Jeremy, to his younger sibling, Angie.

Motorcyclist Salvaged For Parts

SIOUX FALLS, SD—Following a multiple-vehicle accident on Interstate 90 that temporarily halted traffic in both directions, sources reported Friday that a motorcyclist involved in the crash was hauled off and salvaged for parts.

Detective Not Sure He Was Close Enough To Partner To Endlessly Pursue Killer

DETROIT—After his partner of three years was gunned down last week while the pair were on duty, Detective David Killian of the Detroit Police Department’s Major Case Squad told reporters Wednesday he was unsure whether he had been close enough to his murdered colleague to single-mindedly pursue the killer for as long as it takes.

Man Pretty Cocky Since Beating Cancer

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL—Whether he’s bragging about his newfound appreciation for life or arrogantly refusing to take anything for granted, local man Daniel Oretsky, 38, has been acting insufferably cocky since winning his two-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, sources confirmed Tuesday.

Area Man Under Impression He Got Dressed Up

PROVIDENCE, RI—Explaining that the dinner he would soon be having at an upscale restaurant required him to wear something a bit special, local man Kyle Finnegan was under the impression that he had just gotten dressed up, sources said Thursday.

Man Honestly Thought Breakdown Would Be More Obvious To People

MAPLEWOOD, MN—Explaining that he had assumed the deterioration of his physical and psychological state would be readily apparent, 3M sales associate Mark Uhler told reporters Wednesday he honestly thought his ongoing breakdown would be more obvious to everyone around him.

Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

YOUR LOCATION—Noting that it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies but it’s also a good thing to know in general, your dad announced today that he wants to show you where the fuse box is.

Neighborhood Busybody Reports Sound Of Gunshots

INDIANAPOLIS—Once again sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong, neighborhood busybody Sally Christensen, 54, reportedly took it upon herself to report the sound of gunshots to law enforcement early Tuesday morning, sources confirmed.

Being Older Than Daughter Babysitter’s Only Qualification

UTICA, NY—Possessing no particular proficiencies or training whatsoever, local 12-year-old Jessica Radloff was reportedly hired to babysit Hayley Carden, 7, this week based solely on her qualification of being older than the child she was asked to watch.

Total Weirdo Spends Mother’s Day At Cemetery

ST. MARYS, OH—Apparently content to hang around dead people rather than celebrate like a normal person, area weirdo John Mills spent most of Mother’s Day at a local cemetery, creeped-out sources confirmed.

Child Visiting Ellis Island Sees Where Grandparents Once Toured

ELLIS ISLAND, NY—Pausing to imagine the throngs of people who must have arrived with them that day back in 1994, 12-year-old Max Bertrand reportedly spent his visit to Ellis Island this afternoon walking around the same immigrant station his grandparents once toured.

Email From Mom Sent At 5:32 A.M.

DENVER—After waking up and finding the message waiting on his computer, local man Drew Swanson confirmed to reporters Thursday that his mother had sent him an email at 5:32 a.m.

Man Proud Of Food He Ordered

DEDHAM, MA—Noting how the man grinned with satisfaction after his Buffalo Chicken Ranch sandwich with a side of spiced panko onion rings arrived at his table, sources at Chili’s Grill & Bar confirmed Tuesday that local diner Matt Schoesse ...
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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."