Letter to Anthony Foxx, U.S. Dept. of Transportation

Pittsburgh Residents’ Concerns

June 1, 2016

Secretary Anthony Foxx
U.S. Department of Transportation

I hope you had a successful trip visiting the seven Finalist Cities in the Smart City Challenge. The information below was sent to the office overseeing this challenge, but I am not certain if it had been forwarded to you directly.

I wish to make comments concerning the “Smart City Challenge.”

Every city in America wants the best possible technology and innovation available toward having a modern and efficient transportation system. However, of most importance is the means used to accomplish that end. City of Pittsburgh leaders, as well as the leaders of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, have already demonstrated through a proposed roadway project that they are willing to possibly decimate and forever alter two of the city’s beloved neighborhoods in order to achieve their transportation goals of self-driving cars.

In past local newspaper articles, the mayor has said the City of Pittsburgh would move ahead with transportation expansion plans whether or not the city wins the challenge, despite census figures indicating the city’s population is declining. He also said that if the city is awarded the $50 million, it could double that amount through corporate donations. Although our efforts as residents would become even more daunting if the city wins the challenge, those of us who desire to protect and preserve our neighborhoods will continue our efforts regardless of the outcome. We will hold firmly to the belief that human dignity must be the highest priority in any decision-making process, even concerning futuristic transportation goals.

I do not expect you to read all of the material on these websites that document our efforts to protect and preserve our neighborhoods. However, they will give you an indication of our desire to place importance on the city’s people above its “image” or any other consideration:

Also, below is my letter to the editor that was published recently in the  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Thank you for your kind attention to our concerns.

Carlino Giampolo

My Panther Hollow prayer is that forces promoting transit corridor stay out

May 15, 2016

I would like to respond to Brian O’Neill’s May 8 column, “What Can 21st-Century Transit Do for The Run?” Although I generally enjoy his columns, in this one, his obsession with a roadway constructed alongside the railroad tracks to connect the Almono site in Hazelwood to the Oakland campuses blinds him to the truth that this roadway will adversely impact the communities of The Run and Panther Hollow.

This obsession puts him in the shameful company of other outsiders — from as close as Squirrel Hill and Point Breeze to as far as San Francisco and India — who want to dictate how we should live in our own communities.

I have listed 10 alternative solutions to this roadway on the website SavePantherHollow.com. If these are insufficient to the outsiders who support this roadway, then perhaps they should come up with their own creative solutions that will not negatively impact residents at all. Innovation and technology must be used to enrich human dignity, not diminish it.

Mr. O’Neill ended his article saying he prayed in a Greenfield church for the transit corridor to be built. We don’t intend to make this a holy war, but we have our own prayers. My suggestion is that he pray every day in gratitude for the benefits that Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh create for his family — while not having these universities ensconced in his own quiet North Side neighborhood.

CARLINO GIAMPOLO
Oakland