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Friday, September 5, 2008

Why Pittsburgh doesn't have car chases...

For a link to this story, click here.

I remember my first time visiting the San Francisco area during med school. We had literally been in the city for 2 hours when I saw my first car chase (or at least the end of it) which concluded with the California Highway Patrol (no Eric Estrada in sight, darn it!) arresting a carful of men on a bridge, guns drawn and sirens blazing. According to my friends from the west coast, car chases are a form of entertainment there and are an almost weekly occurrence.

There is a reason why Pittsburgh, however, doesn't get a car chase that often and why Ken Rice, Patrice King Brown and company are salivating over today's car chase.

1. Tunnels: anyone who has ever driven through the Squirrel Hill tunnel knows the inexplicable phenomenon where people will slow down to 25 mph FOR NO APPARENT REASON! You will get to the other side and traffic picks back up to 50 mph and leaves you wondering if you entered a time warp.

2. Bridges: Veterans or Liberty Bridge during rush hour. No further explanation.

3. PennDOT: I swear that every method of getting into or out of Oakland has been under construction for the past year. Thrown in the start of the school year and stupid undergrads and the traffic situation is hopeless.

4. The "Pittsburgh Left": Not sure how this one factors in, but I am sure this would get many a car chase wannabe in an accident or two.

5. The Parkway: The fact that we lack a real "loop" around the city makes it impossible to do any decent navigation that would be interesting from a news chopper. You would end up making a wrong turn towards the Waterfront or in the Strip District where you might not be able to evade the police, but you would at least be able to have breakfast at Deluca's or Eat N' Park.

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