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That hole—part of a construction site that has ripped up parts of downtown for several years—symbolizes everything that's wrong with Pittsburgh.
It is the downtown end of the infamous North Shore Connector, a 1.2-mile transit tunnel that was built under the Allegheny River to go where the pro baseball and football palaces are. We unaffectionately call it our "Tunnel to Nowhere."
Our wise Democrat and Republican politicians, 1960's-era planners, and mass-transit apologists thought the tunnel would be a swell way to waste at least $600 million in "free" federal and state money to carry fewer than 10,000 humans a day back and forth across (under) the river.
There is much more evidence of city hall's clumsy handiwork around downtown, Mr. President, but it's time to end this note with a simple request. Next time you're looking to "honor" a city with a G-20 summit, pick Chicago.
Bill Steigerwald is a former associate editor at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.