Cultural District, Pittsburgh
The Cultural District is a fourteen-square block area in Downtown Pittsburgh, USA bordered by the Allegheny River on the north, Tenth Street on the east, Stanwix Street on the west, Liberty Avenue on the south. The Cultural District features six theaters offering some 1,500 shows annually, as well as art galleries and retail shops, its landmarks include: Allegheny Riverfront Park, Benedum Center, Byham Theater, Harris Theater, Heinz Hall, O'Reilly Theater, Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School, Three Rivers Arts Festival Gallery, Wood Street Galleries, the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. Major arts organizations based here include: Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Dance Council, Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Bricolage Production Company, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company; the cultural district was the brainchild of H. J. Heinz II, known as Jack Heinz, is managed by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust was formed in 1984 to realize Jack's vision of an entire cultural district for blocks of the Penn-Liberty Avenue corridor, a blighted area. Built as the Loew's and United Artists' Penn Theatre, construction of the building was completed in 1927. Motion picture business magnate and pioneer Marcus Loew engaged the architectural firm of Rapp & Rapp to design the movie palace; the Grand Lobby was impressive, with its 50-foot -high vaulted Venetian ceiling, massive ornamental columns, marble staircase and crystal chandeliers and silk drapes. Like many 1920s-era film palaces, Loew's Penn Theatre fell on hard times in the 1960s. Competition from television and suburban theaters along with high maintenance costs put a squeeze on profitability; the theater was scheduled for demolition. Henry J. Heinz II and Charles Denby, President of the Pittsburgh Symphony Society, together with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Allegheny Conference and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, purchased the site and rescued the theater for the purpose of creating a new home for the Pittsburgh Symphony.
Jack Heinz and others, including his son, United States Senator from Pennsylvania John Heinz, William Rea, began the changes that would follow in the district with the purchase and renovation of the former movie palace, Loew's Penn Theater, transformed into the opulent and newly renamed Heinz Hall. This magnificent concert hall reopened after a complete restoration in 1971 as the new home for the Pittsburgh Symphony; the current seating configuration is 2,676. Heinz Hall is operated by the Pittsburgh Symphony Society; the Trust's first major project was the restoration of another visually stunning former movie palace, the Stanley Theater. The Stanley Theater was designed by the renowned theater architectural firm of Hoffman & Henon and opened on February 27, 1928. At the time, it had the distinction of being the largest theater in Western Pennsylvania, was known as "Pittsburgh's Palace of Amusement". After a $43 million restoration returning it to its original splendor, it reopened in 1987 as the newly renamed Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, is able to host about 2,885 people.
The Benedum Center is operated by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The Byham Theater, a landmark building at 101 Sixth Street in Downtown Pittsburgh, was the second major theater venue restoration project of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Built in 1903, the called Gayety Theater was a stage and Vaudeville house, it featured stars such as Ethel Barrymore, Gertrude Lawrence, Helen Hayes, it was renamed The Fulton in the 1930s. In 1990, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust bought the theater and refurbished the Fulton as part of its plan for the Cultural District; the Byham family of Pittsburgh made a major naming gift for a 1995 renovation, it has been the Byham Theater since. The current seating configuration is 1,300; the Byham Center is operated by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Today the 14-square block area continues to transform and flourish from a red-light district with only two cultural facilities—Heinz Hall and the Convention Center—to a dynamic arts and residential neighborhood with more than fourteen arts venues, including the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School, public parks and plazas, new commercial development.
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust applies a holistic approach and vision to urban redevelopment: streetscaping programs, facade restorations, new cultural facilities, public open spaces and art projects. The Cultural District's transformation is praised and serves as a model for urban redevelopment through the arts. Brendan Lemon of The New York Times wrote, "To describe Pittsburgh's unconventional, un-Disneyfied remodeling of its Cultural District... is to explore how theater can help transform urban identity". The Cultural District is home to the Pittsburgh Film Office, a non-profit organization that markets the greater southwestern Pennsylvania region as a great location for movie and commercial productions. Since its inception in 1990, the PFO has assisted more than 102 feature films and television productions to southwestern Pennsylvania to generate an economic impact of more than $575 million for the region. Benedum Center Byham Theater Harris Theater Heinz Hall O'Reilly Theater The August Wilson Center for African American Culture The Cabaret at Theatre Square Bricolage Production Company Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is the public library system in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Its main branch is located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, it has 19 branch locations throughout the city. Like hundreds of other Carnegie libraries, the construction of the main library, which opened in 1895, several neighborhood branches, was funded by industrialist Andrew Carnegie; the Pittsburgh area holds the distinction of housing the first branches in the United States. The Pittsburgh Photographic Library is a photography repository held by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh of over 50,000 prints and negatives relating to history of Pittsburgh; the City of Pittsburgh was home to eight Carnegie libraries constructed at the turn of the 20th century. In 1881, Andrew Carnegie offered a US$250,000 grant to the city for the construction of a public library on the condition that the city provided the land and annual funding for the maintenance of the property; the city declined Carnegie's initial offer out of concern that a publicly funded library was not a state-sanctioned use of public tax funds.
With the passing of several years and the state legislature's endorsement of the project, the city reconsidered the offer and reached out to Carnegie in the interest of accepting his grant. In 1890, the City of Pittsburgh accepted an expanded grant of $1 million for the building of the main library in Oakland and five branches in the neighborhoods of Lawrenceville, West End, Wylie Avenue, Mount Washington, Hazelwood. While the initial plan only called for those five branches, the Pittsburgh would go on to receive another three Carnegie libraries in the East Liberty, South Side, Homewood neighborhoods. Construction on the main library was finished in 1895 while the branch libraries were constructed over the following fifteen years, ending with the completion of the Homewood branch in 1910. Six of the original Carnegie library branch locations continue to serve as public libraries in their respective neighborhoods: Lawrenceville, West End, Mount Washington, South Side, Homewood; the East Liberty branch was demolished in the 1960s as part of a redevelopment plan, the Wylie Avenue branch was moved to a new location in 1982.
Allegheny Beechview Brookline Carrick Downtown and Business East Liberty Hazelwood Hill District Homewood Knoxville Lawrenceville Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Main Mt. Washington Sheraden South Side Squirrel Hill West End Woods Run For decades the CLPgh has partnered with suburban area branches, in 2014 talks were started seeking innovative ways to combine some services; the Our Library, Our Future voter initiative was a campaign spearheaded by the library and community supporters to increase funding for the library by raising local property taxes. The voter initiative would raise the millage rate in the city of Pittsburgh by a quarter of a mill. On November 4, 2011, city voters voted in favor of the referendum by a 72% majority; the increase in taxes gives the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh an additional three million dollars a year. In 2018, it was reported that nearly 320 rare books, maps and other items were stolen from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's main branch in Oakland, which houses the system's rare book collection.
The items, which included a 1787 document signed by Thomas Jefferson, are valued at more than $8 million. In July 2018, a former library archivist and a Pittsburgh-area bookseller were charged with the thefts, which took place over a period of two decades, it is one of the largest rare-book theft cases in history. According to the criminal complaints detailing alleged scheme, the archivist said that he "often removed items from the Oliver Room at the library's main branch in Oakland by carrying individual plates maps in manila folders, or for books or larger items, by brazenly rolling them up and walking out." The archivist is alleged to have turned the rare items over to the bookseller, who would sell them through his store. Allegheny Regional Asset District Pennsylvania Library Association Toker, Franklin. Pittsburgh: An Urban Portrait. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN 0-8229-5434-6. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Works by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh at Internet Archive
Media in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is home to the first commercial radio station in the United States, KDKA 1020AM. Until 2016 Pittsburgh was one of the few mid-sized metropolitan areas in the U. S. with two major daily papers. In 2016, the Tribune-Review moved to an all-digital format. In 2018, the Post-Gazette moved to publishing five print editions a week; the alternative papers in the region include the Pittsburgh City Paper. The Pitt News, a financially independent student-written and -managed newspaper of the University of Pittsburgh, is closing in on its 100th year of publication; the University of Pittsburgh School of Law hosts JURIST, the world's only university-based legal news service. Outdoor advertising in the area is handled by Lamar Outdoor, who controls a majority of large posters and billboards and bus shelters and shopping centers in the area. Major newspapers: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Alternative newspapers: Pittsburgh City Paper Pittsburgh Current Speciality newspapers: The Bulletin The Front Weekly The Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh Northside Chronicle Pittsburgh Business Times Pittsburgh Catholic Pittsburgh Courier South Pittsburgh Reporter Zajedničar Academic newspapers: The Duquesne Duke The Pitt News The Tartan University Times Online newspapers: The Incline Jekko NEXTPittsburgh North Pittsburgh Daily News Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Pittsburgh Press Variety: Equal Magazine Jenesis Magazine Pittsburgh Magazine Pittsburgh Quarterly WHIRL Magazine Academic: Hot Metal Bridge Journal of Law and Commerce Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law Pittsburgh Journal of Technology Law & Policy Pittsburgh Tax Review Three Rivers Review University of Pittsburgh Law Review The Pittsburgh TV market is ranked as the 23rd largest in the United States by Nielsen.
It has gained distinction as one of the most competitive. The market is served by: Pittsburgh radio has long been dominated by KDKA 1020 AM. However, as of early 2006 the station is no longer No. 1 in the ratings. KQV 1410 AM, now an all-news outlet, was Pittsburgh's dominant Top 40 station throughout the 1960s. On the FM dial, album-rock WDVE, modern rock WXDX, adult contemporary WBZZ, pop and hip-hop WKST-FM and Pittsburgh Sports Talk on KDKA-FM FM talk radio is available in the Pittsburgh market at WPGB. Pittsburgh is home to three public radio stations: WESA, the local NPR station; the Radio Information Service, broadcasting on a subcarrier of WESA provides special programming for the blind and print impaired. Additionally, Pittsburgh hosts the non-commercial radio stations WRCT and WPTS. In 2010, Nielsen will continue to rank Pittsburgh as the 23rd largest television Designated Market Area in the country, with 1,154,950 households; that is a drop from Nielsen's 2009 estimate of 1,156,460. Despite the decline in households, Pittsburgh still has 22,090 more households than the next closest television DMA, Charlotte, NC.
In 2004 Pittsburgh was the 24th largest DMA in the U. S. as ranked by population, with a population of 2,881,200. Pittsburgh's DMA covers a land area of 10,083 square miles in three states. Other definitions of the "Pittsburgh region" extend into Ohio border counties with some sources including several Ohio counties and as far south & west as the Kentucky border and north into the extreme southwest of New York State; the Pittsburgh DMA includes the following counties: Pennsylvania counties: West Virginia counties: Monongalia PrestonMaryland counties: Garrett Pittsburgh, PA on American Radio Map
Culture of Pittsburgh
The Culture of Pittsburgh stems from the city's long history as a center for cultural philanthropy, as well as its rich ethnic traditions. In the 19th and 20th centuries, wealthy businessmen such as Andrew Carnegie, Henry J. Heinz, Henry Clay Frick, nonprofit organizations such as the Carnegie Foundation donated millions of dollars to create educational and cultural institutions; the Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece Fallingwater is about an hour's drive from Downtown Pittsburgh. The North Shore has an 1895 neogothic church, Calvary Methodist, with an interior designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany; the church's stained glass windows are some of the largest and most elaborate work Tiffany created. The Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Pittsburgh, an opulently decorated edifice with elaborate Old World flourishes is one of the finest examples of the so-called Polish Cathedral style, dominating the skyline over Polish Hill; the Allegheny County Courthouse, designed by H. H. Richardson, is a influential building.
At 42 stories, the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning is the second tallest collegiate building in the world. The tallest skyscraper in Pittsburgh is the triangular U. S. Steel Tower. Both Heinz Field and PNC Park are designed to give fans a view of the city skyline; the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, located on the south bank of the Allegheny River, is becoming some of the most sought after convention space in the country, as it is able to accommodate all sizes of conventions and conferences. Certified with a Gold rating by the U. S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design initiative, the building is considered the first "green" convention center and world's largest "green" building; the region has hosted over 1,000 film and television works since the first production filmed in the city in 1898. Since 1990 the Pittsburgh Film Office has marketed the greater southwestern Pennsylvania region as a great location for movie and commercial productions.
The PFO has assisted more than 102 feature films and television productions to southwestern Pennsylvania to generate an economic impact of more than $575 million for the region. Pittsburgh Filmmakers teaches media arts and runs three "arthouse" movie theaters and since 1981 the Three Rivers Film Festival has brought national attention to local talent and artists of the region; the Pittsburgh Playhouse at Point Park University has four resident theatre companies. Other theater companies include Bald Theatre Company, barebones productions, Bricolage Production Company, City Theatre, Jewish Theatre of Pittsburgh, Quantum Theatre, Phase 3 Productions, Prime Stage Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Attack Theater, Unseam'd Shakespeare Company, Terra Nova Theatre Group, Cup-A-Jo Productions, Hiawatha Project, 12 Peers Theater, Organic Theater Pittsburgh, Three Rivers Theatre Company, Carrnivale Theatrics, Theatre Sans Serif, The Summer Company, Throughline Theatre Company, No Name Players, Pittsburgh Musical Theater, Caravan Theatre of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, Stage Right, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre.
The Pittsburgh New Works Festival utilizes local theatre companies to stage productions of original one-act plays by playwrights from all parts of the country. Future Ten showcases new ten-minute plays. Saint Vincent Summer Theatre, Off the Wall Productions, Mountain Playhouse, Stage Right! in nearby Latrobe, Carnegie and Greensburg employ Pittsburgh actors and contribute to the culture of the region. August Wilson, one of the best known playwrights of his generation, was a Pittsburgh native; the majority of his plays are set in the city as well including the two that he won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for. Friday Nite Improvs, an improv show at the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning, is Pittsburgh's longest-running theatre show, it has produced a number of professional actors. Since 1991 the Gene Kelly Awards have honored students in drama in the region, giving a platform to some who have gone on to both theater and film careers. Traditional Pittsburgh foods reflect the city's multicultural heritage that of the European immigrants of the early 20th century.
While these immigrant populations introduced dishes such as pierogis to the city, they are now enjoyed by Pittsburghers in general. Other Pittsburgh food specialties were developed in the city. In general, these dishes are still popular because for many years, they satisfied the hearty appetite of the archetypal Pittsburgher: the hard-working, blue-collar steelworker. Cabbage rolls –– Beef, rice, green pepper, wrapped in cabbage and baked with sauerkraut and tomato soup or juice. Chipped Ham – thinly-sliced processed ham, from Isaly's since 1933. City Chicken – cubes of pork and/or veal baked or fried on a wooden skewer. Clark Bar – chocolate candy bar. Essie's Original Hot Dog shop - an Oakland staple since 1960. Halušky – noodles with fried cabbage, or cottage cheese. Iron City Beer – native brew. Italian sausage – with grilled peppers and onions. Kielbasa – eastern European sausages. Pierogi – Polish dish, pasta dough filled with potato and cheese, onion or sauerkraut. Primanti Brothers – sandwich with fries and coleslaw in it.
Sarris Candies - chocolates and ice cream originating in Canonsburg Teutonia Männerchor - Deutschtown German food. Wholey's – Founded in 1912 in Pittsburgh's market square and now located on Penn Ave.
Name of Pittsburgh
The name of the city of Pittsburgh, has a complicated history. Pittsburgh is one of the few U. S. cities or towns to be spelled with an h at the end of a burg suffix. Pittsburgh was named in honor of William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham referred to as William Pitt the Elder to distinguish him from his son William Pitt the Younger; the suffix burgh is the Scots language and Scottish English cognate of the English language borough, which has other cognates in words and place names in several Indo-European languages. This morpheme was used in place names to describe a location as being defensible, such as a hill, a fort, or a fortified settlement. Pittsburgh was captured by British forces during the French and Indian War; the earliest known reference to the new name of the settlement is in a letter sent from General John Forbes to William Pitt the Elder, dated 27 November 1758, notifying Pitt that his name had been given to the place. In that letter, the spelling is given as "Pittsbourgh." As a Scotsman, General Forbes pronounced the name PITS-bər-ə, similar to the pronunciation of "Edinburgh" as a Scotsman would say it: ED-in-bər-ə.
The first recorded reference using the current spelling is found on a survey map made for the Penn family in 1769. In the city charter, granted on March 18, 1816, the Pittsburgh spelling is used on the original document, but due to an apparent printing error, the final'h' is omitted on official copies of the document printed at the time. Before the federal government endorsed the Pittsburg spelling in 1891, that orthographic variant was well-attested, its use by The Pittsburg Dispatch newspaper, for example, dates back at least to 1847. The city's name is misspelled as Pittsburg because innumerable cities and towns in America make use of the German -burg suffix, while few make use of the Scottish -burgh suffix; this problem is compounded by the fact that from 1891 to 1911, the spelling of the city's name was federally recognized as Pittsburg. In 1890, the United States Board on Geographic Names was created to establish uniform place name usage throughout the various departments and agencies of the federal government.
To guide its standardization efforts, the Board adopted thirteen general principles, one of, that place names ending in -burgh should drop the final -h. The Board compiled a report of place name "decisions" in 1891 in which the city's name was rendered Pittsburg. In support of its decision favoring the Pittsburg spelling, the Board referenced the printed copies of the 1816 city charter which featured that same spelling. Based on those copies of the city charter, the Board claimed that the official name of the city had always been Pittsburg. However, the members of the board seem to have been unaware that the original copy of the 1816 charter specified the name of the city to be Pittsburgh, that only the printed copies of the charter featured the erroneous spelling Pittsburg; the full decision and rationale from the Board follows: Pittsburg. Pennsylvania; the city was chartered in 1816, its name being spelled without the h, its official form is still Pittsburg. The h appears to have been added by the Post-Office Department, through that action local usage appears to have become divided.
While the majority of local newspapers print it without the h, certain others use the final h. The Board's decisions had effective power; the decisions were not, binding outside the federal government. Official city and state documents continued to use the old spelling, as did the Pittsburgh Gazette, the Pittsburgh Stock Exchange and the University of Pittsburgh. Responding to mounting pressure and, in the end, political pressure from senator George T. Oliver, the Board adopted the Pittsburgh spelling on July 19, 1911, reversing its previous decision on the matter; the letter sent to senator Oliver to announce this decision, dated July 20, stated: Hon. George T. Oliver, United States Senate: Sir: At a special meeting of the United States Geographic Board held on July 19, 1911, the previous decision with regard to the spelling of Pittsburgh without a final H was reconsidered and the form given below was adopted: Pittsburgh, a city in Pennsylvania. Respectfully, C. S. SLOAN, Secretary. Notwithstanding the Board's reversal, the'h'-less spelling variant remained in use for years.
Some local daily newspapers carried it in their titles until the early 1920s, when The Pittsburg Dispatch and The Pittsburg Leader ceased publication and The Pittsburg Press became The Pittsburgh Press. The confusion and controversy surrounding the alternative spellings means that both the Pittsburgh and the Pittsburg spelling were encountered around the turn of the 20th century, continued uses of Pittsburg still occur to this day. Many cities across the United States named after the city of Pittsburgh, such as Pittsburg, Pittsburg and West Pittsburg, continue to use the Pittsburg spelling in their names. Other independent municipalities, such as the borough of East Pittsburgh, reflect the modern spelling; the most familiar reference to the Pittsburg spelling is on the renowned 1909 T-206 baseball card of Pittsburgh Pirates legend Honus Wagner. Its scarcity at the time, combined with Wagner's reputation as one of the greatest players in baseball history, made it the most valuable sports card of all time, with one pristine specimen yielding $2.8 million at auction.
It has been characterized as the "Holy Grail" of baseball cards. The city name displayed across Wagner's jersey on the card was an artistic addition that did not appear on the Pirates' unifo
Port Authority of Allegheny County
The Port Authority of Allegheny County is the second-largest public transit agency in Pennsylvania and the 26th-largest in the United States. The county-owned, state-funded agency is based in Pittsburgh and is overseen by a CEO and a nine-member board of unpaid volunteer directors, who are appointed by the county executive and approved by the county council; the Port Authority's bus, light rail and funicular system covers Allegheny County. On a few of its longer-distance routes, service extends into neighboring counties such as Beaver and Westmoreland; these counties have their own transit systems, including several routes that run into downtown Pittsburgh, where riders can make connections with Port Authority service. The Port Authority was created by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1956 to allow for creation of port facilities in the Pittsburgh area. Three years the legislation was amended to allow the Port Authority to acquire owned transit companies that served the area; this included the Pittsburgh Railways Company and 32 independent incline operations.
On April 19, 1963, the Board of Allegheny County Commissioners authorized the acquisition of 32 transit companies, including the Pittsburgh Railways Company, which had provided bus and streetcar service to Pittsburgh since January 1902, an incline plane company, for about $12 million. On March 1, 1964, Port Authority Transit began service. Shortly after the Port Authority began service, 150 GM "Fishbowl" buses were introduced to replace aging ones acquired from its predecessors, a new route numbering convention was introduced, the fare system was streamlined. Due to urban sprawl, the agency introduced new routes. In the following years, additional buses were ordered and several new transit garages opened. Many of the trolley lines acquired from Pittsburgh Railways were abandoned, turned into bus lines. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Port Authority hoped to introduce a modern rapid transit system known as Skybus with rubber-tired vehicles running on rails, but the plan fell through. In the early 1970s, the Port Authority entered what was dubbed by its fans the "Mod" era, with buses repainted in splashy paint schemes.
Several new flyer routes and routes to Oakland's university core were introduced as part of a new general marketing strategy. In 1975 the Port Authority took over the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad commuter rail line to Versailles, which it branded PATrain; these new routes, coupled with the 1973 oil crisis, generated a major increase in ridership. Due to the poor state of the economy at the time, fares increased and there was a brief strike in 1976. In spite of these setbacks, the South Busway opened in 1977 and plans for other capital investments were made. During the 1980s, with gas prices falling and population loss from the decline of the steel industry, ridership decreased and the agency lowered fares to attract new riders in the middle of the decade. Many new buses were ordered, the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway opened in 1983. Construction of a light rail line that started in downtown south to traverse Beechview, with lines to South Hills Village and Library progressed during the decade.
Part of the line was an updated version of the old trolley system. In July 1985, the downtown subway opened, the Beechview line followed in 1987 and the Library line a year later. In 1989, the agency celebrated its twenty-fifth year of existence, commuter rail to Versailles was discontinued; the agency was rocked by a four-week strike due to a labor dispute in 1992. The strike, coupled with changing demographic patterns, caused a decrease in ridership. New buses that were compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 were introduced early in the decade. In 1993, the badly deteriorated Overbrook light rail line was shut down, requiring trains to use the Beechview line. Several capital projects, such as the construction of a western busway and light rail extensions were considered. In 1998, the agency rebranded itself as "Ride Gold" with new paint schemes and a new marketing campaign. In 2000, the West Busway from the Ohio River to Carnegie was opened. Shortly thereafter, new bus routes to outlying communities such as Cranberry were established.
In 2003, a short extension of the East Busway was completed. The following year, the Overbrook light rail line was re-opened after a lengthy reconstruction. Construction started on a light rail extension to Pittsburgh's North Shore near Heinz Field, known as the North Shore Connector. In spite of the capital projects expansion, the agency was in serious financial trouble by the middle of the decade. In June 2007, the agency went through with a 15 percent service cut. In order to provide a dedicated source of funding, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato introduced the controversial 10% Allegheny County Alcoholic Beverage Tax in 2008 to fund the agency; that same year, another strike was narrowly averted. The agency is planning a major service overhaul that will begin to go into effect in March 2010; the Port Authority pays $168,763 annually to Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney and $48,750 annually to Greenlee Partners to lobby the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Between 2007 and 2010, the Port Authority cut its annual expenses by $52 million and raised its revenues by $14 million to help alleviate a statewide transportation funding crisis.
The funding crisis only grew worse, however. The state legislature assumed it would receive permission to convert Interstate 80 into a toll road to increase revenues, but the federal government denied the request, leading to a gap in the sta
Western Pennsylvania English
Western Pennsylvania English, known more narrowly as Pittsburgh English or popularly as Pittsburghese, is a dialect of American English native to the western half of Pennsylvania, centered on the city of Pittsburgh, but appearing as far north as Erie County, as far east as Sunbury, Pennsylvania, as far west as metropolitan Youngstown, as far south as micropolitan Clarksburg. Associated with the white working class of Pittsburgh, users of the dialect are colloquially known as "Yinzers". Scots-Irish, Pennsylvania German, Polish and Croatian immigrants to the area all provided certain loanwords to the dialect. Although many of the sounds and words found in this dialect are popularly thought to be unique to the city of Pittsburgh only, this is a misconception, since the dialect resides throughout the greater part of western Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. Central Pennsylvania an intersection of several dialect regions, was identified in 1949 by Hans Kurath as a sub-region between western and eastern Pennsylvania, though some scholars have more identified it within the western Pennsylvania dialect region.
Since the time of Kurath's study, one of western Pennsylvania's defining features, the cot–caught merger, has expanded into central Pennsylvania, moving eastward until being blocked at Harrisburg. The only feature whose distribution is restricted exclusively to the immediate vicinity of Pittsburgh is monophthongization, in which words such as house, found, or sauerkraut are sometimes pronounced with an "ah" sound instead of the more standard pronunciation of "ow", rendering eye spellings such as hahs, dahn and sahrkraht. Speakers of Pittsburgh English are sometimes called "Yinzers", in reference to their use of the 2nd-person plural pronoun "yinz." The word "yinzer" is sometimes heard as pejorative, indicating a lack of sophistication, although the term is now used in a variety of ways. Older men are more to use the accent than women, "...possibly because of a stronger interest in displaying local identity...." A defining feature of Western Pennsylvania English is the cot–caught merger, in which and merges to a rounded vowel:.
Therefore and caught are both pronounced. While the merger of these low back vowels is widespread elsewhere in the United States, the rounded realizations of the merged vowel around is less common, except in Canada and Northeastern New England; the sound as in oh begins more fronted in the mouth, as in the Southern U. S. or Southern England. Therefore, go is pronounced. /uː/ as in food and rude is fronted, diphthongized, as in much of the American South and West. The diphthong, as in ow, is monophthongized to in some environments, including before nasal consonants, liquid consonants and obstruents; this monophthongization does not occur, however, in word-final positions, where the diphthong remains. This is one of the few features, if not the only one, restricted exclusively to western Pennsylvania in North America, although it can sometimes be found in other accents of the English-speaking world, such as Cockney and South African English; this sound may be the result of contact from Slavic languages during the early twentieth century.
Monopthongization occurs for the sound, as in eye, before liquid consonants, so that tile is pronounced. Due to this phenomenon, tire may merge with the sound of tar:. An epenthetic sound may occur after vowels in a small number of words, such as in water pronounced like warter, wash like warsh. A number of vowel mergers occur uniquely in Western Pennsylvania English before the consonant; the pair of vowels and may each merge before the consonant, cause both steel and still to be pronounced as something like. And may merge before /l/, so that pool and pole may merge to something like. On the /iːl/~/ɪl/ merger, Labov and Boberg note "the stereotype of merger of /il ~ iyl/ is based only on a close approximation of some forms, does not represent the underlying norms of the dialect"; the /iː/~/ɪ/ merger is found in western Pennsylvania, as well as parts of the southern United States, including Alabama and the west. On the other hand, the /u/~/ʊ/ merger is found only in western Pennsylvania; the /iː/~/ɪ/ merger towards may appear before.
The vowel /ʌ/ before, may lower into the vowel of the cot–caught merger mentioned above, so that mull can sound identical to mall/maul:. L-vocalization is common in the Western Pennsylvania dialect, in which an sounds like a /w/, or a cross between a vowel and a "dark" /l/, when at the end of a syllable. An example is; this phenomenon is common in African-American English. Western Pennsylvania English speakers may use falling intonation at the end of questions, for example, in "Are you painting your garage?". Such speakers use falling pitch for yes/no questions for which they are quite sure of the answer. So, a speaker uttering the above example is confirming what they think they know, that yes, the person they're talking to is painting his/h