Pittsburgh's Tunnels to Become Cell-Phone Friendly Again

Local wireless carriers are working on plans to eliminate dropped calls inside Pittsburgh's three major tunnels.

photo by paul sableman via flickr creative commons


How many times have you had to explain to someone on your cell phone (using a hands-free device, of course) “hang on, I may lose you in the tunnel.”

Ever since construction began three years ago inside the Fort Pitt, Squirrel Hill and Liberty tunnels, dropped calls have become a way of life. That's because the tunnel rehab work wiped out a previously installed antenna system. The restoration work is complete (for now) and four mobile phone carriers — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon — are installing a shared distribution antenna systems to keep everyone connected.

PennDOT's Steve Cowan says about 100,000 vehicles use the tunnels each day.

“The department urges motorists not to be on the phone while they are driving or to use hands-free devices, but other people in the car can be making calls or getting data,” Cowan told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Now they will have uninterrupted service in the tunnels.”

The carriers hope to have the work completed and the new system up and running by the end of September. 

–Richard Cook


photo via flickr creative commons


#Report: Pittsburgh Drivers among the Worst in the Country

Pittsburgh has gotten its fair share of accolades over the years for everything from a vibrant restaurant scene to affordable house to great parks and natural resources. But when it comes to it drivers, a new study says we stink.

According to Allstate Insurance company's annual America's Best Drivers Report, Pittsburgh ranks 178th out of the 200 largest U.S. cities for safe drivers.

The ranking is based on driving habits such as seatbelt usage and texting behind the wheel. The study said Pittsburgh drivers averaged 18.3 “braking events” per 1,000 miles. Allstate says it has found a correlation between the frequency of braking events and collisions.  

While a ranking of 178 is nothing to brag about, it's at least an improvement over 2015 when Pittsburgh drivers were ranked 185th.

Brownsville, Texas finished at the top of the list of cities with safe drivers, while Boston came in last.



photo courtesy xpogo.com

#Pogopalooza: Extreme Pogo Stick Athletes Battle in Pittsburgh

These aren’t the pogo sticks of your childhood. At Pogopalooza, pogo sticks become extreme.

International athletes will gather in Pittsburgh this weekend to battle for world titles in an intense pogo stick competition.

Pogopalooza, in its 12th year, is the largest pogo stick event in the world. Athletes will perform incredible feats of gravity in Freestyle, Best Trick and High Jump events.

This year, Pogopalooza will partner with Rivers of Steel to host the event at the Carrie Furnaces. The two-day event will feature local food trucks, local bands and exclusive tours of the Furnaces.

The competition isn’t just for pogo-pros, though. Visitors can purchase tickets to watch the athletes battle on pogosticks or learn to pogo stick themselves in the Learn-to-Pogo areas. Adults and kids of all ages will be wowed by this wild sporting event, featuring athletes jumping more than 10 feet and showcasing seemingly impossible tricks.  

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit xpogo.com/pogopalooza/.

––Shannon Pender


Categories: The 412