by Cam Wong, readme Commissar for Municipal Affairs
Pittsburgh residents this past week gathered to vote on a recurring issue—that of the city’s rapidly deteriorating bridge infrastructure.
Pittsburgh, the once-renowned “city of bridges,” has decided that the city’s time and money would be better spent on replacing its human workforce with robots.
The controversial “Road Undertaking Thing” (RUT) initiative was proposed to both remove the need to fix bridges as they get worn out by years of overuse and help address the waste disposal issues that plague every city. This plan would involve filling the various valleys in the city with landfill, then covering it with concrete to make the city mostly level.
Of course, this would be a massive undertaking. Affected residents would need to be moved uphill, where they would be temporarily housed during the reconstruction process. Despite this, responses have been generally positive.
“I think it’s great,” says Nick Rauen, a student from outside Philadelphia who would not be affected. “It’s a great way for the city to save money on fixing the bridges, while keeping the bridges around for tourists to look at!”
Despite seemingly widespread support, however, concerns abound about the city’s restructuring and iconic look. “What will we be if we don’t have our bridges anymore?” asks James Dullman, a longtime resident. “We’ll just be another boring, bridge-less city like Chicago or Boston!” Residents of the aforementioned bridge-less cities were unavailable for comment.
Proponents of the plan argue that such distinctions are ultimately meaningless and will ultimately only hold the city back. “To miss this opportunity would be paramount to burning a bridge to the future” says Mark Saporta, a satire writer from the Oakland area.