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August 21, 2011

Most Livable Asterisk: Pittsburgh and Places Rated

Several media outlets announced Saturday that they are revising their most recent evaluations of Pittsburgh as a "most livable city" after four people drowned in rain while driving on city streets on Friday.

Forbes reporter Francesca Levy, who wrote their 2011 report choosing Pittsburgh as the country's Most Livable City, posted a message on Twitter: "plan on revising Most-Livable report, adding 'deadly rain' as a ninth factor. Who knew?"

David Savageau, who has been compiling the "Places Rated Almanac" since 1981, posted on his blog: "I am flummoxed by the revelation that rainfall can be fatal in Pittsburgh - not on those magnificent three rivers or the fabulous bike trails, but on a paved city street?"

Savageau went on to say, "It can't be the nature of rain - it's been raining in American cities since at least the 1860's. Other cities at the top of the list - Seattle, San Francisco, Portland - these are all cities with frequent rain, a high quality of life, and they seem to be able to avoid rain fatalities. There must be something different in Pittsburgh. Maybe it's acid rain?"

The Economist Intelligence Unit -- which publishes numerous surveys and studies for paying clients -- has ranked Pittsburgh first in U.S. livability ratings since it started measuring them in 2005, said Jon Copestake, editor of the survey. "I daresay we're going to have to make an adjustment in light of the recent disclosure of deadly rainfall in the Pittsburgh metro area. For the time being, we're adding an asterisk to our results."

Key personnel at the Department of Public Works and the Department of Public Safety were not available for comment; they were working weekend overtime on location for "Dark Knight Rising", which is a key distraction from the city's problems strategic initiative of the Ravenstahl administration.

Mayoral spokesperson Joanna Doven commented via text message early Sunday morning: "Mayor attributes problem to Council's budget obsession; Home Rule charter may not assign responsibility for rainfall, action by Legislature may be needed".

Closer to home, AccuWeather reports that Monday, August 29th has a 60% chance of rain and thunderstorms.

Pittsburgh's Office of Emergency Management reports that they intend to get in front of the situation by pre-positioning teams of grief counselors in pontoon boats parked on trailers in the vicinity of Washington Blvd and Allegheny River Blvd.

In order to gain an understanding of what future unfortunate citizens may experience during the rain, Team Ravenstahl is arranging a field trip to Ohiopyle and they will convey their experiences and emotions to the GCT (grief counseling team).


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