16th Street Bridge

Pittsburgh’s 16th Street Bridge was quite interesting.  I was surprised by how many people were crossing it.  As there is only one pedestrian in my picture above, there obviously weren’t crowds of people, but compared to the other bridges upriver that I’ve crossed there were a lot.  I thought this bridge was far enough out from downtown that the sidewalks wouldn’t be used much.  Also there didn’t seem to me to be much development on either side of the river that would promote walking across the river.  For all the bridges downriver from this point, one side is connected to downtown and the other is connected to a sports stadium and/or large office buildings.  While at the 16th Street Bridge there are some offices near the southern end and some apartments near the northern end, there didn’t seem to be enough for people to be using the bridge so much.  One explanation I came upon was that it was lunch time and both ends of the bridge connect or almost connect with the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.  It seemed like it would be a nice loop for downtown workers to walk the trail on one side of the river, cross the 16th Street Bridge, and return to work on the other side over lunch break.


The view on the left of downtown fascinated me.  It looks like there are two clumps of tall buildings (the yellow post doesn’t block any tall buildings).  However, the view on the right supports something I heard in one of my classes which I sort of scoffed at at the time.  I don’t remember exactly how it went, but it was something like the US Steel building (now labeled UPMC) was the center point of a triangle of downtown buildings and as such had to be the tallest.  I think part of the reason I had an issue with it was because the building is located in the middle of a side of the triangle and so the term “apex” or “center point” or whatever the teacher used didn’t fit my sense of geometry.  Actually, regardless of the term used, having the center of the base of a triangle as the focal point doesn’t match my sense of geometry.  However, in the view from the 16th Street Bridge, I can accept the US Steel building as the tallest and therefore a focal point because from this view, the buildings gradually increase in height until reaching it.

This graffiti symbol was painted on the sidewalk of the 16th Street Bridge.  I will not go into a discussion about it here, as I have come across it somewhere else that provokes a much more interesting conversation about it.  I was very surprised and intrigued to see it on this bridge as well, as I have only noticed it in one other place in the city, which isn’t exactly next door.  Although now that I’ve spotted it twice, I will be keeping my eyes open for it.

7 thoughts on “16th Street Bridge

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