G-20 — random thoughts

The Post-Gazette has the details on the, well, lack of details on how disruptive the G-20 will be to Downtown Pittsburgh and nearby neighborhoods.  For security purposes, we won't find out the extent of the traffic detours and the bus reroutes and the closed streets until a week beforehand. 

First, I get the need for security.  I live on the Northside and work in Oakland which is currently a ten minute commute.  I suspect that's not going to be the case around the G-20.  However, I am the boss so I can't just not show up at work for a week or so.  We are working out contingency plans and I'm very glad I have some staff that live very nearby for our 24 hour coverage needs, but not enough to last a weekend.  So plan, plan, plan we must.  (Ledcat works in the Strip so she might be have to go to work via Oakmont).

The other thought I have is that the major inconveniences will be the summit, not the protests even though the protestors are getting all the bad PR.  I'm not 100% convinced that the prestige of the Summit will offset the potential harm to the little guys, but I doubt there is any accurate measure of damage versus inconvenience aside from the vandalism damage and the number of letters to the editor complaining about handbills being thrust into their unwilling hands. 

What about the sales lost by businesses to which people cannot get?  Or the impact on homeless people swept away and out of sight?  or the unplanned use of PTO (or unpaid time off) by folks who simply cannot get to work?  I know there's an offset by the increase in money spent by the visitors, but does it really even out?  There's not exactly trickle down, is there? 

It is just frustating to cope with real impact on my life and the ongoing assault on my values by the media-frenzy over the sexy protestor stories.  I've barely had time to contemplate the G20 itself.  The message is in my face every day and still I just don't hear it.  That's probably the worst frustration of all.


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