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Monday, January 30, 2012

New Amsterdam and Erwin Lanpher's Reservoir

Gosh, ToTo, we're not in Mt. Lebanon anymore!

01/30/12 #237 18m
Rode 18miles in 42F. Started at the Bastille and rode the trail around the stadia. As I rode around the entrance to Heinz Field there was flotsam and jetsam from the recent high-river flooding. Which led me to peruse and wonder, which is what? Can you have just flotsam and not jetsam?

Turns out that the debris was not flotsam and jetsam which are types of shipwrecked materials. It is also not marine debris, which is man-made.

I am inclined to consider it tidewrack, which describes the materials completely - but alas, there is no significant tidal action to account for it. For now, driftwood will have to do. Where is Etymology Man when you need him?

I continued along the Allegheny, past the 31Street and the 40th Street Bridges, and rode into Millvale with the intention of exploring the land route to Sharpsburg.

Climbing up to Evergreen Avenue my front wheel didn't want to stay down, the bike wanted to rotate away from the slope. It was an interesting experience. I tried to correct by standing on the pedals and moving my well-established center of gravity closer to the front wheel. That did not help, and being clipped in to my pedals I felt a bit precarious. Fortunately, I ran out of hill before I ran out of balance and inertia. Baby got inertia.

As I worked my way around on Friday Street I came upon a vast expanse of concrete which would make an excellent playground or a field for stickball or street hockey. Turns out to be the Lanpher Reservoir, named in honor of Erwin Lanpher, a waterworks engineer who made remarkable contributions to reducing typhoid deaths in Pittsburgh by improving the quality of the water supply.

In 1907, Pittsburgh had 648 Deaths from typhoid fever (125.2 per 100,000 residents).
In 1927, Pittsburgh had 12 Deaths from typhoid fever (1.8 per 100,000 residents).
The change is attributed to Erwin Lanpher. (We consider this an effective rebuttal to those who say, Wait a minute - the Government shouldn't be running the water supply!) Chapeau Mr. Lanpher!

I turned south and crossed the Allegheny on the Route8 bridge, and turned west on Butler Street back toward downtown. At 45th Street I came upon the mural shown at the top of the post, which puzzled me because I always associated New Amsterdam with New York City. This mural is along one of Lawrenceville's new establishments, NewAmsterdam, which Mr. Munch enjoyed.

It's an interesting contrast to Saturday's Mount Lebanon mural. Also of interest, the recent mural is painted over an old, faded ghost sign - a painted advertisement for Uneeda Biscuits.

Rode Butler Street, Penn, and Railroad to the Strip Trail and Point State Park. Crossed the Ft. Duquesne bridge and rode back to the Bastille. A thoroughly enjoyable ride.

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