Sewickley man's Pittsburgh traffic angst goes viral
From tunnels and bridges to steep hills and construction, getting around Pittsburgh isn't always an easy ride.
Some drivers take out frustrations on their vehicle's horn or on others in traffic.
Ian Richards took to the Internet to help ease his pain caused by Pittsburgh traffic by creating a meme — a short phrase or series of words added to a photo that is shared across the Internet — about the Fort Pitt Bridge.
With an image from the problem spot as background, the meme reads, “Left lanes need to exit right. Right lanes need to exit left. Here's 300 feet. Make it happen.”
It has been shared more than 5,200 times on Facebook.
Of course, the Sewickley resident is referring to drivers from the Parkway East, Downtown and the North Shore Expressway merging on the bridge to continue on the Parkway West through the Fort Pitt Tunnel or toward routes 837 and 51.
Richards said he never imagined the meme would create quite this stir. But it has.
“Everybody I talk with thinks it's hilarious, and everybody knows it's true,” said Richards, 24.
Richards snapped the photo May 20 while in the passenger seat of a vehicle, added the text and within minutes shared it on his Facebook wall.
“I figured a few friends would laugh at it,” he said.
Memes gain popularity because they're “easy to share, easy to understand and have humor,” social media expert Holly Maust said.
“Memes are popular all over the Internet, so I'm not surprised that this one has spread viral so fast.”
Maust said she planned to share the meme, adding that she, too, is familiar with the frustrations drivers face there.
“I will go the ‘back way' to and from work to avoid the Fort Pitt Bridge,” said Maust, who lives in Beaver County. “It's as though people forget how to merge or follow directions.”
Since Richards posted the meme, his Facebook friend requests have spiked, he said.
“It's quite funny,” he said. “I just (created the meme) because it struck me at the moment,” Richards said.
Richards hypothesized that the region's unique topography and outdated infrastructure play a vital role in drivers' frustrations.
“People from New York tell me they dread driving in Pittsburgh, and that's saying something,” he said.
Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 email@example.com.
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.