The thing that I hate about it most is it looks like there is not enough spacing with the ramps to have I-376 widened to 4 lanes each way some day (more poor planning), and that they are only available to Port Authority vehicles. The entire busway should be open to ALL buses, hotel shuttles, courtesy vans, etc, and the Carnegie busway ramps should be available to all vehicles entering or exiting I-376 at Carnegie.
1) Yes, this terrible lack of planning will make actually widening the Parkway even more impossible to budget for in the future. This extraordinarily poor planning by politicians is similar to the idea to eliminate one of the runways at the "new" airport to "save" money as well as the separate idea to eliminate the ROW obtained to have the Mon-Fayette Expressway leg that would by-pass the Squirrel Hill tunnels. It is a heck of a lot more expensive to take care of 50 years into the future when you really need those resources and gave up that valuable resource (who knows what service PIT will have 20 or 50 years from now??). However, what politician thinks 50 years into the future (answer: none)
2) There is no way the busway will ever be open to non-Port Authority traffic (since the feds paid for it to be mass transit). This is similar logic to how the unused HOV lanes cannot be turned into normal lanes on a permanent basis (the feds paid for them to be HOV's) and I-80 will never be tolled (the federal tax payers already paid for the highway and should not be allowed to pay for it again).
How much would it cost to widen the Parkway West from the tunnels to the Airport Expressway?
Many billions upon billions of dollars with about 4 decades of planning, environmental studies, lawsuits, social justice area studies, endless legal battles with the railroad, and political battles (i.e. see how our current mayoral administration killed the Mon-Fayette expressway bypass around the Squirrel Hill tunnels the PA Turnpike Commission was planning.) The largest Project awarded this year in Allegheny County by PennDOT was only $26 Million...as increasing amounts of money head east depending on who is in the governor's office.
And I'm upset by the huge rush hour delays caused by removing the cloverleaf and installing traffic signals at the US22 interchange. Now the parkway becomes a parkway between 79 and Robinson for no good reason in the afternoons. The reason they did that because they didn't want to spend the money to properly rebuild the 376/22 interchange to bring it up to interstate standards.
The reason they didn't properly rebuild it is not because they didn't want to...but because they didn't have the money on this side of the state. I actually think District 11 does a decent job with their very limited amount of resources in today's regulatory environment. I personally think it dramatically improved the interchange (once they changed that stop sign to a yield sign on 22/30).
But you have to look at where the Port Authority gets its funding for capital projetcs. Much of it was federal grants (which allowed completion of the tunnel to nowhere), and the PA Turnpike Commission. Talking about robbing Peter to pay Paul, the Turnpike Commission's debt increased exponentially since Rendell's legislation forcing the Turnpike to fund state transit authorities.
That's how the government works. The politicians are milking the PA Turnpike into oblivion completely legally. In the future....someone will have to pay the bill for the nearly criminal acts of politicians of the past. However, no politician now cares about that.
Also, your "tunnel to nowhere" is rather heavily used and provided a necessary link to, within the next few centuries, extend service to the North Hills and the Airport. Certainly better to build it before they developed the North Shore. While I disagree with how the government works, I sure am happy they "wasted" the money in Pittsburgh instead of somewhere else.