17 Reasons Not To Move to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Voted by the Locals!)

From spiders to potholes, Pittsburgh is a crumbling city that you should escape while you still can. To avoid the contaminated water, humid weather, and constant rainfall, here are seventeen reasons to never move to The City of (breaking) Bridges.

1. Humidity

Pittsburgh is damp all of the time. It rains every week, and the many potholes in the roads turn into miniature lakes. The air will become so saturated that everything you touch will feel wet.

The lack of dry air means that mildew is always just around the corner, and food not securely put away will turn into mush within the hour. Keep everything dry, because the wet can breed mold, bugs, and other gross and unwanted visitors. If you ever come to Pittsburgh, bring a dehumidifier.

2. Brown Recluse spiders

What kind of miserable city would be complete without spiders? The brown recluse is a fun one because it can lurk almost anywhere, it’s so small it’ll set up shop wherever it feels like, and its brown patterned body blends in with its surroundings completely. You’ll wonder exactly what bit you when necrotic skin lesions start to form on the wound.

To be fair, the majority of bOpens in a new tab.rOpens in a new tab.oOpens in a new tab.wOpens in a new tab.nOpens in a new tab. Opens in a new tab.rOpens in a new tab.eOpens in a new tab.clOpens in a new tab.uOpens in a new tab.sOpens in a new tab.eOpens in a new tab. Opens in a new tab.bitesOpens in a new tab. are not serious and don’t pose a significant threat to the victim, but in the most severe cases, the bites can cause death. You’ll have to keep your basements free of any insects that could lure in the spider, and be careful when putting your hand in any nooks and crannies. There may be an unwanted visitor lurking.

3. Cold

I’m sure it comes as no surprise, but Pittsburgh is cold! Part of the cold comes from the constant rain, but the snow on the ground definitely doesn’t help.

Snow comes by the foot and sticks around for months. Ice on the roads is something else to worry about in the winter. I suppose you’ll get your daily exercise by shoveling your driveway, but as for myself, I prefer to stay toasty warm while outside of Pittsburgh.

While you’re in the market for a sturdy snow shovel, you might want to consider a blow dryer for your hair. I walked to the car with wet hair in a Pittsburgh winter once and my hair froze. Icicles aren’t exactly in style this season, so I have to go with a no on this one.

4. Gentrification

Pittsburgh has always been an urban hub, but gentrification is only ever getting worse. As of 2019, Pittsburgh is the eighth-mostOpens in a new tab. gentrified city in America. With gentrification on the rise, you might not be able to move into Pittsburgh if you wanted to. There are certainly a lot of unhappy residents moving out.

The displacement and the stress of gentrification have taken their toll on anyone living in Pittsburgh. The economy seems to always be taking a hit in this city. Rents tend to rise, and businesses have no qualms about shoving citizens out of their way. Living in a city where business is always put first, even before people, maybe the worst decision you ever make.

5. Losing Infrastructure

Would you like to live in a city that is quite literally falling apart? Roads in Pittsburgh have it rough, with rainwater and cold weather eroding them away piece by piece. Potholes are not only plentiful but huge! Be prepared for your tires to take a hit, and spend more time swerving around the holes in the road so big you’ll think they were dug by a bulldozer.

The many hefty vehicles driving along the Pittsburgh road are certainly adding their fair share of wear and tear to the streets of this city as well. Pittsburgh is the City of Bridges, but it seems like those bridges are slowly crumbling away under the pressure of being in Pittsburgh.

If you’re driving around Pittsburgh, avoid the holes and curse your government for not using your taxes to fill holes with more cement.

6. Bad Drivers

Everyone claims their city is home to America’s worst drivers, but in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, they’re actually right. A recent study shows the people of Pittsburgh tend to drive too fast,Opens in a new tab. paired with texting while driving. It’s a deadly combination that has led to Pittsburgh drivers being compared to the vehicular maniacs of New York.

Pittsburgh had the same bad driving as the Big Apple, but without that famous New York Pizza. The state of Pennsylvania came in 48th in a ranking of US drivers by state and found that cars in this state speed nearly half the time they drive. Maybe they’re trying to get off the terrible roads as quickly as possible.

7. Traffic

You’d think that with the high rate of speeding, traffic in Pittsburgh wouldn’t be as big an issue? You’d be wrong. Traffic is almost guaranteed in Pittsburgh, where it can take you hours to get anywhere.

Public transport is also lacking, so your choices for mobility are extremely limited. Pittsburgh can be a real trap sometimes. The roads aren’t well organized, so you can easily get lost in the maze of Pittsburgh streets. What roads you can drive on are extremely twisty and full of hills, making them more dangerous to drive on than other roads.

You could always try walking to the city, I suppose. If you ever have to come here, bring a reliable GPS and a lot of patience.

8. Contaminated Water

With all the hills in Pittsburgh, is it any wonder that even the water has its ups and downs? Pittsburgh has had multiple problems in the past with needing to rebuild its water supply system, and water in the city is contaminated with leadOpens in a new tab..

Lead poisoning from water can cause health problems both mentally and physically. Lead poisoning is often invisible until it reaches dangerous levels, and leads to developmental delay, fatigue, and nauseaOpens in a new tab.. So, living in Pittsburgh can be quite literally nauseating.

Several politicians have been working on fixing the water supply in Pittsburgh, but the process can be slow and difficult. Clean water isn’t always a guarantee in Pittsburgh, but it should be.

9. The Sun Does Not Exist

You might want to consider moving to Pittsburgh if you’re a vampire. The constant dark cover of the sky is totally conducive to the lifestyle of any nocturnal living creature.

The sun never shows its face in this gloomy city, making it so you never have to wear sunscreen. You might forget that our planet even revolves around a star. If storm clouds and gloom are your things, come to Pittsburgh! You’ll never be bothered by that pesky sunlight ever again.

If you ever have to move to Pittsburgh, bring a flashlight to help you navigate that lunch rush traffic in the dark. Headlamps are also an option, as Pittsburgh has a background in coal mining.

10. It’s Dirty

Can I bring up coal mining? It’s definitely rooted deeply in Pittsburgh culture. The city used to be drowning in coal dust, and it’s not much better today.

A common occurrence is the “Pittsburgh toilet”, a toilet or shower in the basement with no walls or bathroom set up. Just a toilet smack dab in the middle of the basement. This originates from coal miners coming home and wanting to use the facilities without getting too much dirt in the house.

Today, Pittsburgh is a smog-filled city of dirt and muck, and that doesn’t seem like it’s going to change any time soon.

11. The Accent

Have you ever heard of the Pittsburgh accent? It’s both less famous and less pretty than a southern accent. “Miles” turn into “mals” and you can forget all about the word “you”. Pittsburghians say “yinz” with pride, and don’t ask me where it came from. I don’t know. Nasally and loose, this accent is everywhere, as well as the Pittsburgh “lingo”.

It’s common to drop the phrase “to be” and not clearly enunciate your vowels. Have fun trying to figure this one out. Not everyone can understand Pittsburghese when they first come to the city, but with time, they too can have the ugliest accent in America.

12. Crime

Lock your doors in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and considers getting a good alarm system. The violent crime rate in this city is at 38.1%,Opens in a new tab. which is higher than the average US rate of 22.7. The property crime rate is higher than the US average as well, at 46.3 (the US rate is 35.4).

Even with a recent decline in violent crime, Pittsburgh is not a safe place to live. Residents can’t walk down their own streets without a buddy and shut themselves indoors at night with a hefty lock. When even the long-time citizens of a city don’t feel safe, you know that you shouldn’t either. If you want to live somewhere without sirens waking you up at night, pass on this city.

13. High Rate of Unemployment

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh has always been high, and it just keeps getting worse. There’s been an increase in the unemployment rate in all seven counties of the Pittsburgh area from June 2018 to June 2020. Butler County had it easy at 6.5, while Beaver County went up by a full 9.6 in the two-year span.

You might be able to afford Pittsburgh if you can’t get a job. With a tax rate as high as they have, jobs are getting harder and harder to find. Lots of cities go through economic recessions and growths, but in Pittsburgh, it seems like it’s always a recession. Pick another place to do your job hunt.

14. Poverty

The job market in Pittsburgh can only lead to one thing: poverty. Roughly a third of the regional population of Pittsburgh lives in or close to poverty, and 11% of Alleghany County residents do as well.

Poverty is such an issue in Pittsburgh that the Pittsburgh Foundation put together a study to try and figure out what was causing so many Pittsburgh residents to fall under the poverty line.

Hopefully, the study and the Foundation will be able to make a dent in the issue, but for now, Pittsburgh is still slipping further and further into poverty. It’s another sad reason to not move to Pittsburgh.

15. Sports

Are you a sports fan? Well, the city of Pittsburgh has the Steelers, the Penguins, the Pirates, and a ton of apathy. Pittsburgh just doesn’t care, and its sports teams don’t either.

It’s unclear why so little enthusiasm is held for the sports teams of Pittsburgh, but fans of any sport will find themselves bored to tears. They didn’t even bother to get different colors for each sports team. Get some generic red and black garb, and you’re all set to not even care.

16. Cicadas

If you thought creepy crawlies only lived in exotic, pretty locations, you would be dead wrong. Pittsburgh had all of the giant bugs without any of the palm trees and sunshine. During a cicada year, swarms of this insect will flood this city and its suburbs.

They “sing” twenty-four-seven, meaning that for weeks at a time the very air will vibrate with a hum you can’t turn off. Cicadas don’t bite or sting, but they can be the size of a mini candy bar. Cicadas have no fear and will happily attach themselves to your car, trees, houses, and person.

Between their sticky legs and giant yellow eyes, they are nobody’s favorite neighbors in Pittsburgh.

17. Housing

Even the houses don’t want you to move to Pittsburgh! Have you ever walked into a house and just thought to yourself, ‘wow, it’s beautiful!’ Well, in Pittsburgh you never will. Housing is expensive, and difficult to find. Many neighborhoods don’t even have sidewalks in Pittsburgh, so walking anywhere is a pain.

Housing in Pittsburgh seems to take after the slums created during the Industrial revolution. Very little space, and cheaply made. You’re paying a small fortune to live in a slum. The best way to avoid dealing with Pittsburgh housing is to just avoid Pittsburgh altogether. Get out while you still can.

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Nathan Aydelotte

Hello! I'm Nathan, the lead editor for Suggested by locals. I grew up in the Boise, Idaho area and have lived here most of my life. I enjoy being close to the mountains where I can go hiking, camping, and mountain biking.

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