On a typical Friday or Saturday night in South Side the population swells by up to 15,000 people by some estimates. This coming Sunday night that number could be conservative when the Steelers play the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl.
Adding to the number of people on the South Side during and after the Super Bowl will be a large contingent of Pittsburgh, state and county police maintaining order during the game and for any post-game celebration. In addition to city police officers on foot, in cars and on bicycles and motorcycles, the Flats will be patroled by county and state mounted officers on horseback maintaining order.
According to Pittsburgh City Council Public Safety Chair Bruce Kraus, the police will mimic a public safety plan put in place for the 2006 Super Bowl, the last time the Steelers played in the big game. Special emphasis is being placed on protecting the South Side and Oakland neighborhoods.
In South Side, preliminary plans call for the closing down of East Carson Street from anywhere from the 10th Street Bridge to the Hot Metal Bridge, extending to Sarah and Sidney streets on either side. Councilman Kraus said the plans are still in flux and will change depending upon the score of the game and which team has the lead.
If the Steelers have a big lead going into the third quarter streets into South Side will begin closing down to traffic. Those restrictions will include preventing vehicular traffic into the neighborhood from 18th Street and the Hot Metal Bridge; traffic will be stopped along Carson Street and everyone will be prevented from coming into the neighborhood until traffic clears out after the game.
In addition, Mr. Kraus said the police have suggested to businesses that they remove all outdoor furniture, plants and accessories, anything that can be used as a projectile, from their property. The councilman suggested that it was a good idea for residents as well as businesses.
He also recommended that all residents and visitors pull in their rear view mirrors on their cars to take away the temptation to vandalize them by those celebrating a victory or loss in the neighborhood. The councilman said the rear view mirrors have been an easy target for vandalism in the past and a reason for many
complaints to his office by neighborhood residents.
Another suggestion coming from the police was targeted at the numerous bars in South Side. The police have asked that the bars refrain from selling any drinks in glass containers. Instead of serving drinks in glass glasses and bottles, they are being asked to serve the beverages in plastic bottles and cups to cut down on the potential for having broken glass in the neighborhood.