Councilman takes steps for a quiet day after St. Patrick's Day Parade
March 11, 2008
Prompted by memories of last year's Saint Patrick Day celebration along East Carson Street, City Councilman Bruce A. Kraus has taken steps to be proactive rather than reactive to the raucous behavior exhibited by visitors to the community.
To abate the drunken behavior, city public safety officials have developed a "Master Plan" that includes not only South Side, but also major entertainment zones including Station Square, the Strip, Oakland and Market Square.
Last year, the celebration "spilled over" into the South Side from the Saint Patrick's Day Parade and the annual Market Square "party." This year, the Market Square event will be scaled down considerably, with hours being reduced to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Councilman Kraus said that last year the extended Market Square celebration "sapped the resources from the rest of the city." With the reduced hours, police will be able to be rescheduled and disbursed into the other neighborhoods needing attention.
South Side will receive some of that attention. On Saturday, March 15, the neighborhood will benefit from increased foot patrols by Pittsburgh Police. In addition, motorcycle officers have been assigned to ride throughout the neighborhood after the parade.
The councilman said there will also be roving DUI checkpoints in South Side on Saturday.
Last week a letter went out to all the bars on South Side from the councilman's office asking that they refrain from offering specials on Saturday and that they pay extra attention to following the law concerning over-serving of patrons, serving visibly intoxicated patrons and serving of underage minors.
To help keep celebrants that have had too much to drink off the road, Diesel Club Lounge has agreed to help provide free cab rides. The club has donated $700 for cab fare.
Working with Diesel and Councilman Kraus is Pittsburgh Transportation Group (PTG), which has agreed to provide two vans at half price for rides within a two mile radius of South Side. The vans will stop at 18th and E. Carson streets every half hour between 2 p.m. and 4 a.m.
In addition, Diesel will pay for an off-duty police officer to patrol E. Carson Street between the night club and 18th Street. The officer will enforce the law and maintain order in the area.
Mr. Kraus has also put in a request to the State Police Bureau of Liquor Control for additional enforcement officers for Saturday. In making the request he noted the increased underage drinking, public drunkenness, open containers, public urination and serving of visibly intoxicated people in the past.
Pennsylvania Resources Council has also arranged for temporary trash receptacles that area businesses can place outside of their establishments on Saturday to keep litter down on the weekend. The "cans" will be picked up afterward by City of Pittsburgh Public Works workers.
Any business interested in having a temporary trash receptacle they can place outside their building this weekend should
call Sarah Alessio at PRC, 412-412-4449 ext. 236 or email email@example.com to arrange to have the can picked up or delivered.
To get the neighborhood cleaned up after the expected deluge of bar patrons on Saturday, Councilman Kraus has been working with District Magisterial Judge Gene Ricciardi. The councilman has asked the judge to provide community service workers to help clean up the neighborhood after next Saturday.
Councilman Kraus said that the stepped up police presence on South Side isn't an attempt to prevent anyone from having a good time or limit business during the Saint Patrick's Day celebration, but a way to ensure the safety of the residents of the neighborhood.