South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Tom Smith
South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor 

Preparations made for St. Patrick's Day celebrations

Planning includes transportation, parking for expected visitors

 

March 12, 2019

Although city officials haven't announced public safety plans for St. Patrick's Day celebrations on South Side this Saturday, mounted police have been a fixture for the past several years. This year's planning includes an emphasis on ride sharing and shuttle buses to move people in and out of the neighborhood. This year there will also be portable sanitary facilities in all the Parking Authority's surface parking lots.

Calling 2018's St. Patrick's Day celebration in South Side the "most successful ever," District 3 Councilman Bruce Kraus is hoping to build on that success this year.

The councilman focused planning on minimizing disruptions to neighborhood residents while also making sure visitors to the neighborhood know where to safely park, take a free shuttle and find a public restroom.

With an expected influx numbering in the tens of thousands, he noted South Side has less than 700 metered parking spaces for people to park their cars. In addition to the limited number of on-street parking spaces, most of South Side is part of the Residential Permit Parking Program, limiting the number of hours visitors may park in the neighborhood without risking a ticket.

Mr. Kraus said those coming to East Carson Street to celebrate on March 16 are encouraged to take a ride-sharing service such as Lyft, Uber or Z-Trip. City Nighttime Economy Manager Allison Harnden pointed out the services are offering discounts for first-time riders. Discounts codes for the services are: Lyft, STPATTYSDAY19 for $10 off; Uber, PGHSAFETY2019 for $20 off; and, Z-Trip, PITZTRIP for $10 off.

Free parking is also available again for those planning to drive their own cars at the Second Avenue Lot at the end of the 10th Street Bridge. The Pittsburgh Parking Authority is providing free parking at the 700-space lot beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 16. Drivers taking advantage of the free parking will also be able to take a free shuttle, the South Side Nite Rider, from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m.

The Nite Rider will leave the Second Avenue Parking Lot and stop at the First Avenue Parking Garage/T-Stop before heading to South Side via the 10th Street Bridge. Shuttle stops are planned for Bedford Square (12th Street); 18th and Sidney streets; and, 21st and E. Carson streets. An addition shuttle will run on the same route from 2 p.m. until midnight.

A real time tracker for the shuttle is available during operating hours at http://www.ssniterider.com.

New this year is a second shuttle route stopping at SouthSide Works parking garages. The SouthSide Works shuttle will begin at the Ladle Parking Garage, 26th and Sidney streets, and make stops at the Hot Metal Parking Garage, 26th and E. Carson streets and 21st and E. Carson streets before looping back. The SouthSide Works shuttle will operate from noon to midnight.

Although parking in the SouthSide Works' garages isn't free, it is available for a reduced flat rate on the weekends.

The shuttles are offered by the Pittsburgh Transportation Group through a sponsorship by Highmark.

Councilman Kraus said something else new this year is the addition of 45 portable public sanitation facilities placed in the five surface parking lots throughout the neighborhood. Each of the lots will have nine units, including a handicapped accessible one.

To prevent vandalism, each of the nine-unit sets will be banded together. For added safety, each of the sets will be placed in a well-lighted area of the parking lot and will be under video surveillance.

The portable public sanitation facilities will be placed beginning at 5 a.m. on March 16 and removed at 6 a.m. on Sunday, March 17. The units will be serviced and cleaned between 3 and 4 p.m. on Saturday for the expected evening crowd.

The sanitary facilities will be located in the Parking Authority's parking lots in the 1200, 1800 and 1900 blocks of E. Carson Street along with the 18th and Sidney and 20th and Sidney lots. Mr. Kraus said it's expected the facilities will provide services for up to 13,000 patrons.

The $3300 cost for the sanitation facilities is being provided from Parking Enhancement District (PED) funds. PED funds are generated from the money collected at South Side on-street parking meters after 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

All parking will be removed on E. Carson Street from the 12th to 17th streets safety zone beginning in the early morning hours of March 16 to facilitate traffic flow and emergency vehicle access. The area will be posted with no parking signs 24-hours in advance.

The councilman noted, as in previous years, a public safety command center will be located on E. Carson by the 18th Street Parking Lot. In addition, Delanie's Coffee in the 1700 block of E. Carson Street is again providing a place for public safety personnel to take a break.

Mr. Kraus said city officials are planning to release public safety measures this week.

Ms. Harnden added every year South Side businesses have become more engaged in making St. Patrick's Day a successful and safe event.

For current information on St. Patrick's Day in South Side visit: http://www.ssniterider.com; South Side Nite Rider on Facebook; or #pghstpatricksday on Twitter.

 

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