But attendees must prepare for parking changes and detours
November 16, 2012 3:00 PM
A large red ornament greets commuters in front of the K&L Gates Center, Downtown, on the morning of Light Up Night.
The Sounds of the Season Parade will include majestic horse-drawn carriages. Seen here is
Darrell Sapp / Post-Gazette
Work continued this afternoon on the assembly of "Santa's House" in Market Square.
By Jon Schmitz Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh police are hoping Light Up Night revelers will avoid the buzz kill of a parking ticket or trip to the tow pound.
They are recommending extra caution tonight for those who drive to the festivities. Because several parking meters have been removed and replaced with kiosks, the temporary "no parking" signs might not be as in-your-face as when they were attached to each meter. They recommend that visitors park in lots or garages rather than on the streets.
As an added precaution, they are urging visitors not to leave valuables like iPods, laptops or GPS devices within sight in their vehicles.
"The holiday season is upon us and there are predators who seek the opportunity to vandalize vehicles when they observe unsecured valuables left in plain view," said police spokeswoman Diane Richard.
Light Up Night, and a parade and related entertainment Saturday, will cause myriad street closures, transit detours and parking restrictions.
PG graphic: Light Up Night event locations (Click image for larger version)
About 50 Port Authority routes will be detoured today. Most detours will begin at 6 p.m. and continue through the end of service, although some could start earlier, spokeswoman Heather Pharo said.
Extra capacity will be added to some bus and rail lines, with two-car trains, Subway Local shuttles and longer articulated buses on key routes, she said. Still, riders were urged to allow for extra travel time.
About 40 bus routes will be detoured on Saturday for the Sounds of the Season parade, which begins at 5 p.m. Most detours will be in effect from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Street and parking restrictions will mostly occur in the late afternoon and evening today. Pittsburgh police have released a list but some variations are possible. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has canceled a planned closure of the inbound Parkway East at Grant Street tonight.
Unveiling of Macy's Window
Smithfield Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues will close to traffic at 4:30 p.m. except for buses, which will operate there until 6 p.m. After that, buses will detour. The unveiling is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. The street is scheduled to reopen at 8:30 p.m.
Santa Spectacular in Point State Park
Commonwealth Place will be closed from Liberty Avenue to Fort Duquesne Boulevard from 4 to 10 p.m.
Highmark Unity Tree Lighting (at the former Horne's)
Liberty Avenue will close from Fifth Avenue to the turnaround in Gateway Center from 6 to 10 p.m. Stanwix Street also will close between Fort Duquesne Boulevard and Third Avenue.
Other Light Up Night street closures
Fourth Avenue between Wood and Stanwix streets from 4 to 10 p.m.; Forbes Avenue at Wood Street and all of Market Square from 9 a.m. to midnight; Roberto Clemente Bridge from 5 a.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday; Andy Warhol Bridge from 9 a.m. to midnight; Rachel Carson Bridge from 9:15 to 10 p.m. for fireworks show; Fort Duquesne Boulevard outbound between Stanwix Street and the Rachel Carson Bridge from 6 to 10 p.m.
Sounds of the Season Parade on Saturday
Market Square including Forbes Avenue at Wood Street will close to vehicles from noon to 9 p.m.
Parade route closures: 11th Street from Smallman to Grant streets; Liberty Avenue from Grant to Commonwealth Place; Penn and Liberty avenues west of Stanwix Street; Stanwix from Fort Duquesne Boulevard to Liberty.
No parking after 9 a.m.: Forbes Avenue between Wood and Stanwix, McMasters Way, Market Street, Graeme Place, Market Square.
No parking after 4 p.m.: 11th Street between Smallman and Grant; Liberty Avenue between Grant Street and Commonwealth Place; Penn Avenue from Stanwix to Liberty; Stanwix between Fort Duquesne Boulevard and Liberty; Fort Duquesne Boulevard between Stanwix and Sixth Street.