Skip to comments.Congrates to civilized Steelers fans
Posted on 02/08/2006 5:33:43 AM PST by upier
Steelers crowds overwhelm trolleys, buses Wednesday, February 08, 2006
By Samantha Bennett and Joe Grata, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
John Beale, Post-Gazette The North Allegheny High School marching band -- one of seven to perform in the parade -- makes its way down Fifth Avenue. Click photo for larger image.
The Bus made it Downtown just fine. But many parade-goers and commuters who tried to get there on Port Authority buses and trolleys hit a Steel Curtain.
At the Dormont Light Rail Transit station at 9:47 a.m., a man complained that three inbound trains had passed him by, full of people dressed in black and gold. The next trolley was due a few minutes before 10, but by 10:04 it hadn't arrived.
Some patrons, fed up with being bypassed, crossed to the outbound side and rode toward South Hills Village to catch less-crowded trains toward the start of the line.
People who boarded at South Hills Village reported that cars were already standing-room-only by the time they pulled out of Castle Shannon.
Fans on platforms waved Terrible Towels at the lucky ones whizzing by on jammed trolleys. But as more trains pulled into stations but didn't open their doors, those left out started banging on the sides. People inside waved back, flaunting their status.
A common theme was "We should have left earlier."
Anyone trying to get off before a trolley reached Downtown was scolded, because the open doors posed a risk that others might try to squeeze on board.
When one woman yelled, "Some of us have to work today," riders booed her.
By mid-morning, the Port Authority was operating 16 two-car trains at a time when, on regular weekdays, only single cars are running.
"We're getting crushed," authority spokesman Bob Grove said. "We're calling in extra operators, asking the morning shift to stay overtime, doing everything we can. It's a capacity issue."
Some people scored free rides. If operators tried to collect money from casual riders without passes, delays would have even longer, further stretching riders' patience.
The Port Authority bus system was gang-tackled, too. Mr. Grove said ridership was "very, very heavy'' and bus drivers as well were being asked to work overtime.
Buses were having difficulty because of closed streets and heavy pedestrian traffic.
"We're dealing with detours on top of detours and making adjustments on the fly," Mr. Grove said. "We're doing the best we can."
For good measure, the Monongahela Incline was out of service until yesterday afternoon, because of a breakdown Monday night that left seven passengers stranded about 25 feet short of the lower station, across from Station Square.
Authority police called in Pittsburgh fire and rescue units, whose personnel used a ladder to reach the side of the car, break a window and pull out passengers one-by-one.
One exasperated commuter gave up on the LRT system yesterday morning and drove to town, finding Banksville Road and the Parkway West surprisingly clear.
But after parking at First Avenue Garage, she was unable to board a trolley to her Downtown destination. The T platform there was black and gold, heavy with kids who looked like they should have been in school and parents who looked like they should have been at work.
Two trains rolled up about 10 minutes apart. They stopped and the doors opened, but were so packed that no one could board the first and only three were able to squeeze into the other.
People gave up and walked toward Fifth Avenue and Point State Park.
Some who decided to drive in got a surprise when they reached the heart of the city.
Downtown parking facilities were already near capacity with regulars. Operators of many private lots took advantage, charging "special event" rates of up to $20.
The parade festivities broke up well before the evening rush hour, but getting out wasn't a whole lot easier than getting in.
The Gateway Center subway platform was still jammed with fans nearly two hours after the festivities ended.
Thousands lined up in Point State Park after the parade, waiting to cross the jammed Fort Duquesne Bridge walkway.
More than one parking lot attendant suggested that Saturday might have been a better day to hold the celebration.
>>>More than one parking lot attendant suggested that Saturday might have been a better day to hold the celebration.>>>
Yes, what is it with these people???
They should have held Coretta King's funeral on Saturday too. I guess these major cities don't care if they inconvenience the entire population on the decision of a few people.
There are people still left in Pittsburgh?
(Just kidding! It's a great town).
Same thing happpened in Chicago for the Sox celebration. All the trains from the suburbs were jammed. I don't think anyone couldn't get on, though, although I felt sorry for the parents with kids.
That's a great picture!
Good lord! Do they have a minimum waist size for NFL refs? That pic shows about a 45".
The Pittsburg fans were well behaved? Wait until they see the cartoons of Terry Bradshaw!