Downtown Pittsburgh Traffic A Mess As Protesters Take To Streets

English: The U.S. Steel Tower, located in Pitt...

English: The U.S. Steel Tower, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, with the new corporate logo of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Traffic jams around U.S. Steel Tower delayed Monday-morning commuters as hundreds of activists staged a loud protest against UPMC.

Pittsburgh police said they expect more demonstrators to arrive during the day. An estimated 600 had gathered by about 11:30 a.m., said police spokeswoman Sonya Toler. None had been arrested or cited as police blocked both northbound lanes of Grant Street at Steel Tower to handle the group.

“We have a bit of gridlock throughout town,” said Toler, who described the crowd as “mannerable” and “well behaved.” Police will decide later when to reopen the Grant Street lanes, though they were trying to reopen at least one as soon as they can, she said.

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Families Flock To Downtown Pittsburgh For Annual Light Up Night Festivities

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They filtered into the city, slowly at first, late on Friday afternoon, some pushing strollers, others holding hands and huddling under umbrellas.

They were determined to celebrate Pittsburgh’s annual Light Up Night.

Before nightfall, the rain stopped, the crowds swelled and Pittsburgh did not disappoint, putting on a show that began with the lighting of eight Christmas trees across Downtown and ending with a fireworks spectacular.

The holiday kickoff got under way early in the afternoon at the courthouse, where Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald lit LED lights installed at the top of the 325-foot tower. A crowd gathered at the corner of Grant Street and Forbes Avenue at noon to watch the tower shine red and green for the first time in its 125-year history.

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