Heavy Security for G-20 Summit to Disrupt Downtown

By Greenwood, Jill King | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 20, 2009 | Go to article overview

Heavy Security for G-20 Summit to Disrupt Downtown


Greenwood, Jill King, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Security will be tight for September's Group of 20 summit and will likely disrupt the lives of those who work, live and do business Downtown.

A "very secure, fenced-in perimeter" will be established on the streets immediately surrounding the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, where leaders of the world's 20 biggest economies will meet Sept. 24 and 25, said Joanna Doven, spokeswoman for Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

The Secret Service security plan bars vehicles from coming within several blocks of the Downtown building, but pedestrians will be allowed within a secure zone if they pass through metal detectors set up at two intersections: Penn Avenue and Ninth Street, and Liberty Avenue and 10th Street.

Residents will be able to come and go "at their leisure," and businesses will be allowed to accept deliveries within certain time frames during the day, said Doven.

The Secret Service restrictions Downtown:

Secure Restricted Zone: Beginning at 8 p.m. Sept. 23 until 8 p.m. Sept. 25, near the convention center. The "restricted pedestrian area" will run along Seventh Street from the Allegheny River to Fort Duquesne Boulevard, along Ninth Street to French Street to Penn Avenue to Smallman Street. Pedestrians will only be allowed to enter this perimeter at checkpoints that will be placed at Ninth Street and Penn Avenue and 10th Street at Liberty Avenue. All pedestrians will be scanned with metal detectors.

A second perimeter will go from Seventh Street to Liberty Avenue, out to Seventh Avenue to Grant Street, onto Liberty Avenue to 13th Street to the Allegheny River. Pedestrians can enter this perimeter freely and will not be subject to scanning, but vehicles will not be allowed to enter either of the two security perimeters, said Secret Service Agent Darrin Blackford.

Prohibited Items: Within the secure restricted zone they will include firearms, ammunition, explosives, weapons of any kind and any other items that have the potential to be a safety hazard. Surrendered items will not be returned.

Water Security: The Coast Guard Captain of the Port will establish a security zone on the rivers from 6 a.m. Sept. 24 until 10 p.m. Sept. 25. Navigation will be restricted from the West End over the Ohio River to the South Shore Marina on the Allegheny River to the 10th Street Bridge on the Monongahela River. …

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