Postal service to remove mailboxes along Pittsburgh marathon route
Around the Smiling Banana Leaf restaurant on Wednesday, police tacked up “No parking” signs, an early and expected preparation for the Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday.
But soon mailboxes, trash cans and newspaper boxes from the North Shore to Oakland, through East Liberty, Bloomfield and the Strip District — along the snaking 26.2-mile marathon route — will disappear.
“I didn't even think about that,” said Smiling Banana Leaf manager Alex Lysenko, whose Highland Park restaurant is on the route.
Taking city trash cans, blue U.S. Postal Service mailboxes and newspaper racks off the streets is a security tactic authorities used for the 2009 G-20 summit and Super Bowl and Stanley Cup celebrations in the city.
It's never been done for the marathon, said Public Safety Director Michael Huss, who outlined increased security measures for the race because of the bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line.
“I think everyone understands that we're looking to eliminate things that would hide an object,” Huss said.
Scouting the marathon route, Pittsburgh police officers identified boxes and bins in “high-density” areas, Huss said. Some removal started on Wednesday.
“It's not a major endeavor,” Public Works Director Rob Kaczorowski said of removing the trash cans. “We'll try and get them back in the next week.”
The cost to remove trash cans is small, said Kaczorowski, who would not say whether city workers might work overtime to do so.
Officials asked vendors to remove some bins and boxes, including some of the approximately 400 newspaper boxes along the route, Huss said.
The Tribune-Review will unbolt 38 newspaper boxes on Thursday night and store them in a distribution lot for the weekend, said Jeff Simmons, executive director of circulation for Trib Total Media. Employees will return the boxes in time for Monday's paper. Newspapers will go to stores near where the boxes were, he said.
The Trib removed newspaper boxes during the G-20 summit and for some championship celebrations, Simmons said. People wishing to mail letters in boxes along the route should do so by Friday, said Tad Kelley, spokesman for the postal service. About 60 mailboxes will be off the streets but will return by Monday. The postal service will store them at its North Shore mail processing plant, Kelley said.
Maintenance crews will work regularly scheduled shifts, not overtime, to remove them, Kelley said. The agency routinely removes collection boxes for repairs or replacement and has done so for marathons in other cities.
Aaron Aupperlee is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7986 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pittsburgh city vehicle repair delays elicit gripes about Cincinnati company
- Pitcairn police department 1st in Western Pennsylvania to carry Narcan for heroin overdoses
- Allegheny County police balk at plan for rangers to patrol parks
- Pittsburgh bishop throws cold water on ALS group, which uses embryonic stem cells
- Pittsburgh Parking Authority break set for holiday motorists
- Suit over too-tall Pittsburgh Parking Authority meters nearly settled
- Inbound Liberty Tunnel will reopen for morning rush
- Law targeting sexual violence prompts campuses to review, publish policies
- Vending business sold after pot-growing operation found in Lawrenceville
- Wilson Center event rentals thwarted by cooling system repairs
- Peters Township School District settles age, gender discrimination complaint