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07/06/06 11:45 AM ET

Tips for fans coming to Pittsburgh

Planning will help those partaking in All-Star Week

PITTSBURGH -- More than 200,000 fans are expected to descend on the Steel City over the five days of All-Star Week. Road closings, detours, river restrictions and a city that can't simply shut down for the Midsummer Classic will make for a somewhat hectic downtown experience. So we're here to help. Here's a quick guide to make life a little easier for those heading to Pittsburgh.

What roads should I avoid?
Don't bother trying to drive into the ballpark's immediate vicinity. Not with the following street closures in effect until late Tuesday or early Wednesday: Mazeroski Way from General Robinson to cul-de-sac; North Shore Drive from Tony Dorsett Drive to Mazeroski Way; General Robinson Street from Tony Dorsett Drive to Sandusky Street; Mazeroski Way from Reedsdale/LaCock Street to the river cul-de-sac; Federal Street from LaCock Street to Fort Duquesne Boulevard; Isabella Street from Sandusky Street to Federal Street; and Art Rooney Avenue from Tony Dorsett Drive to Reedsdale Street.

A number of downtown streets also are shut down. Those include: Tenth Street Bypass from Fort Pitt/Fort Duquesne Bridges to Eleventh Street; Eleventh Street from Smallman Street to Fort Duquesne Boulevard.; French Way and Garrison Place (except to local business traffic).

And on Tuesday from noon to 5 p.m. ET, Sixth Street between Penn Avenue and Fort Duquesne Boulevard, and Fort Duquesne Boulevard between Seventh Street and Stanwix Street, will be off limits to non-worker vehicles.

Detour signs will be posted throughout the city.

What about the safety zone?
From Friday through Tuesday, a designated "safety zone" will surround the Convention Center, in which limited traffic will be permitted inside. Only access to parking garages and delivery vehicles will be allowed inside a boundary that stretches from Ninth Street to Eleventh Street, and from the Allegheny River to Penn Avenue. Any car entering the zone will be subject to search.

Where should I park?
Parking will be very limited near the ballpark over the next few days. And on Monday and Tuesday, there will be no parking on the North Shore. The best places for fans to park will be across the river in the downtown area. There are seven city-owned garages and plenty of downtown private lots within walking distance of the stadium.

Is there any alternative transportation?
Looking to avoid the downtown mess? The Allegheny County Port Authority has enhanced its service this week, providing additional bus and rail services from all directions. For an updated All-Star week schedule and list of routes, visit www.ridegold.com or call (412) 442-2000. Local taxi services also will be greatly expanded.

Can I take my boat on the river behind PNC Park during the Home Run Derby?
Yes -- and any day, for that matter -- but there are restrictions in effect on the Allegheny River between the Seventh Street Bridge and the Fort Duquesne Bridge. The river will be divided into thirds parallel to the field, with non-motor boats (25 feet and under) occupying the area closet to the park, motor boats (25 feet and under) in the middle and all other vessels in the back. There will be no anchoring, as boats must be in motion at all times.

What can't I bring into PNC Park?
Fans will face most of the same gate procedures as at any other game at PNC Park. The list of banned items includes metal containers, bags larger than 16x16x8 inches, aluminum cans, glass bottles, Thermoses, hard-sided coolers and any type of pocket knives. Metal detectors, on loan from the Pittsburgh Public School system, will be set up at each entrance.

Are there still tickets left for any All-Star events?
Monday's Home Run Derby and Tuesday's All-Star Game have long been sold out, but tickets still remain for All-Star Sunday, which includes the XM Satellite Futures Game and the Legends and Celebrity Softball Game. Upper-deck seats ($20 and $30) still remain for the day, and they can be purchased online at pirates.com or by phone at 888-FANFEST.

Still want to get into Monday and Tuesday's festivities? Your best bet in snagging tickets without blowing the kids' college fund is to hold out until just before the event's start time and head over to the designated scalping area at Tony Dorsett and North Shore drives.

David Briggs is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.