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Man wounded in South Side shooting hours after start of new safety initiative

PITTSBURGH — It’s been pretty busy here in South Side. But as we’ve seen more people coming to East Carson Street over the summer — especially on the weekends — it’s led to a rise in crime.

That’s why starting last night Pittsburgh police and public safety officials have put in place new traffic patterns to help stop the violence.

However — just hours after those measures were put into effect — there was yet another incident here last night.

Early this morning  — at around 2:40 a.m. — officers were called to Wharton Street in South Side where a man with multiple gunshot wounds was found in a parking lot.

We’re told he was rushed to the hospital, and — at last check — he’s in critical condition.

“There was an altercation in the vehicle, and somebody tried to intervene, and sadly they were shot. You know, this is just another example of senseless violence that’s going on,” Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert said.

Following violence week after week, city leaders say they need to clear people out of the area and make room for officers and emergency responders to get through, if needed.

So starting at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, inbound East Carson street will be closed from South 10th to South 18th streets. Uber and Lyft drivers will not be allowed in that stretch for pick-up or drop-off.

“We can’t be everywhere. But trying to be as visible as possible, we put additional lighting in places, so we are going to do everything we can to keep people safe,” explained Chief Schubert.

Last night, it didn’t take long for cars to be towed and tickets to be written for violators. Neighbors say they’re hopeful these initiatives will help.

“I think shutting down the street will be much safer for the people who come down here at nighttime to hang out,” explained South Side resident Sylvia Beach.

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However, some business owners are nervous they will lose customers over this closure.

“I think it’ll hurt because people come by here — they see it. If they have to go one way, they’ll have to go all the way to the other end to turn around and park, and say ‘Hey, it’s not worth it,’” Dave Root, a business owner in the area said.

Public safety leaders are pleading for patience, saying the South Side cannot be scarred by any more violence without giving this a shot.

The Pittsburgh police chief also said that college students are coming back in the fall will be a factor and they are already making plans for that.

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