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Rock 'n' roll ain't noise pollution -- it's the regular kind 

If you're one of the thousands of concert-goers who spent two-and-a-half hours crawling toward Burgettstown to see Tom Petty in June, you're already well aware of the hassle that can accompany seeing a big show at the Post-Gazette Pavilion. As you inched along in the traffic, you may have noticed the exhaust billowing up from the endless line of vehicles and thought, "I don't care what kind of bio-fuel bus Petty's driving -- this can't be good for the environment."

While a number of bands are trying to make touring more "green," a recent study commissioned by Radiohead determined that "97 percent of the environmental damage done by the group's 2003 tour ... was fan-related," according to a June 12 Rolling Stone article. That damage is mainly fans traveling to and from large venues often located far from urban centers.

So while Dave Matthews may have his "green rider," and while the Post-Gazette Pavilion now operates a "Green Nation" recycling project, it's really on you. So when you're planning your trip to see, say, The Police and Elvis Costello on July 28, here are some suggestions to help reduce your rock 'n' roll pollution -- and hopefully save at the pump and have a better time.

1) Carpool. It's a no-brainer, but carpooling is the easiest way to cut emissions, save money and -- with a couple more friends in tow -- have a better time playing air-drums along with Rush. More people along also makes it cost-effective to pony up the $25 for VIP parking, which saves tons of time and frustration both at the beginning and (especially) the end of the night. The Post-Gazette Pavilion has also offered special premier-parking upgrades for carpoolers (details were not available at press time).

2) Leave early. Rolling out "right after work" contributes to delays and pollution by compounding concert traffic with the regular rush hour. Leave an hour or two earlier, and spend the time tailgating before the show -- you might even catch the opening act for once!

3) Take the bus. Yes! The Pavilion operates a bus service that will handle all the driving for you. Those in the city may find the Station Square pick-up most convenient, but you can also climb aboard in Monroeville, Greensburg and North Huntington, as well as at the Waterfront, Waterworks Plaza, Robinson Towne Center and the McKnight Road Applebee's. Round-trip tickets are $15 plus service charges -- probably comparable to what you'd spend on gas and parking -- but you do have to get them in advance: Deadlines are noon the day before the concert at ticket outlets, and noon two weeks before for online purchase. For more information, call 724-947-7400.

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