Open Streets Pittsburgh will hold its first free event downtown on Sunday, July 20, rain or shine, from 8 a.m. to noon
Market Street to the Clemente Bridge will be open for everyone to enjoy with activities including yoga, Zumba, dance classes, a climbing wall, and much more.
“The Pittsburgh region is becoming such a vibrant, energetic community with residents and visitors that want to see, do and experience more,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Open Streets Pittsburgh really allows us to open up opportunities for everyone to enjoy our downtown, if even just for a few hours. We were proud to partner on this project, and see the opportunity to participate in physical activities as part of our Live Well Allegheny commitment.”
Led by BikePittsburgh, Open Streets is part of a movement to allow cities to seek innovative ways to achieve environmental, social, economic, and public health goals. The project, a collaboration of the Alliance for Biking & Walking and The Street Plans Collaborative, has reached over 100 cities in the United States. Locally, the Open Streets Committee included participation by Allegheny County, the City of Pittsburgh, cityLAB, Let’s Move Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. Open Streets Pittsburgh has received funding from the Heinz Endowments and Colcom Foundation.
“Biking is something enjoyable for any age or income, and Pittsburgh is making a name for itself in increasing safe biking opportunities for all,” Mayor William Peduto said. “From Open Streets to protected bike lanes and our growing network of bike lanes and trails, there is no reason why more of us shouldn’t be climbing onto bikes and riding. In fact, on Tuesday I just bought my first bike I’ve had since I was a kid.”
The Alliance for Biking & Walking and The Street Plans Collaborative teamed in earlier 2010 to found The Open Streets Project to reach local advocates and new open streets organizers to provide more opportunities across North America. The project has a goal of sharing information about open streets and increasing the number, size, and frequency of initiatives occurring across North America.
In Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh is the second city to offer such an opportunity with Philadelphia closing its 2.7 mile Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway as a weekly ritual for cyclists, runners, walkers and skaters.
“OpenStreetsPGH is an opportunity for people to experience Pittsburgh’s amazing streets in a new way,” said Bike Pittsburgh executive director Scott Bricker. “By opening the streets to people and closing the streets to automobile traffic, we will create a space for everyone to dance, walk, run, play, skate and be social with their neighbors.”
This year’s event is an exciting snapshot of next year. In 2015, OpenStreetsPGH will occur on three Sundays over a multi-mile course increasing the opportunities for Pittsburghers to explore active transportation and active living.
For more information about Open Streets, sign up for the email list at BikePGH.org/OpenStreets. Everyone who signs up for the email list will be entered to win a free Fairdale Flyer bicycle.