Open Streets' Final Event Of The Season To Include North Side, West End

Jul 29, 2016

A bicyclist rides along Penn Avenue's bike lane Downtown on Wednesday, July 27, 2016.
Credit Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Open Streets Pittsburgh’s second season ends Sunday with a new route.

This weekend’s territory spans 3.5 miles through Downtown, the North Side and West End, closing vehicle traffic along part of Penn Avenue, the Roberto Clemente Bridge, Western Avenue and the West End Bridge between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

“The idea is really catching on here in Pittsburgh, and it’s quickly being adopted as kind of a tradition,” said Ngani Ndimbie, communications manager for Bike Pittsburgh, which hosts the event. 

A map of Sunday's Open Streets route, which goes through Downtown, the North Side and West End.
Credit Open Streets

Open Streets started in 2015 and takes place on the last Sundays of May, June and July. The event offers a bike and pedestrian route free of vehicle traffic, and previously followed Penn Avenue through Downtown, the Strip District and Lawrenceville.

This Sunday is the first time Open Streets is including new neighborhoods.

“We’re going to make it so it’s incredibly convenient for people who live in the West End and North Side to take advantage of … streets that are open and transformed and really brought to life with people,” Ndimbie said.

Along the route, participants can also join in any of 12 free fitness classes. Pittsburgh’s Squonk Opera will also perform and the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society will host a puppy carnival. Ndimbie said HealthyRide is offering a temporary pop-up bike share station in the West End for the duration of the event.

Roughly 20,000 people took part in Open Streets in May and another 16,000 last month. Ndimbie said she’s hoping for a similar showing on Sunday and thinks the West End Bridge will entice people thinking about riding.

“It’s going to be really awesome to have it to be open for anyone to meander, to stroll, to skip, to cartwheel across it,” Ndimbie said. “And it’s obviously one of the most terrific views.”

Ndimbie said she hopes the event can expand to include more neighborhoods next year, especially ones that  may seem isolated from each other, "neighborhoods that could really benefit from being connected,” she said.

More information on the route and events is available on the Open Streets' website.