Thousands of bicyclists and pedestrians are expected in Pittsburgh on Sunday for Bike Pittsburgh’s popular OpenStreetsPGH program.
Roads will be closed in Downtown, the Strip District and Lawrenceville.
Traffic will be prohibited from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Market Street from Market Square to Liberty Avenue, on Sixth Street from Liberty Avenue to Penn Avenue, on Penn Avenue from Sixth Street to 34th Street and on Butler Street in from 34th Street to 52nd Street.
On-street parking will be prohibited from 3 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the city will tow any vehicles left on those streets.
The streets will be open exclusively to people walking, biking and using other non-motorized contraptions.
Vehicles can cross the 4-mile route at 12 intersections.
Bike Pittsburgh said an average of 38,000 people attend OpenStreetsPGH events and each generates about $570,000 for local businesses. Shop owners contacted by the Tribune-Review Wednesday offered a mixed review.
Megan Lindsey, an owner of Franktuary hot dog shop on Butler Street in Lawrenceville, said her brunch business typically doubles.
“It has a huge impact on us in a positive way,” she said. “It’s always a great day for us.”
But Jimmy Sunseri, an owner of Jimmy and Nino’s in the Strip, said the closed streets scare off regular customers. He said he’ll likely see an uptick in sales of bread and pepperoni rolls, but little else.
“People who come down for it seem to enjoy themselves, but it’s just not very good for business,” he said. “People on bicycles do not shop. You have to realize it’s totally inconvenient to ride a bicycle and try to carry packages.”
Magid Akcar, manager of Salem’s Market and Grill on Penn Avenue in the Strip District, agreed.
“We see some new customers, but at the same time, it’s a problem for our other customers,” he said.
This is the fifth year that Bike Pittsburgh has hosted Open Streets. The final event of the year is scheduled for July 28 along a 4-mile route through Downtown, Uptown and South Side.