Mayor Bill Peduto Says Big Changes Coming Slowly To Pittsburgh As Allegheny County Enters 'Yellow' Phase
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- With Allegheny County moving to the 'yellow' phase on Friday, many are wondering what that means for the City of Pittsburgh.
Mayor Bill Peduto says big changes are coming, but they'll come very slowly.
Peduto says that the city is still putting together guidelines on what Code Yellow means for us.
He predicts a lot more people on the streets and in parks -- and in the not too distant future, we'll see outdoor dining and shopping.
Most people have had enough of staying home. As of tomorrow, things are finally going too loosen up.
"You'll see more people out. You'll see more people in parks, public spaces. You'll see more people as business become open," said Peduto.
In a wide ranging interview, the mayor said that he sees a gradual opening up of the city, but urges everyone to remain cautious and stay safe. He also reminds them to continue social distancing, with one of the biggest changes in the coming weeks being outside dining.
"Neighborhoods that choose to close down a street in order to allow businesses to move their tables into the street and have outdoor cafes will be able to do so," said Peduto.
That is still weeks away and Peduto wants neighborhood consensus before it happens.
One proposal is to shut down Walnut Street in Shadyside, but it's run into resistance from merchants. Peduto is still optimistic it can happen.
"The businesses that don't work in the hospitality and restaurant business could have sidewalk sales all summer long," said Peduto.
As for who is going to enforce Code Yellow, Peduto says that Pittsburgh Police will serve in an advisory capacity, and that the state will do the enforcing.
"The state has the ability to take your license away. The state has the ability to work to make sure that anything that would happen on your property would not be insured. The insurance company would not have to pay. The state has a lot of rights," Peduto said.
The mayor took his critics head on, saying he is following the advice of infectious disease experts -- the scientists.
Peduto added that he's running for re-election next year and that the voters can have their say about him then.
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