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Closed To Cars, Open To People: BikePGH Hosts 5th OpenStreetsPGH In Hazelwood

HAZELWOOD (KDKA) -- On Sunday, roads were closed and the streets were taken over by everybody who wasn't driving a car.

BikePGH put on their fifth OpenStreetsPGH where they hope to allow pedestrians to be more comfortable on the roads.

Biking, walking, skating -- anything but driving was allowed along a 2-mile stretch of road in Hazelwood.

"We open the streets for pedestrians and cyclists to explore places that normally aren't the safest or most comfortable part of the road for them," said Alex Shewczyk with BikePGH.

Alex Shewczyk said OpenStreetsPGH allows people to experience roads in areas they haven't been able to before.

"Letting people realize that the road is for more than cars, it's for people on bikes, it's for pedestrians and to give people space when they do share those streets," Shewczyk added.

The road opened to families with a wellness expo, fitness classes, food, and an area for children.

Biker Robert Dudash helped set up the very first OpenStreetsPGH and has seen more people take advantage.

"I think what it does is bring a lot more people out who maybe aren't used to bicycling a lot and exposes them to new areas," Dudash said.

Daniel Mascio is one of those people.

He grew up in Homewood and says Hazelwood was never on his radar until a Zumba class popped up at this event.

"I feel like the more events they have down in this area, the more likely someone is to explore an area they might not have been comfortable exploring," Mascio said.

Normally, Shewczyk says the event attracts around 20,000 people in a day, but they're also usually in bigger areas.

BikePGH says the goal is to change the status quo of Pittsburgh streets, for just a day.

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