OpenStreetsPGH 2015. Photo by Tracy Certo.

When the streets open, so do the options. Jump on a bike, lace up your roller skates,  join a group run or Zumba class. Or meet up for brunch or coffee at a sidewalk table and watch the fun. No matter what your speed, the return of OpenStreetsPGH will offer something for everyone.

OpenStreetsPGH is a car-free event that encourages people to use active forms of transportation and engage in activities in spaces generally reserved for motor vehicles. The free, hugely popular and family-friendly event returns three Sundays this summer: May 29, June 26 and July 31st. “What we are trying to do with Open Streets is showcase Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods and how interconnected they really are,” says Mike Carroll, event director at Bike Pittsburgh. “This is a chance to explore these neighborhoods in a whole new way.”

OpenStreetsPGH is not a race, and as such there is no “starting line.” Participants are invited to join in anywhere along the route and streets are closed to through traffic with limited automobile crossings. For the first two events, the 3.5-mile route is the same as last year: the stretch from Market Square and along Penn Avenue from Downtown to the Strip District, and Butler Street from Doughboy Square to 46th Street in Lawrenceville. View a downloadable route map here.

In the final event of the summer, OpenStreetsPGH will take place in two new neighborhoods: the West End and North Side. Market Square will remain the anchor point so people can easily park, take the T or bus to attend the event. This new route will include the West End Bridge where you can stop to take in one of Pittsburgh’s most iconic views. Sign up for updates from OpenStreetsPGH to see the new route when it is announced or keep on eye on Facebook or Twitter.

If you were among the 40,000 people who attended last year, you know the event is really special. “I like to think of it like a choose your own adventure book. You might end up with an ice cream cone in hand or dancing in a Zumba class,” says Carroll. “If you are open to the possibility of choosing your adventure as you go about your day, you are going to have a fun time.” To get a full picture of last year’s events check out this video.

Many favorite activities from last year will be back, including Seven Springs interactive snowboarding, Zumba classes, hula hooping and unicycling. Some of Pittsburgh’s best fitness providers will be teaching classes so this is your chance to sample a variety of exercise options like cross-fit or yoga. Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s Yoga in the Square will be kicking off in Market Square during the May 29th event and will run every Sunday through September 4th at 10 a.m.

See Pittsburgh in a different light. Discover a new business or shop at one of your favorites—more than 40 businesses are already committed to providing specials for OpenStreetsPGH.

The May 29th program schedule will be coming soon. For event details and to donate to OpenStreetsPGH visit

A collaboration of the Alliance for Biking & Walking and The Street Plans Collaborative, the Open Streets initiative is part of the global Ciclovia movement, which develops innovative ways for urban centers to achieve environmental, social, economic and public health goals. Locally, the project is spearheaded by Bike Pittsburgh, which sees OpenStreetsPGH as a way to connect neighborhoods with safe streets. OpenStreetsPGH 2016 is sponsored by Highmark and the Colcom Foundation.

Maya Haptas has an M.A. in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University and is a freelance writer covering various topics from architecture and urban design to wellness and skateboarding. She is currently the assistant editor of Bigfoot Skateboarding Magazine.