Last month at the OpenStreetsPGH inaugural event, over 15,000 Pittsburghers came out to play on Penn Avenue and Butler Street. The city was alive with people cycling, dancing, running, hula hooping and unicycling.

This movement transforms 3.5 miles of roads into a car-free, city-wide playground spanning from Lawrenceville to Market Square, inviting everyone to get moving on one big open street. It’s a truly unique occasion, with the intention of making Pittsburgh a healthier, happier place to live.

Car-Free Travel

The car-free event encourages people to use active forms of transportation and engage in activities in spaces that are generally reserved for motor vehicles. This gives many city goers a much-needed break from their typical daily routines.

A staggering 86% of workers commute by automobile. Research has proven that this habit contributes negatively to your mental and physical health; it adds stress, reduces time spent on social interaction, and can even contribute to higher cholesterol, blood pressure, and higher BMI. Frequent commuting can also have negative effects on posture. Driving is a key trigger of back pain and contributes to the length of time people are inactive each day. Sitting down can also put twice as much pressure on the spine as standing up.

So instead of driving to grab brunch down in the Strip District this Sunday, try out Pittsburgh’s new bike share program Healthy Ride to get your body moving and to experience the city in a different way.

Unique Ways to Play

Of course, you don’t want to miss the fun activities, like Yoga in the Strip with The Yoga Hive or the 2, 4, and 6 mile training runs with Fittsburgh and Steel City Road Runners. However, there are plenty of unique ways to play this weekend to suit your tastes. Here are a few things to try:

  • Feel the Power of Play: Get ready for some awesome kinetic games! Find Some Flow wants to help Pittsburghers explore wellness through the power of play. Their pop-up event will run from 8:00am until noon at 23rd Street and Penn Avenue.
  • Dance Your Heart Out: OpenStreets has more than just Zumba. You can also put your dancing shoes on for Salsa in the Streets with Los Sabrosos at 11:15am in Market Square and experience Ballroom Dance with Arthur Murray at 10:45am at 8th Street & Penn Avenue.
  • Tour the City By Bike: Bring your own bike or rent one for the morning through Healthy Ride, just don’t miss the Bike the Burgh Cycling Tour from Downtown to Lawrenceville, leaving at 10:00am in front of the fountain at PPG Place.
  • Enjoy a (Roller) Disco Inferno: At 23rd Street & Penn Avenue, Steel City Roller Derby and Neville Roller Drome will lead a Roller Disco party from 8:00am until noon. Stop by to rent some skates and “turn the beat around” right on the street.

Check out the full schedule of events and experience your city in a new way this weekend. Come on down this Sunday and join us to walk, run, bike and skate through the streets of Pittsburgh. And don’t worry if you need to miss this month’s event; there will be one final day of fun on Sunday, July 26th.