PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Fort Duquesne Boulevard will partially close for five months starting on Tuesday and transform into an event space. Downtown goers are concerned about how the closure will affect parking and traffic.
Buckle up for traffic changes on Fort Duquesne Boulevard. The westbound lane from Stanwix Street to Seventh Street will be closed from May 11 to October 7.READ MORE: Elton John Will Make Tour Stop At PNC Park In 2022
“That’s going to be a pain. That’s going to be a giant pain,” said Jeremy Reynolds, who was visiting downtown Sunday.
The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership will use the space to host events. Restaurants nearby hope this will increase foot traffic and speed up business for them.
“We are happy for anything downtown is doing so any event helps, any additional people who are invited to downtown helps,” said Martina Hanoglu, owner of Alihan’s Mediterranean Cuisine.
Downtown goers and businesses wonder how the partial closure and events will affect parking.
“I think the parking would definitely be a problem,” said Savon Wilson, who was a customer at Alihan’s.
“I can’t imagine that’ll be great for parking, and I was going to say I imagine they’re going to increase their rates,” said Kyle Morgan, a downtown goer.
“The parking will probably not be that easy for customers who are used to going from that way, but we are accessible from Penn Avenue so it’s all good,” said Hanoglu.
They also wonder if it will cause headaches for drivers.
“That’s going to make it a lot trickier to get down here,” said Reynolds.
“Now, instead of having a steady flow of traffic, which is already sometimes backed up in the mornings, you’re going to have extra people who didn’t even know this was happening and now they have to find another way to work,” said Morgan.READ MORE: Firefighters Rescue Dog Trapped Under A Shed In South Park Township
The street will transform into the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s Allegheny Overlook pop-up park. There will be a temporary park-like experience along with art and music throughout the summer.
It will also house the Riverside stage for Three Rivers Arts Festival.
The ten-day festival begins on June 4.
The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership said in a statement:
“This is a unique opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind temporary park-like experience that leverages one of Pittsburgh’s most iconic views, and has been made possible due to reduced traffic volumes, that are significantly lower than ever before. Plans are also in place to manage traffic flow as volumes increase or additional events occur.”
This inconvenience on the road could drive downtown life in the right direction.
“I think that will definitely be good, especially for business like this where the foods good, the people are good,” said Wilson.
“On the bright side, it’s good that more events are happening so it’s going to be great to be around people more again, now that we’re getting out of COVID,” said Reynolds.
The City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) announcement said:
“Thank you for your cooperation during this time and we hope there will be only minor inconveniences. If you have any questions regarding this closure, please contact the City’s Response Center by dialing 311 or 412-255-2621.”MORE NEWS: GOP Voting Law Bill Clears State House Amid Wolf Veto Threat
The city said westbound drivers should take the detour from Seventh Street to Penn Avenue to Stanwix Street.