The City of Pittsburgh has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and like other cities around the world, it has had to adapt to new and necessary constraints.
While millions upon millions of people have been affected by the pandemic, and businesses have suffered, the city of Pittsburgh has not let its city collapse. In fact, it is working with the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Management Agency, as well as the Allegheny County Health Department and Pennsylvania Department of Health to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The City of Pittsburgh is committed to continuing operations throughout this pandemic.
How Businesses Kept Going in Pittsburgh, PA
This pandemic has been a nightmare for the city to manage. Every department was faced with one question: How can we keep the business going amidst this crisis? For PGH Streets and Mobility Task Force, it came down to redesigning the city streets and re-conceiving transportation, mobility, and access in order to best support businesses and residents. The task force was created in 2017. As part of DOMI, the newest department of the City of Pittsburgh that is responsible for the transportation of people and goods throughout the city as well as managing the operation of and access to the right-of-way i.e sidewalks, curbs, streets, and bridges.
The city of Pittsburgh has had to face many challenges since the pandemic, but they have been able to keep business thriving through the help of a new program: the Temporary Outdoor Dining & Retail Program. “Curb is king” and this program has helped businesses provide outdoor space for dining and promote social distancing in Pittsburgh.
Online ordering, pickup or delivery, and/or curbside services have helped businesses in Pittsburgh keep afloat as well. Making curbside pick-up, delivery, and vehicle queuing vitally important for restaurants and retailers.
Temporary Outdoor Dining & Retail Program
The Pittsburgh City Council has given the green light for increased outdoor dining and retail opportunities in public spaces. The new standards guidelines give authority to the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI), through the issuance of licenses, to permit the use of a portion of the public right-of-way for food and retail services.
The new Outdoor Dining and Retail License streamlines regulations, standards, and procedures for outdoor dining or retail activities to better serve the businesses in Pittsburgh. This new order will also be putting into place new expectations for license holders. It’s to maintain accessibility, appearance, safety, and maintenance as a part of the privilege for the use of public space.
Permits For Businesses For Outdoor Dining In Pittsburgh
- The first permit is the Sidewalk Cafe Permit. By utilizing the existing sidewalk space in front of the businesses in Pittsburgh, they can turn it into an outdoor dining space.
- The second permit is the Parking Lane Cafe Permit. This permit lets the business close one or more parking spaces of the business for walking or queuing space, set up general public seating, or set up dedicated table service seating for the business.
- The third permit is the Full Street Closure Permit. This permit changes a part of a street or the full street, allowing vehicles but is restricted to one-way traffic. This in turn will create large spaces for outdoor walking, shopping, and dining.
- And the last permit is the Curbside Pick-up Zone Permit. This permit allows businesses in Pittsburgh to convert on-street parking spaces to designated parking zones for delivery drives and customer take-outs.
Now, as we have stated, there were still rules that businesses in Pittsburgh needed to abide by. Rules such as having a clear and accessible pedestrian pathway of at least 6 feet. The outdoor dining setup must not block any fire hydrants, emergency exits, and more. They also needed necessary approvals from the City’s Zoning and Permits, Licensure, and Inspection groups besides DOMI. If alcohol is served by the business, it must abide by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board regulations and more.
Electric Powered Micro-Mobility Devices
While the Temporary Outdoor Dining & Retail Program has helped businesses afloat, another issue become prominent. The use of Electric powered micro-mobility devices for restaurant deliveries. While not an issue before, due to the businesses setting up outdoor dining, these e-bicycles can be dangerous if handled incorrectly. And due to the prices of gasoline being high, more businesses use these e-bicycles as their mode of delivery.
Now DOMI has implemented a new law that does not wish to penalize people who use these devices but to provide guidance to those who use these electronic devices. This guidance shows the appropriate use and operation of powered micro-mobility devices for the City of Pittsburgh with a focus on promoting safe, harmonious operations in public spaces.
The DOMI guidance for micro-mobility devices is to ensure that these small-scale mobility devices with a 10 MPH speed are allowed on non-commercial sidewalks, paved multi-use trails, as well as roadways. However, those with 20 MPH speed, are only allowed on paved multi-use paths and trails, and also allowed on roadways. Lastly, those with 25 MPH micro-mobility devices, are only allowed on roadways and not on any right-of-way. This order from DOMI promotes safety but also provides support for low-emission, compact and affordable ways of travel.
In conclusion, even in the middle of a pandemic, businesses have been able to continue thriving in Pittsburgh, PA. The Temporary Outdoor Dining & Retail Program and instructions on electric-powered micro-mobility devices have helped enterprises Pittsburgh Businesses survive tough times. Looking for professional help with locksmith services? Look no further than Sherlock’s Locksmith! We provide 24/7 service areas covering all your lock and key needs. Their superior customer service makes them one of the top locksmiths in the area – so don’t hesitate to choose Sherlock’s Locksmith today! Together we can make sure Pittsburgh, PA continues to thrive during these challenging times.
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