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Reduce congestion Downtown and on the North Shore on Steelers' game days by attracting fans to park in other parts of the city

Close part of Penn Avenue in the Strip District to vehicles, attracting more guests to park there rather than Downtown or on the North Shore

Photo of Robert Lincoln
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Congestion in downtown Pittsburgh and the North Shore is a serious issue when the Steelers are playing home games, due to the huge influx of out of town drivers looking for parking near Heinz Field. If a portion of Penn Avenue from 17th to 20th Street in the Strip District were closed to car traffic on game days and instead featured an array of vendors and pre-game concerts, or other fan experiences, it could draw out of town visitors to the area before the games. Incorporating this solution with the proposed street car from the Strip District to the Wood St. T-Station could divert many of the would-be Downtown or North Shore parkers to the Strip District, reducing the burden of game day traffic in those neighborhoods. Until the street car is developed, a public private partnership could be utilized with the autonomous vehicle companies doing testing in the Strip District, such as Argo AI, to shuttle individuals to the station. This would have significant impacts on traffic congestion during some of the most popular events in the city, providing a better game-day experience for anyone who would find themselves in said areas. The solution would also compliment many of the goals stated in the City's "Strip District Transportation and Land Use Plan", aiding in its implementation. 

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Out of town Steelers fans going to games at Heinz Field would be drawn to park in the Strip District rather than Downtown or the North Shore, and then utilize a system of public transit to get to the game. Until the public transit system in question (a proposed streetcar running along Smallman St. from the Strip to the Wood St. T-Station) is developed, other solutions could be implemented such as autonomous shuttles or special game day PAT routes frequency increases (i.e. Route 88 that could take you from the Strip District to the T-Station).

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

The team is composed of individuals who live in Pittsburgh, and work in Downtown and Oakland in fields ranging from NGOs to financial services.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

We would implement the solution on one chosen game day in either the 2018 or 2019 football season, and use the funds given to promote the event, attract various vendors and performances, develop a partnership with a shuttle service. and compensate the necessary police officers and other staff for their time. We would use our positions and networks in the city to acquire the necessary permits and find suitable vendors and performers to make the event a success. Long-term, the solution would pay for itself by drawing economic activity to the area, in a manner similar to the Squirrel Hill Night Market or the Jam on Walnut events that occur each summer. The additional tax revenue that the city generates from the event, especially if it occurred regularly, would justify the expenses of police presence and performers.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

The success of the pilot would be measured by the number of visitors the pedestrian mall is able to attract, the increase in parking in the area compared to Steelers' game days without the event, and the number of riders on either the streetcar or the shuttles servicing the area.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Aly Stone

Hi Robert, I'll just chime in here to let you know that we have some challenge workshops scheduled for the near future, which you may find helpful as you develop your idea. Check out the calendar at for specific dates!

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