I was confused when Open Streets Pittsburgh announced that it was closing the streets in Hazelwood Green to cars and opening them to bicycles, roller skates, walkers, etc. Unlike the other locations they’ve done, not many cars use these streets and there aren’t any businesses on the site that people would come back to patronize after the festival.
However, it worked as a vehicle to increase awareness of the bike trail, plaza, and repurposed industrial buildings on the site. People who never or rarely come to Hazelwood, but come to Open Streets, came and participated. There were far more people than I’ve seen congregated in a single location since the beginning of the pandemic, which is also an exponential increase in the number of people I’ve seen in Hazelwood Green either pre-, post-, or during pandemic.
It was great to see the new plaza put to one of its intended uses as a concert venue with vendors on the paved portion. I arrived in time to grab some lunch from the tent for C&D’s Kitchen, a local Hazelwood restaurant, before finding a good seat to enjoy Jimmy Adler’s Blues Band and people watch. A young girl unconsciously stopped in her tracks to swing her hips to the music (not having the muscle coordination yet to do both). Across the green, a man kicked off his shoes to boogie on the grass.
I hope to enjoy many more such sights at events in this plaza.