Background

The Strip District is an iconic business district, tourist destination, and growing residential community that connects Downtown Pittsburgh to Lawrenceville and neighborhoods East of Lawrenceville including Bloomfield, Garfield, Friendship, East Liberty, Shadyside and beyond. This project will work in conjunction with other developments and planned improvements in the Strip District to continue the work laid out in the 2022 Strip District Mobility Plan.

The Strip District, with its popular retail, dining, and residential destinations, draws people from around the city and the region. With large numbers of pedestrians and cyclists traveling through the Strip District it is critical to ensure the safety of vulnerable road users.

What is a Road Diet

A road diet is a roadway reconfiguration meant to improve safety conditions, calm traffic, and provide better mobility access for all road users by reducing the number of travel lanes to better match the utility of the road.

Penn Avenue is currently a two lane, one-way road between 31st Street and 16th Street. Traffic volumes indicate a disconnect between the width of the road and the traffic volumes, leading to increased speeds, unsafe behaviors, and increased bike and pedestrian conflicts. By reducing the travel lanes from two to one, DOMI anticipates being able to reduce crashes by up to 45% while also improving the user experience for more vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists.

Given the dynamic environment in the core of the Strip District between 21st Street and 16th Street, this road diet will stop at 22nd Street.

Safety Summary

In the five year period between 2018 and 2022 there were 115 accidents on Penn Ave. Of the 115 accidents, 45 resulted in injury and 13 involved pedestrians. To put this into the context of the other corridors in the Strip District, Penn Avenue has the highest ratio of crashes to traffic volume. It is the least travelled corridor, and second in crash volume.

The section of Penn Avenue between 27th and 30th Street is the second most dangerous section of street in the City for pedestrians, and third most dangerous for all road users. As the Strip District continues to develop into a more residential neighborhood, the number of pedestrian/driver conflicts is likely to increase.

The Safety Vision

16th Street to 22nd Street:


22nd Street to 31st Street:

  • Reduce inbound lanes from 2 to 1.
  • Maintain parking on both sides of the street.
  • Establish new loading zones based on business needs, moving loading activities out of the travel lanes
  • Inbound bike facility


31st Street to 34th Street:

  • Maintain one lane inbound
  • Maintain one lane outbound
  • Add new inbound bike facilities.