Highland Park’s Reservoir Drive Goes Car-Free for the Summer

First Social Distancing Fitness Zone Implemented by the City of Pittsburgh in Response to COVID-19

Back in March, the parks and trails were getting packed with people looking for exercise and recreation during the first couple of weeks of the Coronavirus lockdown. To address the need for more space to socially distance we came out with the concept of Social Distancing Fitness Zones – places within parks for people to get a breath of fresh air and exercise while being able to easily stay at least six feet apart from others doing the same.

On April 4 and 5, the City piloted the idea in partnership with Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. The pilot went well, but the City didn’t state its intention to pursue any more closures until May 15, when the Mayor’s Office issued a press release stating that at least three parks (Highland Park, West End Park, and Sheraden Park) this summer would go car-free temporarily as a response to Coronavirus concerns in order to keep people safer.

Enjoy the Socially Distanced Fitness Zone at Highland Park

As of Thursday, June 11, Highland Park will be the first park to feature a car-free space. The closure will be 24/7 until further notice or until the shelters and playground open (NOTE: This happened, surprisingly, this past weekend at the same time this closure was implemented.).

Highland Park Fitness Zone Details:

  • The City dropped barricades on Reservoir Drive to keep personal cars out
  • Emergency and construction vehicles will still have access to Reservoir Drive
  • ADA access is available via Farmhouse Drive
  • Additional ADA access and signage coming soon
  • Others are encouraged to bike or walk to the park or park along Highland, North Euclid, North St. Clair Aves, Heberton St and Farmhouse Dr

We would like to thank Councilmembers Deb Gross and Erika Strassburger for their support and advocacy since the beginning. The Mayor’s Office, DPW and DOMI for their insight, coordination, and labor, and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and Highland Park CDC for their indispensable contributions to this effort.

Please take a minute to call 311 and thank the City for their efforts, then go ride, walk, roll, and enjoy the park!


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