MOBILITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Temporary Sidewalk Cafe, Parking Lane Cafe, Full Street Closure, and Curbside Pick-up Zone Permits

What is the Temporary Outdoor Dining & Retail Program?

The Temporary Outdoor Dining & Retail Program allows Pittsburgh restaurants and other businesses to easily apply for temporary Sidewalk Cafe, Parking Lane Cafe, Full Street Closure, and Curbside Pick-up Zone Permits. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this program helps businesses and restaurants provide outdoor space and promote social distancing while Pittsburgh slowly reopens.

As part of the program, businesses can apply for one or more of the following temporary permits:

  1. Sidewalk Cafe Permit to utilize existing sidewalk space in front of a business for retail or dining.
  2. Parking Lane Cafe Permit to utilize the parking lane in front of a business for retail or dining.
  3. Full Street Closure Permit to significantly change part of a street or a full street for outdoor walking, shopping, and dining.
  4. Curbside Pick-up Zone Permit to designate specific parking zones for delivery drivers and customers taking food to-go.

All permits in the Temporary Outdoor Dining & Retail Program are extended to April 15, 2021. At that time, the City Council will determine whether to extend the permits further into 2021.






Additional Resources for Applicants

For additional information, see:


Frequently Asked Questions

What does temporary permitting do?
The temporary permitting eases requirements through April 15, 2021 to make it easier for restaurants and businesses to apply for outdoor dining permits. At that time, the City Council will determine whether to extend the permits further into 2021.

 

What documentation is each business responsible for providing to the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure at the time of application?
Businesses are required to provide 

  1. Contact information and description of permit use via the Google Form at this link.
  2. A site plan via email to slow.street@pittsburghpa.gov.

 

What documentation is each business responsible for providing to the Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections at the time of application?
Businesses are required to provide 

  1. Contact information.
  2. Site plan, and
  3. Description of permit use via OneStopPGH.

 

What additional documentation must each business provide by the time of approval?
Each business is required to provide a certificate of insurance naming the City of Pittsburgh as additionally insured under a general liability policy via email to slow.street@pittsburghpa.gov.

 

Who will provide traffic barriers and furnishing?
DOMI has capacity to assist with traffic barriers. However, depending on each business’s site plan and the availability of barriers, each business may be expected to provide their own barriers. See DOMI’s Barrier Materials Guide at this link for more information.
Outdoor furnishings (tables, chairs, tents, heaters, lights) are the responsibility of each business. Businesses are encouraged to seek financial assistance from community groups or philanthropic organizations.

 

What is the application process, start to finish?

  1. Apply for a DOMI permit via this Google Form.
  2. Send site plan to slow.street@pittsburghpa.gov.
  3. Apply for a Temporary Occupancy Permit at OneStopPGH.
  4. Provide proof of insurance to slow.street@pittsburghpa.gov by time of approval.
  5. Submit any necessary changes to DOMI as needed.

Contact slow.street@pittsburghpa.gov with questions.

 

What street modifications are permitted?
Businesses may apply for the following modifications:

  1. Sidewalk Cafe
  2. Parking Lane Cafe (high volume commercial streets)
  3. Full Street Closure (high volume commercial streets)
  4. Curbside Pick-Up Zone (only legal parking spots and loading zones)

 

What if my business is on a state road?
Full Street Closures must be approved by PennDOT before application.

 

What constraints should each business consider?

  1. All Full Street Closures must include an emergency access lane of at least 10 ft.
  2. All site plans must allow for physical distancing so that passing pedestrians can be at least 6 ft from customers at all times.

 

What should be included on my site plan?

  1. Dimensions of the sidewalk, parking lane, and street in the space you’re proposing to use.
  2. Any relevant furnishings or areas in the proposed space including fire hydrants, bus stops, accessible parking spaces, utility or sign poles, gutters, cellar doors, manholes, trees, bike racks, ramps, and building entrances.

 

Can my site plan be hand drawn?
Yes. Your site plan can be hand drawn, but needs to be drawn to scale. We recommend using graph paper or a computer program to create your site plan.

 

Can I set up tents or canopies in my permitted space?
Yes, under Pittsburgh’s Winter Outdoor Dining and Retail Guidelines. However, before installing a tent or canopy in the public space, you must submit an updated site plan to DOMI showing the size, type, and location of the tents or canopies and DOMI must approve your updated site plan and update your existing permit.

Keep in mind the following:

  1. Tents and other structures must be at least 50% open on each side or such structures will be subject to COVID-19 indoor occupancy guidelines.
  2. Small enclosed tents and igloos may only be used for individual parties and must include signage warning of increased risk of COVID transmission.
  3. All structures must either follow PLI guidelines or be anchored and approved by a PA licensed architect or engineer. Contact pliapptech@pittsburghpa.gov for more information.

 

Can I use heaters in my permitted space?
Yes, under Pittsburgh’s Winter Outdoor Dining and Retail Guidelines. However, before installing a tent or canopy in the public space, you must submit an updated site plan to DOMI showing the size, type, and location of the tents or canopies and DOMI must approve your updated site plan and update your existing permit.

Yes, under the following conditions:

  1. Electric heater cords should be secured to the sidewalk or street surface and not present a tripping hazard.
  2. Only electric heaters are permitted in temporary structures (like tents).
  3. Propane and gas-fired heaters are permitted, but must be kept 10 ft from any combustible material at all times.
  4. Propane tanks are not to be stored indoors under any circumstances. Instead, propane tanks should be securely fastened in a metal storage locker or shed.

 

Can I put lights in my permitted space?
Yes, under the following conditions:

  1. Battery and solar lighting are permitted.
  2. All electric string lights must be at least 13 ft 6 in from the ground surface.
  3. No wires may impede streets, sidewalks, or parking lanes.

 

General Guidelines for Permits

  • COVID Safety Compliance - Restaurant operations and sidewalk café layout must comply with all current guidance from the Governor’s order on COVID-19 (https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/)
  • Accessible pedestrian access and circulation - A clear, accessible pedestrian pathway of at least 6 feet must be provided through or around the occupied outdoor space and to all building entrances.
  • Patron Queuing - Applicant’s proposal should account for any queuing that may occur, and should allocate space to do so safely.
  • Emergency Access - Outdoor operations must maintain emergency access and must not block fire hydrants, fire stand pipes, emergency exits or similar.
  • Maintenance - Permittees will be required to maintain the space in a safe and orderly fashion in accordance with approved design plans.
  • Liquor Control - If alcohol will be served in the seating area, applicants must comply with all applicable Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board regulations.

 

Contact

For more information, please contact slow.street@pittsburghpa.gov.