Public Safety, DOMI, DPW Clarify Permit Requirements for Events and Public Space Rentals as Pandemic Restrictions Ease

PITTSBURGH, PA, (June 2, 2021) – The COVID-19 pandemic impacted lives and changed the way cities operate around the world in 2020. Many of Pittsburgh’s traditional and beloved events were either cancelled or postponed until 2021 and some of those planned activities continue to be disrupted.

Now, with several mitigation restrictions being eased across Allegheny County and the Commonwealth, Pittsburgh Public Safety, the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI), and the Department of Public Works (DPW), would like to remind residents of the City’s permit requirements for large and small events, temporary outdoor dining spaces, and park shelter rentals.

Block Party Permits: Designed to allow neighbors the ability to close their street and celebrate their block, these permits cost $25 and are available through a simple online application.

- Block Party permits are limited to residentially zoned streets and applicants must live on the block being closed. These permits are for weekends or holidays from 10am to 10pm.

- The City’s open container law and certain noise ordinance laws are waived for block parties allowing citizens to gather and celebrate with their neighbors. Applications for Block Party Permits must be submitted at least seven (7) business days before the event.

Special Event Permits: These permits are for outdoor community and civic events that take place on public property. Whether it’s a charity walk, competitive 5K, street festival, or concert in a park, these permits allow for larger outdoor public gatherings to take place on City property.

- Special Event permits are available via an online application. Permit applications must be submitted at least 14 business days in advance of the event date.

- Permits are $200 plus the cost of any contracted City services.

For more information or to apply for Block Party Permits and Special Event permits, please visit

During the pandemic, Pittsburgh businesses and restaurants became more innovative than ever and the popularity of some new traditions is expected to continue into the summer.

Temporary Outdoor Dining & Retail Program: This 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. This helps businesses and restaurants provide outdoor space and promote social distancing while Pittsburgh slowly reopens and while businesses recover from the pandemic. As part of the program, businesses can apply for one or more of the following temporary permits:

 - Sidewalk Cafe Permit to utilize existing sidewalk space in front of a business for retail or dining.

 - Parking Lane Cafe Permit to utilize the parking lane in front of a business for retail or dining.

 - Full Street Closure Permit to significantly change part of a street or a full street for outdoor walking, shopping, and dining.

These permits are free through the end of 2021.

Obtaining a permit and working with City staff to create a site plan is important to ensure your outdoor cafe is safe for customers and the public space remains safe and accessible for all, including those who use wheelchairs, people with vision impairments, cyclists, and those pushing strollers.

Visit for more information.

Park shelter and grove rentals: Park shelters and picnic groves are available to the public for rent through October 10, 2021. Park shelters are available for private events such as family picnics and reunions, graduation parties, and birthday parties. Shelters and groves should be booked online at and can be rented one-year in advance.

Requests for shelters made over the phone may take up to one week to process. 



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Cara Cruz
Public Information Officer
Public Safety