New policy on block parties

Block parties are signature events in many neighborhoods. Everyone looks forward to the one day a year when the street is closed, letting kids ride bikes in the middle of the road, neighbors talking to neighbors they haven’t seen in a while, and the grillmasters compete for “best burger.”

Closing the wrong street for a block party, however, can lead to gridlock, preventing an ambulance from reaching St. Clair Hospital quickly or keeping large numbers of neighbors from being able to get to home or work.

Mt. Lebanon’s public works and police departments, in cooperation with traffic engineer Michael Haberman from Gateway Engineers, were charged with creating a list residents could use to see if their street is eligible before applying for a block party permit. The team examined and evaluated the function and traffic pattern of every street in the municipality and came up with two important documents: a list that denotes which Mt. Lebanon streets can and can’t have block parties, and,  since some prohibited areas are only portions of streets, a map that clearly illustrates which portions of streets may or may not have block parties.

Find the list and block party rules here.

Prohibited streets include state, county and arterial streets such as Bower Hill Road, Washington Road and Mt. Lebanon Boulevard. But some neighborhood streets that  block the only way to access a housing area or the route to St. Clair Hospital also are affected.

A resident of the street still must apply for a $25 permit for the party. Public works will still review the application to make sure the time and date do not conflict with other nearby parties. But having the list provides for more consistency and less opportunity for conflict. As has been the practice, block parties are still prohibited on Halloween for safety reasons.