Open Streets Events Expand to More CA Cities

ciclovia, ColombiaThe concept of open streets, pioneered in the Ciclovia events of Bogotá, Colombia, turns the status-quo of the street on its head.  Participants are free to use the entire width of the street however they see fit, whether that includes bicycling, walking, jogging, sitting, or congregating with friends.  Without the incessant noise of vehicle traffic, participants get to enjoy and experience their city in a way that was never previously possible.

As such events have proven to be overwhelming successes in places like San Francisco (Sunday Streets SF) and Los Angeles (CicLAvia), other cities have looked to follow their lead.  The City of Berkeley held their first open streets event last year.  This year, three more cities are throwing their hats into the open streets ring.

Oakland hosted their own Oaklavia on June 9th.  Held in conjunction with the “Love Our Lake Day”, the route circled around Oakland’s iconic Lake Merritt.  The 3 mile route celebrated all the improvements made to Lake Merritt over the last 15 years, funded through the bond Measure DD and attracted over 15,000 participants. The folks from StreetFilms were out in force that sunday and made a great video about all the festivities.

San Diego is holding their first CicloSDias event this coming August.  The route will stretch over 5 miles and span several San Diego neighborhoods including South Park, North Park, and City Heights.

Best known as the hometown of writer John Steinbeck, the City of Salinas is planning to celebrate their own Ciclovia on August 25th.  While details are still to be determined, the route is planned for just under 4 miles through the heart of Salinas.

The recently adopted CalBike strategic plan calls for similar open streets events to be held in at least 20 California cities by 2017. 2013 has been a great start, but we’ve still got plenty of work to do in the coming years!