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Open Streets

Old 06-08-19, 08:19 PM
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wipekitty
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Open Streets

My current town - La Crosse, WI - is having an open streets day downtown tomorrow, which means closing off roads to cars for a few hours to promote walking, cycling, and general activity in an area where cars usually travel. We have had them in the past, and it's really nice to see people out and about walking and on bicycles. It seems to me that to have a lasting impact, such events would need to be more frequent, but it would be difficult to get community buy-in for closing streets to traffic more frequently.

The idea is inspired by Ciclovía, which you can read about here: https://www.vox.com/2016/10/9/130172...a-open-streets

Has your community done an open streets event? If so, do you think it has had a positive impact?
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Old 06-09-19, 01:46 AM
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Winnipeg used to close down one fairly lengthy road to motorised traffic on Sundays. It was nice.

I'm not sure if they still do that ... I hope so.


Oh, it looks like they still do! Not completely closed but mostly ...

https://www.winnipeg.ca/publicworks/...cycleRoute.stm

https://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/mobile/s...s?clipId=86116

Last edited by Machka; 06-09-19 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 06-09-19, 04:51 AM
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Jim from Boston
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Open Streets
Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
My current town - La Crosse, WI - is having an open streets day downtown tomorrow, which means closing off roads to cars for a few hours to promote walking, cycling, and general activity in an area where cars usually travel. We have had them in the past, and it's really nice to see people out and about walking and on bicycles.

It seems to me that to have a lasting impact, such events would need to be more frequent, but it would be difficult to get community buy-in for closing streets to traffic more frequently.

The idea is inspired by Ciclovía, which you can read about here: https://www.vox.com/2016/10/9/130172...a-open-streets

Has your community done an open streets event? If so, do you think it has had a positive impact?
Sundays are the most feasible, if at all for such events. For years the City of Cambridge, MA has closed off Memorial Drive along the scenic urban segment of the Charles River near Hahvahd U.

I usually don’t ride it, but a couple years ago I escorted @jppe to his Eastern Teminus of his cross-country ride from Oregon.
Originally Posted by jppe View Post
A perfect end to an incredible adventure!!

Kudos to Jim from Boston for escorting me from the Wayland Depot all the way through the heart of Boston to the Atlantic Ocean. He took me by many historic sites and shared the history of the area along the way. ..

We enjoyed roads with few cars, a bike path and of course urban riding amongst lots of vehicles, although lighter than it could be since it was Sunday. They even had a street blocked off just for non vehicle use along the "Dirty River". I'm thinking that Jim has some inside connections and arranged that street closure just for us???
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
His description of the ride was spot on, though in referring to the Charles River as Dirty River,” the actual term is Dirty Water as in the 1960’s song by the Standells, Love That Dirty Water.” It’s a virtual Bostonian anthem, played at all the Red Sox home games:
Then there also is this annual event:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
BTW, Boston has a similar municipal cycling event, 15th Annual Hub on Wheels, which actually uses roadways, including a limited–access road closed off to cars for the event. The longest ride actually circles the perimeter of the city.
That road (Storrow Drive) also parallels the Charles River. The URL for that Ride is:

https://hubonwheels.com/

If you check out the site, the picture is a cyclists' dreamscape. We live near that iconic Citgo sign, in Kenmore Square, often visible during broadcasts of Red Sox baseball games in nearby Fenway Park.



BTW, those two above mentioned thoroughfares on each side of the Charles River, are both closely paralleled by a well-trod MUP:

https://www.bikeitorhikeit.org/charl...er_bikeway.htm
The The Charles River Bikeway, also known as the Paul Dudley White Bike Path, extends from North Point Park in Cambridge and Nashua Street Park in Boston, along both sides of the river up to Watertown Square.

From Watertown Square up to Newton the trail continues as the Upper Charles River Bikeway. However, only portions of the trail run on both sides of the river, thus, there are some on-road detours required to make a complete loop. Some portions of these bikeways are not separated from the roadways and classified as sidewalk, but for the most part, the paths are wide, smooth and traffic free.

You can ride along either side of the river (Boston-southern side/Waterford & Cambridge-northern side) from Watertown to Boston, with numerous bridge crossings along the route.

There are also numerous pedestrian bridges (bike friendly) that let you cross over Storrow Drive into Boston, with one that brings you right to the Boston Common Gardens. I mention the numerous bridges that cross the Charles River, to help you orientate yourself as you travel the trail. I also note the numerous other bike paths you can access from this trail.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 06-09-19 at 06:55 PM. Reason: added BTW, and photo
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Old 06-09-19, 01:59 PM
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Wow that's pretty interesting. I like it!
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Old 06-09-19, 02:33 PM
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Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by m.t View Post
Wow that's pretty interesting. I like it!
If you liked my description of "Open Streets" in Boston, see my edit, BTW.
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Old 06-12-19, 09:05 AM
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Philly will be having its third one this year. The first one was a mess because they chose a street that was way to narrow (essentially three lanes because no parking was allowed) to support all the people who showed up. You could not safely ride more than 7 or 8 mph because of all the people with kids and dogs and strollers, etc. And there was no directional flow. People just rode and walked wherever. Quite tedious. I saw many near misses and even some cyclists fall. One woman appeared to be hurt somewhat seriously.

Last year was much better since it was held on six-lane street. There were also signs instructing people to stay right of the median in each direction. I think the same street will be used again.
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