New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Archive for July 29th, 2011

Open the Streets

July 29, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Jay Walljasper

Cities Thrive by Going Footloose and Car-Free

by Jay Walljasper

Imagine diverting traffic from a major street in your neighborhood, then welcoming families on bikes, families on foot, babies in strollers, people in wheelchairs, toddlers on training wheels, grade schoolers on skateboards, teenagers on single-speeds, hipsters on fixed gears, grandparents on recumbents, couples arm-in-arm and even yoga classes in the middle of the road. What would happen?

If your neighborhood is anything like mine — which I am sure it is — get ready for a massive outbreak of smiles.

A few Sundays ago, Minneapolis debuted its first “Open Streets Ciclovia” by closing busy Lyndale Avenue for 2.3 miles south of downtown between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Despite relentlessly overcast skies, an estimated 5000-7000 people hit the street to walk, bike, look, talk, giggle, dance, eat, and thoroughly enjoy themselves. (more…)