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Posts tagged "ciclovias"

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Summer Streets 2008 (NYC)

Feeling remarkably similar to Bogota's Ciclovia, the New York City Department of Transportation held its first Summer Streets event on Saturday by opening 7 miles of city streets to pedestrians and bike traffic only. From 7 AM to 1 PM, roads were car-free from 72nd Street to the Brooklyn Bridge with Park Avenue serving as the backbone of the route. Our Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan is the real deal - she spent the entire day riding a bike around the course (and even said some nice things about me to my mom.)

We'll spare you the 200 adjectives we could list about how transformational it was, for it was beyond anything on the printed page. The general consensus was that the event succeeded beyond even the most hoped for expectations and would pass even the most pessimistic of measuring sticks. A page has been turned, clearly there is no doubt: the future will hold many more large scale street openings for pedestrians, cyclists, runners, children, dog walkers, dancers, and any other reasonable livable space use.

The swarms of people and happy faces made for much positive energy. Around noon, some blocks were getting very crowded, but there was a general courtesy that existed between pedestrians and cyclists. The city built it - and the people came. And they smiled a lot.

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Queens Play Street

Jackson Heights is in the beginning stages of a great experiment - 78th Street between 34th Ave and Northern Boulevard is being closed for twenty consecutive weeks to provide a Play Street for children and their families!

Many neighborhood groups, organizations and the NYC Department of Transportation came together to implement this trial which is designed to enhance the already limited amount of public space available in Jackson Heights. Eventually there are plans to move the local green market into the space to allow for even more opportunities for interaction and programming. For the first week Bike New York came out to teach children how to ride a bike.

Streetfilms plans to revisit this program in the Fall to see how it progresses and expands.

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Portland’s Sunday Parkways

Despite a very dreary and damp first half of the day, Portland's first Ciclovia-style street closure, Sunday Parkways, was a smashing success with countless thousands of city residents participating. It was like a giant community block party with walkers, bikers, joggers, bladers, families, and pets filling the 6 mile course.

There were plenty of fun activities in four northeast parks that were linked by the circuit, which was opened to bikes and pedestrian traffic only from 8 AM to 2 PM. For cities planning their own Ciclovias, here are some things I liked about Portland's event: knowledgeable volunteers, lots of fun chalk messages on the ground, easy to follow directions, lots of music & entertainment, and a huge number of bike stations for bike repair.

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Car-Free Vancouver Day

The Towards Car-free Cities Conference is wrapping up here in Portland but car-free events go on. On Sunday June 15th, Vancouver hosted a Car-Free Day featuring four simultaneous Community Festivals. Frank Lopez brings you this recap. Check out your local car-free events this weekend. There are two block parties in NYC and Portland is launching Sunday Parkways. Link to your local car-free events in the comment section.

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Lessons from Bogotá

Had enough livable streets lessons from Bogotá? Good. Neither have we.

In the final chapter of our September NYCSR visit to Colombia, where the indefatigable Gil Peñalosa was our tour guide, you'll find lots of tasty video morsels including: riding the comfortable ciclorutas and cycle paths, a visit to a thriving pedestrian-only street where they said it couldn't be done, a "bollard farm," mucho footage of the city's parks and public spaces and comments from the city's residents. And we couldn't resist - just a wee bit more dance mania at the Recreovia.

If this is your first foray into Bogotá, might we suggest these related Streetfilms which will bring you up to speed on Ciclovia and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT):

Ciclovia (9:41)

Bus Rapid Transit: Bogotá (7:29)

Mark Gorton Interviews Enrique Peñalosa (12:07)

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Ciclovia: Bogotá, Colombia

Recently, I had the opportunity to travel with comrades Karla Quintero (Transportation Alternatives) and Aaron Naparstek (Streetsblog) to Bogotá, Colombia to document some of the amazing advances going on in the livable streets movement there. On Sunday we spent the entire day - from 5 AM 'til nearly 5 PM - riding bicycles around the city courtesy of the Ciclovia, a weekly event in which over 70 miles of city streets are closed to traffic where residents come out to walk, bike, run, skate, recreate, picnic, and talk with family, neighbors & strangers...it is simply one of the most moving experiences I have had in my entire life. Read more...