What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

12 May 2012

Viva Streets: Coming Soon to a Street Near Me!

Way, way back in 1976, a few people in Bogotá thought it would be great to close off some streets to car traffic for a few hours so people could use the street for running, walking, cycling, etc. On that first Sunday, they closed off two blocks. Fast-forward 36 years, and Bogotá now closes off 75 miles of city streets every Sunday, attracting over one million people to come out and play. Every week.

The Viva!Streets route. Photo from Viva!Streets site.
We're not nearly ready for that here in Austin, alas, but next Sunday we take one step closer. Following the lead of not just Bogotá, but also other cities around the U.S. (including El Paso, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Edinburg in Texas... and I'm probably missing a few), on May 20th the city of Austin will close off two miles of Sixth Street for Viva!Streets.

Now, I know most of my readers don't live in Austin and I'm sure you're totally bummed to be missing out on this. And I have to tell you that I'm bummed on your behalf. But if you do live in Austin, or if you'll be here for UT's graduation, or you might just be passing through for a few hours, or something, then come on down!!

What should you do? Whatever you want (within reason/law)! Bring your skateboard or your bicycle. Put on your roller skates or your running shoes. Grab a hula hoop, the dog & leash, your kids, and/or the Red Flyer wagon in your garage. The streets will be open to people and closed to traffic from 10 AM to 3 PM.

Not sure which event this pic is from-- San Antonio, maybe?-- but it is also
from the Viva!Streets site.

What am I going to do? It's the day after graduation, and my family will be in town, so after church I'll hand round a gallon of sunscreen for my Indiana family to put on to protect themselves from the Texas sun, and then we'll go find a parking space somewhere near the BikeTexas building (which happens to be inside the car-free zone!). After I introduce my family to my BikeTexas coworkers, we'll stroll down Sixth and see what is happening, until some of us get tired or overheated or both. If you see one bewildered elderly woman plus two bewildered middle-aged people plus three happy 30(ish)somethings... you've found us. Stop and say hello!

Have you ever been to a street-closed event? Will you be in Austin next weekend?

1 comment:

Carole Anne Carr said...

Sort off, some of our towns have the main street closed against traffic to allow shoppers to wander, but not for what you describe. A really good idea.