Proposed location: Kirkwood Avenue from Elm Street to Morton Street
What are Open Streets?
Open Streets, sometimes called Ciclovias or Sunday Streets, can be thought of as a parade turned inside out. At a parade the participants typically sit passively along the edges watching while the parade moves by. Instead, an Open Streets event is made up of those who would normally sit and watch, they themselves become the parade, the Open Streets event.
This two minute YouTube video says it all! Open Streets Chicago 2012
Not to be confused with street fairs or block parties, Open Streets specifically support physical activity, economic & social development, and broadening transportation choices. Currently, there over 80 Open Streets events across the US and Canada and growing!
What could this mean for our community?
- Creates an accessible, family-friendly avenue for residents to view their own streets from a different, more intimate perspective as a cyclist or a pedestrian
- Encourages residents to be more physically active and provides them the opportunity to take part in and try new types of exercise
- Inspires participants to imagine the possibilities for the community’s future
Our streets, in terms of land area, make up our greatest public space. Like our body’s cardiovascular system links the various parts of our body, so our streets connect the various parts of our community. It seems that there could be no better way to continue this premise than through an Open Streets event in downtown Bloomington. Because, after all, we aren’t closing down the streets, we are opening them up!