What happens when you take cars off the streets for awhile? Folks come out to bike, walk, skate and socialize with each other!
Ciclovia (Spanish for bike path) refers to events that temporarily close streets to vehicle traffic, turning them into public space for people. Bogota, Columbia, the city that pioneered the Ciclovia movement, has closed streets to cars every Sunday since 1976. People of all ages and classes pour into the streets to do everything except drive. Watch a video on Ciclovia in Bogota.
Ciclovia style events are appearing in US cities, including communities in Washington. Seattle Summer Streets are car-free events scheduled in four different neighborhoods. The city also closes a portion of Lake Washington Boulevard to vehicles most Sundays between May 1 and September 25 for Bicycle Sunday.
Spokane is bringing its SummerParkways to three neighborhoods, one of which will be an evening event. Four miles of roadway will be closed and citizens are encouraged to come out for fun and physical activity.
Although Vancouver does not organize a car-free event, folks can head across the Columbia River and experience Portland’s Sunday Parkways. Five parkway events are planned in different neighborhoods throughout the summer.
Folks in Tacoma can have a car-free experience every weekend. Five Mile Drive in Point Defiance Park is closed to vehicular traffic every Saturday and Sunday morning until 1PM. Details are here.
Did I overlook a ciclovia event in your community? Please share the details with us.