The Sunday, May 1st event drew an estimated 10,000 people to the 3-mile route that connected neighborhoods from NoDa, Villa Heights, Belmont, Optimist Park, First Ward, and Elizabeth, nearly half of whom walked or rode their bikes to the event.
“It was just wonderful,” said Jim Garges, director of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. “One of the things I enjoyed the most, was talking to folks who were out there on their porches, and seeing them engage with people along the route.”
Data from intercept surveys taken along the Open Streets 704 route shows more than half (61%) would be more likely to walk or ride a bike for transportation, most (72%) would be more likely to visit a park or greenway, and nearly all (98%) said the event improved their feelings about Charlotte.
“It brought me great joy to see all the smiling faces having fun in the people-filled rather than car-filled streets…I can’t wait to do it again!” said Partners for Parks’ Christy Churchill.
Yes, Open Streets 704 is a free event for participants, but it also proved to be good for business! Most people surveyed (80%) said they planned to spend money at businesses along the route, and many (69%) said they’d discovered a new restaurants or shop while at the event.
“To be able to interact in our city like this, it just shows that we really are addressing something that is a major need in Charlotte,” said Jordan Moore, Bicycle Program Director for Sustain Charlotte.
The next Open Streets 704 event is being targeted for this fall, with another two events planned for 2017. Open Streets 704 is made possible by a generous grant from the Knight Foundation, in partnership with Partners for Parks, Mecklenburg County Government, the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation, the Mecklenburg County Health Department, and the support of Charlotte B-Cycle, the Charlotte Chamber’s Healthy Charlotte Council, Sustain Charlotte, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police and Charlotte Fire departments.
April 11, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OPEN STREETS 704 OFFERS HEALTHY WAY TO PLAY
Charlotte, NC – Imagine being able to use the open road for biking, walking, jogging, dancing and other healthy activities – free of automobile traffic. Now you can, thanks to the Open Streets 704 initiative, made possible by Partners for Parks, Mecklenburg County government, the City of Charlotte and the Knight Foundation.
The initiative consists of four free community events with the first planned for Sunday, May 1 from noon to 4 p.m.
The inaugural event will open a 3-mile stretch of city streets for pedestrian use only – extending from North Davidson Street and the NoDa area, through the Villa Heights, Optimist Park, Belmont, and First Ward neighborhoods to Memorial Stadium near Central Piedmont Community College. Residents will be able to meet neighbors and participate in activities occurring in four zones:
- Arts and Science Zone: Opportunities abound to explore your creative side. Musical performances, artist demonstrations and dance ensembles of all ages.
- Family Zone: Fun for the whole family! From bean bag toss to a pop up dog park – be prepared to get active. Activities will include: street soccer, bicycling demonstrations, pet crafts, life-size jenga and more!
- Green Zone: Be prepared to learn about nature, plant trees in the community, lend a helping hand in the garden, and talk about the wildlife from local nature centers.
- Wellness Zone: Work on a fitter/healthier version of you! Cooking demonstrations, yoga classes, Zumba, and healthy heart initiatives will fill this zone with fun!
Open Streets events currently take place in more than 100 cities across North America. They have proven to be successful at achieving goals related to recreation, public health, active transportation and community building.
For more information, visit www.openstreets704.com.
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Media Contact: Leo Caplanides at 980-395-2873 or Leo.Caplanides@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov.
PEOPLE ● PRIDE ● PROGRESS ● PARTNERSHIPS
3205 Freedom Drive, Suite 107, Charlotte, North Carolina 28208
Original article can be found here.
Andrew Dunn | Mar 17, 2016
The city of Charlotte is planning a big event where major streets will be shut down to traffic.
Called Open Streets 704, the project will close down entire streets to cars and turn them over to bikes and pedestrians for an afternoon — May 1 from noon to 4 p.m. This is a Sunday.
The whole thing is inspired by city planner Gil Penalosa and funded by the Knight Foundation.
The map of closed streets just got released. Here’s the first look.
The route starts on 7th Street on the east edge of Uptown, goes over to First Ward Park, then heads north on Brevard Street. Then it hangs a right on Belmont Avenue, and back north on North Davidson Street all the way up to 35th Street.
Looks like a good number of neighborhood streets in NoDa will be closed down as well.
There will be a whole bunch of neighborhood activities.
I don’t have information on them yet, though. Stay tuned. Other cities have done some major stuff, though. Atlanta now has 100,000 people participate and holds things like cycling festivals, fashion shows and kids mazes.
County Partners in Open Streets Initiative
Mecklenburg County residents will soon have a new way to explore their community while participating in an array of activities thanks to a special partnership between Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte and Partners for Parks.
The three agencies are working together to present the inaugural Open Streets 704 on Sunday, May 1 from noon – 4 p.m.
Open Streets initiatives are street festivals that temporarily close streets to automobile traffic so that people may use them for walking, bicycling, dancing, playing, and meeting their neighbors. These festivals currently take place in more than 100 cities across North America and have proven to be a successful strategy for achieving goals related to recreation, public health, active transportation and community building.
The initiative will begin with a series of four events made possible by a generous grant from the Charlotte Knight Foundation. Employees from Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte intend to use the effort to investigate the potential to sustain an ongoing Open Streets program.
Details on the Open Streets 704 route will be provided soon.
For more information, visit www.openstreets704.com.