A bit of open streets information and inspiration

A bit of open streets information and inspiration

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The Via Recreativa in Guadalajara is just one of hundreds of open streets events in Latin America. Former Metro councilor Rex Burkholder will lead a presentation about them next week.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

With Portland’s Sunday Parkways firmly ensconced in city budgets and citizen psyches, it’s a good time to step back and take a broader look at the open streets revolution. Since Bogota’s Ciclovia gained widespread attention (thanks in large part to this 2007 Streetfilm), open street events have spread through America like wildfire.

Earlier this week, Streetfilms released The Rise of Open Streets — a new film that summarizes the open streets movement and shares the perspectives of several policy and planning leaders that have advocated and organized them. The film makes it clear that these events are a runaway success in the U.S. Along with bike share, open streets events have probably done more to introduce new people into cycling than any piece of infrastructure, planning policy, or traffic law.

Also similar to bike share, open street events seem to have universal appeal on city dwellers no matter where they live, what they believe, or what their usual transportation preferences are.

Next week, former Metro councilor and one of the founders of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance , Rex Burkholder, will share his knowledge about the rapid rise of “ciclovias” in Latin America. Burkholder is set to present at the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s monthly Bicycle Brown Bag discussion series on Thursday, January 16th. Check out the official event blurb below:

Ciclovias Recreativas Mundiales – How the Rest of the World Does Sunday Parkways

Ciclovias are growing rapidly in Latin America, with over 400 cities opening their streets every Sunday to people on foot, on skates and on bikes. Up to a million people ride in Bogota’s Ciclovia every week. What do they know that we don’t?

Hear from Rex Burkholder, Honorary Ambassador of the Network of Ciclovias Recreativas (CRA) since 2007. A founder of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, ex-Metro Councilor and community activist, Rex will share the triumphs and challenges of transforming cities into people-friendly places in Latin America. His website is gettingto2100.org where he writes on issues of sustainability, cycling and hope.

Portland’s first Sunday Parkways of 2014 is only five months away (tentatively set for May 11th), so we’ve still got time to put some of Burkholder’s insights into action.

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