(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the District will host its inaugural Open Streets event on Saturday, October 5, 2019, along Georgia Avenue, NW. Nearly three miles of the avenue will be free of vehicular traffic between 10:00 am – 2 pm, allowing residents to walk along and in the roadway and enjoy a wide range of activities for all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.
“Open Streets is a unique event that will allow residents and businesses to reimagine public roads as community spaces and to consider new possibilities about the future of transportation and infrastructure in our city,” said Mayor Bowser. “Together, at a fun, family-friendly event, we can explore the benefits of having fewer cars on our roads.”
Open Streets will feature interactive activities led by dozens of District government agencies, including bike and scooter demonstrations, free bike repairs, an obstacle course, fitness classes, and other educational and entertainment programming.
“Open Streets is another opportunity for us to raise awareness about Vision Zero and our efforts to create safe streets across all eight wards,” said District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Jeff Marootian. “By introducing new and different ways to use the roadway, it gives us an idea of how our streets will look when we depend less on vehicles, and use more sustainable, active modes of transportation.”
In March, the District solicited proposals from non-profit organizations in the National Capital Region to help coordinate the Open Streets event. The grant was awarded to District Bridges, a 501(c)(3) organization that manages the Columbia Heights, Mount Pleasant, and Georgia Avenue Main Street programs. Over the coming weeks, DDOT and District Bridges will be conducting public outreach in preparation for the Open Streets event.
The Open Streets concept originated in Bogota, Colombia in 1976 and has expanded to more than 122 American municipalities. The goal of these events is to inspire people to think differently about their streets by closing streets to cars and encouraging physical activity, creating recreational opportunities, and fostering community building and education. For more information and to get involved, visit openstreets.dc.gov.