2013’s first Switch: Open Streets event drew the spirit of active living and play. The little chill in the air cooled cyclists and rollerbladers going up and down the route and the dancers who found themselves at North and Agricola, hopping to bohemian tunes. Around 11am, a group of kids riding bicycles and tricycles led the first charge down North Park St.
Thanks to all of our volunteers who came out to support Switch, sponsors, and community partners: Halifax Community Health Board, the Halifax Cycling Coalition, North End Business Association, Breakhouse, and Stepping Up. See you all back on the route this September 8th!
What is the public domain? Streets are often left out of the equation. This Sunday, Switch: Open Streets caps off Bike Week by closing streets to traffic and opening them to cyclists, children, walkers, skaters, DJs, and joggers. The idea is to stop talking about different modes of transportation and the sustainable city and begin imagining it—for one day. Switch lets people move freely and safely through the streets, connecting multiple neighborhoods, fostering physical activity and sense of place and play.
Date: Sunday, June 9th, 2013
Time: 10am – 3pm
Location: North St. and Agricola (start) – North Park Street – Ahern Avenue – Bell Road – Victoria Park (end)
Open Streets are gaining momentum in other cities around the world. Last week, Atlanta held Streets Alive!, Cape Town held an inaugural Open Streets, and after six years of Open Streets Portland, the initiative is finally being written into the city budget as an ongoing event. The hope for Switch is to gain similar status: an initiative that gains ongoing status and support from the city.
As part of Bike Week, a 2km route on the Halifax peninsula will be closed to vehicular traffic from 10am to 3pm on Sunday, June 9, and open to walkers, runners, bikers, in-line skaters, strollers, and much more. Inspired by the growing number of successful “open street” type events hosted in cites across the globe, Switch is about promoting healthy and active living, in a fun and festive community-based atmosphere. This will be the second Switch in Halifax, with the hope of making it a regular event.