Your opportunity is fast approaching. It’s called Open Streets 704, and it has been celebrated in the spring and fall for the past two years. The car-free event temporarily closes a designated route to automobile traffic so that pedestrians and cyclists can take advantage of the streets.
The most recent events have attracted as many as 25,000 participants of all ages and backgrounds and from all parts of Charlotte… and beyond.
The 4-mile route will begin with music and food at 36th and North Davidson in the heart of NoDa.
It will then work its way through the Optimist Park, Villa Heights, Belmont, and Plaza Midwood neighborhoods, terminating at the boutique shops and eateries clustered along Commonwealth Avenue.
Various performers and vendors will also be located along the way.
“One of the most important goals is to give participants a comfort level in moving about by foot or bike,” says Scott Curry, the city’s pedestrian program manager and one of the event organizers. “We want everyone to realize that yes, it really is possible to incorporate these travel modes into their daily routines no matter what neighborhood they may live or work in.”
And as anyone who has attended an Open Streets 704 event knows, it’s an invitation for myriad healthy, spiritual, social and emotional connections to occur almost spontaneously.
It was brought to Charlotte by Gil Penalosa, an international authority on strategies to revitalize urban streets. He led a series of high-profile workshops in Charlotte in 2015 to make streets lively, safe and people-friendly for anyone from 8 to 80.