Better Bicycling Community Grants Lead to 3 New Open Streets

By Mary Lauran Hall on April 25, 2013


Thanks to recent grants from Performance Bicycle, three new communities have launched successful Open Strees initiatives.

Last summer, Performance celebrated its 30th birthday by giving back. The company worked with the Alliance to give out $30,000 worth of grants to 10 advocacy organizations across the country who are working to create safer communities for cycling. Of those 10 organizations, three groups — in Carrboro, NC; Charlottesville, VA and Salt Lake City, UT — chose to use the funding to launch new Open Streets initiatives. 

Open Streets — which are also known as Ciclovia, Sunday Streets, Streets Alive and many more — temporarily close streets to automobile so that people may use them for healthy and fun physical activities like walking, jogging, biking and dancing. 

In the summer of 2011, the Alliance partnered with the Street Plans Collaborative to launch the Open Streets Project, which serves as a central hub for resources and information on Open Streets.  Today, there are more than 90 Open Streets initiatives in the United States and Canada in cities of all sizes.

When the Carrboro Bicycle Coalition held their first Open Streets initiative in Carrboro, NC, the streets filled kids hula-hooping, adults dancing and lots of people biking and walking along streets that are normally reserved for cars. Members of the Carrboro Bicycle Coaltion had long explored the idea of an Open Streets event, but had lacked the funds to spark an initiative.  The grant from Performance gave them just the kick-start they needed to secure community support and buy-in to make Open Streets happen.

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Kids play in the streets during Carrboro’s Open Streets initiative. Image: tarheelcoxn / Flickr

In Charlottesville, the community held their first Open Streets soon after receiving their grant from Performance on August 18, 2012 along Jefferson Park Avenue. The initiative was a huge success, and brought the community together around healthy living and active transportation.

The third initiative of the trio, Open Streets Salt Lake City, is scheduled to take place on May 4. Hosted by statewide advocacy group Bike Utah and the City of Salt Lake, Open Streets SLC will open 1.5 miles of downtown streets for Salt Lakers to play in.

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Carrboro residents enjoy the city’s Open Streets event. Image: SpokenRev / Flickr

Thanks to our partners at Performance Bicycle for make these three Open Streets possible and for their continued support of advocacy in all of its forms.

If you are interested in opening your streets, check out the Open Streets Projects for resources, case studies and the latest news on Open Streets in North America.

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