Bend Open Streets September 18!

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Join us for the first ever Bend Open Streets! Bring your bicycle or just your feet, and get ready to explore your community streets in a safe, healthy, livable way. Bend Open Streets will temporarily close streets to automobile traffic, so that people may use them for walking, bicycling, dancing, playing, learning and socializing.
Bend Open Streets is part of a broader city effort to encourage sustained physical activity, increase community engagement, and build support for broader transportation choices. By opening up our streets to people—without cars—Bend Open Streets promotes healthy, active lifestyles, public spaces, and helps to create a vibrant, healthy economy.
Bend Open Streets will take place on Sunday, September 18, from noon to 4pm. The route is approximately 30 square blocks, from NE Olney Avenue to the north, NE Sixth Street to the east, NE Hawthorne Avenue to the south, and NE First Street to the west.
Designated car crossings will allow people driving to cross the route at: NE Greenwood Avenue and NE Sixth Street, NE Hawthorne Avenue and NE Third Street, NE First Street and Greenwood Avenue, and NE Olney Avenue and NE 3rd Street. All other intersections will be closed to motor vehicles. Friendly volunteers will be on site to assist drivers and residents along the route who need to drive during the day.
Sponsors and community groups will host a wide array of fun activities for all ages. There will be four activity hubs sponsored by the Bend Maker’s District, Cascades East Transit, St. Charles Health and Bend Park and Recreation District. The hubs will include activities such as human foosball, bicycle safety rides, mini-golf, ballroom dancing, lawn games, children’s book readings, healthy snack demos and free fitness and yoga classes. Local nonprofits and community groups will also be there to provide information and answer questions.
The City of Bend will also install several demonstration projects that can help people experience “on the ground” infrastructure to facilitate active transportation such as walking and biking. Demonstration projects, such as a new bike lane or improved sidewalk, will be found throughout the Open Streets route, and the city welcomes feedback on the projects.
“The very act of opening our streets to people on a temporary basis, opens our thinking to other ways of shaping our streets for every day use,” said Brian Potwin, Education Coordinator for Commute Options. “Imagine the city’s largest park, where people can hang out, run, bike, skate, dance, walk their dogs and enjoy their city. Communities around the world have seen a boost in economic activity when they open their streets to pedestrians, bikers, and people who want to enjoy their neighborhood.
Bend Open Streets thanks presenting sponsor PacificSource Health Plans. Supporting sponsors include St. Charles Health System, Bend Park and Recreation District, Central Oregon Landwatch, Bend’s Makers District, Deschutes Public Library, SoupCycle, The Environmental Center, Orchard District Neighborhood Association, City of Bend, Video Works, Hydro Flask, Fun Luv’n, and Thomas and Velo Photography.
Celebrating 25 years of Commute Options. Promoting choices that reduce the impacts of driving alone. For more information, contact Executive Director, Jeff Monson at 541-330-2647 or visit www.commuteoptions.org
Katy Bryce is a freelance writer in Bend. www.katybryce.com

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Katy Bryce for Commute Options

Katy Bryce is a freelance writer in Bend. www.katybryce.com

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