Thursday, September 26, 2013

"Open Streets" Concept Encourages Healthy Communities

Another Utah city has taken the Open Streets plunge, with Taylorsville joining Salt Lake City as streets are returned to people in a community event. On September 28th, from 11 am to 4 pm, 2700 West between 4900 and 5400 South will be closed to motorized vehicles to provide an opportunity for people to explore their community safely.

Open streets are not a new concept, events such as these happen all over the world as a way for communities to connect with each other.  In Bogota, Columbia, over 20 miles of roads including highways are closed each week to permit residents the opportunity to explore their city on foot or by bicycle.  From San Diego to Washington, D.C., more cities are seeing the benefits of providing a place for communities to gather together to ride, dance, and talk, strengthening social connections. 

Taylorsville is a prime location to hold an Open Streets event. Located in the center of the valley, Taylorsville is often seen as a pass-through community where commuters spend a lot of time on their way somewhere else. Because of the high traffic volume a significant amount of money and effort has been placed by UDOT in developing roadways to accommodate vehicles. A recent shift has been underway to provide more options for pedestrians and cyclists. A good example of this is 2700 West, a designated bicycle route North/South through the city that has been recently painted and signed for bicycles. This route connects Taylorsville to West Jordan and West Valley City, and provides a safe connection to those seeking to incorporate more active transportation as part of their day. 

What can you expect at Taylorsville’s Open Streets event? A stretch of wide-open road where bikes, rollerblades, and scooters can freely ride. Zumba, soccer, and slack-lining will be available to try. Music listening and music making will take place among market vendors and tasty lunch options. 

Entertainment will vary through the day so be prepared to play!

Taylorsville has hosted a number of events that promote healthy communities through unique approaches such as the Taylorsville Urban Iditarod, bringing people back to the streets under their own power.  An added benefit of events such as these is bringing the community together in a safe and entertaining environment to support social cohesiveness. 

Come visit our Open Streets event and see why Taylorsville is a great place for people to live, work, and play.  

To find out more about the Open Streets concept, or Ciclovia, see this article.

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