Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Enjoying the Living Streets of Tucson

It was a dark and stormy night...

No. Really. It was. After a Saturday that had what could only be described as "Chamber of Commerce" weather with mild temperatures, beautiful clear skies, and just a slight breeze, threatening grey clouds rolled in. But that didn't deter anyone - they jumped on their bicycles, got out the strollers, put a leash on the dog, and headed out to take over the streets.

The idea of closing off city streets to allow bicyclists, pedestrians, and the community at large to enjoy car free streets started in the 70s in Columbia, with Bogota CiclovĂ­a. To this day, major cities in Columbia close roads to auto traffic every Sunday and holiday. Unfortunately, Tucson doesn't close the streets as often as that, but, twice a year - once in the Spring and once in the Fall - the Living Streets Alliance hosts Cyclovia Tucson.  The event this Spring featured a 2.5 mile auto-free route from the Lost Barrio to Himmel Park.

And, even with the threat of rain (and several downpours), the people were there!

They were jousting.

They were walking tightropes.
They were showing off their neighborhoods.

Setting up "Urban Lounges."
Riding zip lines.
Getting information about community organizations.
Eating food.
Drinking beer.
But, most of all, just being together with other Tucsonans.
Isn't that what community is all about: Talking to our neighbors, getting some fresh air, and enjoying our beautiful city? I think so. And, luckily, we have Cyclovia Tucson to remind us what our streets and neighborhoods could be like, if we chose to make them that way.

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