Washington, DC - June 22, 2011 - Open Streets initiatives have exploded in popularity across North America, encouraging millions of citizens to experience and celebrate their public spaces in ways they've never imagined. To advance this growing movement, the Alliance for Biking & Walking and the Street Plans Collaborative are launching the Open Streets Project this summer.
Open Streets initiatives temporarily close streets to automobiles, allowing residents to walk, bike, skate, dance and utilize the roadways in countless creative and active ways. From Los Angeles to New York to Miami, Open Streets have become an effective and high-energy means to build community, promote active transportation and reconnect neighborhoods divided by traffic.
The Open Streets Project will support this exciting trend with the November release of a print guide and website to increase the success with Open Streets initiatives, serving as the one-stop source of information, models and best practices.
"I've personally seen numerous Open Streets events in cities around the U.S. and, without fail, each of them has been tremendously inspirational," said Jeffrey Miller, Alliance President/CEO. "Open Streets are not just an excellent way for cities to promote biking and walking; they inspire citizens to see their streets as public spaces. This project will allow the Alliance to work with our members - more than 170 bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations across North America - to establish and grow these exciting initiatives in their communities."
Capitalizing on research from The Street Plans Collaborative, the Open Streets Project will release a comprehensive guide in November 2011, featuring an in-depth overview of all known Open Streets initiatives in the United States and Canada. (Preview the list of cities here.) This guide will include more than 55 case studies and showcase the growth of the movement in compelling graphics. (See below.)
The published guide will be supported by an "open source" website, allowing municipalities and advocacy organizations to share information and resources on their Open Streets initiatives as they evolve and expand.
"We're thrilled that our firm's ongoing research will result in a new and critical tool to advance the livable streets movement," said Mike Lydon, Founding Principal of The Street Plans Collaborative. "By providing these definitive resources, the Open Streets Project will give new initiatives the targeted knowledge and contacts they need to move forward and boost existing initiatives with best practices and innovations from other cities."
The published guide and online resource are the first steps in a long-range vision, which will include technical assistance from Alliance staff to accelerate the number of new initiatives and help established efforts to overcome challenges and grow even larger.
If your city or organization has information to share about an Open Streets initiative in your community, please contact Mike Samuelson, Alliance Member Services and Open Streets Coordinator, at (202) 449-9692 x7 or mike@PeoplePoweredMovement.org.
About the Alliance for Biking & Walking:
The Alliance for Biking & Walking is the coalition of more than 170 state and local bicycle and pedestrian organizations working together to promote bicycling and walking in North American communities. To learn more about the Alliance, visit www.PeoplePoweredMovement.org.
About Street Plans Collaborative:
Established in 2009, The Street Plans Collaborative is a nationally recognized urban planning, design and research firm with offices in Miami and New York City. The firm seeks to create successful, dynamic public spaces and increase the effectiveness of multi-modal transportation. Learn more at www.streetplans.org.