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Open Streets Attract Over 5,000 for the Second Time this Year During Atlanta Streets Alive

October 20,2010

The second Atlanta Streets Alive of 2010 took place on a gorgeous fall day in downtown Atlanta along 1.5 miles of open streets on Edgewood Avenue. A count conducted by trained volunteers using the international Ciclovia Recreativa participant count methodology put the total attendance at 5,077.

This marks the second time that Atlanta Streets Alive has attracted more than 5,000 people into downtown Atlanta to run, bicycle, play, and be active in public space commonly used by motorists.

Participant Breakdown:

  • 59% male
  • 41% female
  • 87% adults
  • 13% children and teens
  • 51% bicycling
  • 47% walking
  • 1.5% using another wheeled device
  • <1% running
  • <1% other

With the street closed to cars, the event attracted participants of both sexes and all ages. The majority of participants were bicycling or walking, and others were running, skateboarding, and rollerblading. The youngest participants were in strollers or being pulled in wagons. The counts demonstrated that Atlanta Streets Alive provides a safe place for people of all ages to play.

The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, the nonprofit coordinating a team of volunteers from organizations and universities across Atlanta, considered the day another success, following close on the heels of the pilot Atlanta Streets Alive in May 2010.

“Our goal in bringing the ciclovia concept to Atlanta is to encourage more Atlantans to get out of their cars and take part in active transportation, especially the bicycle. Edgewood Avenue is the city’s most popular bicycle corridor, especially for bike commuters, and we wanted to showcase just how enjoyable biking in the city can be,” said Rebecca Serna, Executive Director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.

Atlanta City Councilmember and Atlanta Streets Alive supporter Kwanza Hall enjoyed the day with his family and met the owner/operator of Decatur-based Easy Living Pedicabs, who hopes to provide his green mode of transportation in the city soon.

Forty-five activities kicked off with a salsa and cha-cha lesson, continued with drumming and hoopers, capoeira and flamenco demonstrations and lessons, aerobics and nia, circus performers and bands from genres ranging from jazz to steampunk. Bike-centric activities included a bike rodeo for kids, a mini mountain bike trail, bicycle repair stations, bike valet parking, and a bike loop conducted by ABC volunteers. A running club organized relay races, and the City of Atlanta Recreation Department provided roller racers. Woodruff and Hurt Parks were activity hubs, as was the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, where local vendors and food trucks congregated. A full list of activities is available at www.atlantastreetsalive.com/route-activities.

Atlanta Streets Alive is not a festival, and is not intended by organizers to be just an annual event, but rather an ongoing program to encourage active lifestyles. It is based on the rapidly-spreading international concept of a ciclovia (see www.streetfilms.org/ciclovia), in which streets are temporarily closed to cars in order to open them up for people engaged in physical activities.

In a region beset by an obesity epidemic and other chronic diseases associated with inactivity, this grassroots effort seeks to create a free, safe and welcoming space for Atlantans of every socio-economic background, race, gender, age and fitness level to get active.

In addition to the participant counts, 200 surveys were conducted to measure the program’s successes and identify challenges. Survey results will be released later this fall.

Sponsors of Atlanta Streets Alive include the Coca-Cola Company, Perkins+Will, Yelp, and many local businesses along the route. For more details, including a full list of sponsors and activity partners, please visit www.atlantastreetsalive.com.