Update, August 2:
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Friday formally announced details of the city’s first-ever open streets event, scheduled for October 5 on a roughly three-mile stretch of Georgia Avenue NW. In a release, Bowser’s office said the avenue will be closed to car traffic between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and the event will feature various activities, “including bike and scooter demonstrations, free bike repairs, an obstacle course, fitness classes, and other educational and entertainment programming.” Local nonprofit District Bridges is helping officials prepare for the festivities.
“Together, at a fun, family-friendly event, we can explore the benefits of having fewer cars on our roads,” Bowser said in a statement. Her office added that District Bridges and the District Department of Transportation will conduct community outreach for the event in the coming weeks. The city also launched a website for the event, featuring a map and other information.
Original post, July 29:
The city will host its inaugural open streets event October 5, according to an executive order by Mayor Muriel Bowser that was recently published in the D.C. Register. The event is set to close almost three miles of Georgia Avenue NW, between Barry Place NW in Pleasant Plains to Missouri Avenue NW in Brightwood, to vehicular traffic, from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will also close the blocks immediately east and west of Georgia Avenue NW to cars during that period.
“Open Streets is a program that temporarily closes streets to motor-vehicle traffic and opens them to people for healthy activities suitable for all ages and abilities,” says the order, adding that such events facilitate exercise and community bonds. In March, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) began seeking proposals from nonprofits in the region for an open streets event to happen in the fall, but did not specify a date or location. A spokeswoman for DDOT now confirms the October 5 date and says additional information will be forthcoming.
The adjacent block closures will take place from Howard Place NW, on Howard University’s campus, to Madison Street NW. There are 44 streets whose blocks will close, says the order:
“Howard Place NW; Euclid Street NW; Fairmont Street NW; Girard Street NW; Gresham Place NW; Harvard Street NW; Hobart Place NW; Columbia Road NW; Irving Street NW; Kenyon Street NW; Keefer Place NW; Lamont Street NW; Morton Street NW; Park Road NW; Newton Place NW; Otis Place NW; Princeton Place NW; Quebec Place NW; New Hampshire Avenue NW; Rock Creek Church Road NW; Quincy Street NW; Randolph Street NW; Shepherd Street NW; Taylor Street NW; Upshur Street NW; Kansas Avenue NW; Iowa Avenue/Varnum Street NW; Webster Street NW; Allison Street NW; Buchanan Street NW; Crittenden Street NW; Decatur Street NW; Delafield Place NW; Emerson Street NW; Farragut Street NW; Arkansas Avenue NW; Gallatin Street NW; Hamilton Street NW; Ingraham Street NW; Jefferson Street NW; Kennedy Street NW; Illinois Avenue NW; Longfellow Street NW; and Madison Street NW.”
Other major American cities including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, and Atlanta have held open streets events in the past. The idea dates to the 1970s, when Bogotá, Colombia, started hosting an annual recreational event that shuts down streets to motorists.
Since word of the event got out last week, some residents have expressed initial support for it on social media. It is part of D.C.’s Vision Zero initiative to eradicate traffic fatalities by 2024.
I’m on vacation, but can’t miss instantly reading the Register (@DCRegs is the only Twitter notification I have)— Corey Holman (@coreyholman) July 26, 2019
So did anyone today tweet about the Open Steeets event on Georgia Avenue between Barry Pl and Missouri on October 5? Nearly 3 miles! So pumped! pic.twitter.com/vlI4172cE4
Georgia Ave, car-free, from Howard University to Missouri Ave?! Let's do this!!! @MayorBowser @BrianneKNadeau @ANC1A https://t.co/1x3vByOLAf— Tucker Cholvin (@tuckerhimself) July 26, 2019
First glimpse I’ve seen of Open Streets D.C.’s location being chosen: Georgia Avenue. I just marked my calendar for October 5! https://t.co/CbJSSxpNhR https://t.co/3IRZBPfyhO— Aaron Landry (@s4xton) July 26, 2019
Shhh...but mark your calendars for October 5th for this really important thing. https://t.co/FaXQaNHjOU— Greg Billing (@gregbilling) July 26, 2019