Dave Schlabowske
Bike Czar

Open Streets Event Finally Comes to Milwaukee

Hundreds of cities have sponsored Ciclovia events. Milwaukee's first one is on August 29.

By , Bike Federation of Wisconsin - Aug 21st, 2015 03:00 pm
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Ride the Drive in Madison features B-cycles, and Ciclovia MKE will have Bublr bikes people can try.

Ride the Drive in Madison features B-cycles, and Ciclovia MKE will have Bublr bikes people can try.

The Wisconsin Bike Fed is happy to be helping coordinate Ciclovia MKE, Milwaukee’s first Open Streets event. Ciclovia MKE will offer a unique opportunity to bring diverse communities together and create safe, fun places for residents to ride their bikes, socialize and participate in physical activities, even if their neighborhood does not have a trail nearby. Ciclovia MKE invites Milwaukee residents to become active and enjoy open public spaces.

Ciclovia MKE will take place on Saturday, August 29th, 2015 at the intersection of Cesar Chavez Drive, and Washington St. The bike route is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., which starts on Washington St. and goes from Cesar Chavez Drive to Barclay St., and ends at the opening of the KK River Trail. An open market will be on Cesar Chavez drive from 11 a.m. 5 p.m. for participants that want to buy products from the local businesses.

Ciclovia derives from a Latin American tradition, more specifically from Colombia, that is about minimizing the use of cars and promoting biking to explore the communal spaces. This way, residents can have the space available for walking, dancing, playing games, socializing, and most importantly promoting bike use for daily purposes. Ciclovia MKE is the first event of this type in Milwaukee and we encourage participants to join the healthy initiative. For more information, please visit Cicloviamke.org.

There are now regular Open Streets events in hundreds of cities across the US. Here in Wisconsin, the largest are Madison’s Ride The Drive events. Other Wisconsin communities like Green Bay and Stevens Point have had Open Streets events. With its Latin flavor, it is fitting that Milwaukee’s first event begins on the near south side.

The success of Ciclovia MKE is predicated on creating an engaging environment where families can participate in fun activities. Physical activities will include a soccer area coordinated by the Milwaukee Soccer Development along with a variety of traditional Mexican and American street games. Also, dance lessons and interactive entertainment will be provided by Academia de Danza Mexico and Instituto Cultural de Danza.

The Ciclovia MKE initiative allows local businesses to become integrated with the community as they join physical and social activities. In other communities, this initiative has proven to boost the economies of the local businesses. We believe hosting a successful Ciclovia event will vitalize the economic growth on Cesar Chavez Drive and benefit both local businesses and residents.

This event provides support to the community through the involvement of AWE Milwaukee, Bublr Bikes, Cesar Chavez BID, Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative, CORE/El CentroJourney HouseNEWaukee, Sixteenth Street Community Health Center, The City of Milwaukee, Walker Square Neighborhood Association and Milwaukee County Parks.

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This story was originally published by the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin.

Categories: Bike Czar

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