What a couple of beautiful days to hold the City of Lawrence’s Ciclovía. More than 800 people came out to enjoy bicycling, walking, skateboarding, and more downtown where the streets were closed to auto traffic. MVPC worked hand-in-hand with other members of the Mayor’s Health Task Force to organize the events held on the first and third Sundays of August.
Organizers put a greater emphasis on bicycle safety this year. MassBike and the Bicicocina taught safe on-road bicycling though a bicycle rodeo. The public had the chance to learn more about Complete Streets efforts around the City, including upgrades to the pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. MassRides promoted Safe Routes to Schools. Free helmets were given out by MassRides and the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (provided by Lawrence General). While the majority of people arrived without helmets, most left the event with one on their head.
This year, more businesses opened their doors during Ciclovía on a day when most are closed. Businesses, such as the Essex Street Market, did a bang up job selling healthy and delicious foods. The Essex Street Market participates in the Healthy on the Block initiative in Lawrence to provide healthy food choices as part of the Mass in Motion program in the City.
Open Streets events are spreading across the country. MVPC staff member Betsy Goodrich moderated a workshop on these events at the Moving Together Conference on September 29th. Lawrence’s Vilma Martinez-Dominguez spoke and MassDOT’s Pete Sutton said that he will use these events to encourage more public participation in the transportation process.
If you didn’t make it to this year’s Ciclovías, be sure to put them on your calendar for next year (1st and 3rd Sundays in August).
Written Betsy Goodrich
Senior Transportation Planner