Downey Ride & Stride 2 – Open Streets Open Thread
Yesterday, Streetsblog had the pleasure of participating in the city of Downey’s second open streets festival, Downey Ride & Stride 2017. The event closed several Downey Streets to car traffic, and opened them to families, bicyclists, runners, pedestrians and much more. It was funded by Metro’s open streets grant program and sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and Verizon
The weather was crisp and chilly with an upside of plenty of dramatic clouds.
The 2016 Ride and Stride event route was longer – about five miles – but felt some what spread out, with some residential streets seeing fairly light event activity. Yesterday’s roughly three-mile route was focused on three fairly-car-centric larger streets – Lakewood Boulevard, Stewart and Gray Road, and Downey Avenue – with four small spurs connected to these. The southern tip of the route was one long block from the Metro Green Line Lakewood Boulevard Station. The route did not quite connect with downtown Downey’s Firestone Boulevard, which has a more of a Main Street character with plenty of popular eateries. One good aspect of the shorter route is that there was only a single crossing point for cars.
The Ride & Stride route included many stretches lined with booths and various other activity hubs featuring kids activities, music, vendors and much more. The extensive array of booths – including local high school clubs, Avon, Shaklee, financial planners, tax preparers, elected officials, food trucks, nutritional advice, chiropractic massage, health screening – formed a sort of swap meet atmosphere. Bicycle traffic slowed as folks interacted with booth foot traffic along one edge. While there were thousands of cyclists and pedestrians, there tended to be a lot of activity focused around the booths, with other areas somewhat sparse at times.
Readers – how was your 2017 Downey Ride & Stride?