Open Streets Detroit, a free event that closes certain Detroit roads to car traffic, will kick off at noon on Oct. 1 and run until 5 p.m.
“Open Streets Detroit is a free, safe and inclusive event that brings Detroiters together in the streets by providing opportunities for fitness, recreation and community building along 3.5 miles of roadway,” says the Facebook description. “At Open Streets Detroit, you can expect to see people walking, running, biking, rollerblading, skateboarding, and playing in the streets.”
The goal of this event is to get people to get out and walk, says Lisa Nuszkowski, the project lead for Open Streets.
“Open Streets is different than your typical street fair or festival in that it’s really focused on getting people out and about and moving,” she said. “You’re going to see a lot of healthy activities provided; we’ve got over 110 program partners who are providing everything from dance to sports to yoga to tai chi to arts and culture to music.”
The route for the event begins on Michigan Avenue at Beacon Park at the easternmost point, then continues through downtown, Corktown and Southwest Detroit along Vernor Highway.
“There’s no start and end point,” Nuszkowski said. “Nobody has to start in one place, so it’s not like a run or race in that way.”
Along the route, there are shops and vendors for participants to explore as well.
“There are a plethora of really wonderful shops, restaurants, and other businesses that we want to encourage people to patronize,” Nuszkowski said. “We definitely encourage people to go check out all the great businesses that are on the route.”
“There’s a little something for everyone,” she added. “It’s all free and all family friendly, so it’s appropriate for people of all ages. I think that there will be a little something for everybody who comes out this Sunday.”
Nuszkowski said this event “focuses on people who live on or near the route. We think it’s a great opportunity for people to walk out the door and down the street and be able to partake in the festivities. With that being said, we certainly encourage people who may not be living in the neighborhoods that the route goes through to come out and check out Open Streets as well.”
“Most often a street like Michigan Avenue feels prohibitive to pedestrians,” she said. “This event allows people to experience the streets in a way which they can’t typically do so, perhaps even helps them envision a future that supports more pedestrian and bicycle activity on the street year round, so it’s not just a one day event.”
“We hope to really highlight the wonderfully diverse and rich neighborhoods along the routes as well as the business there.”
Learn more at openstreetsdet.org.