|
|
|
|
The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • LV Times columnist: Leavenworth has Ciclovia potential

  • Many large cities around the world are doing what they are calling Ciclovia.
    Generally speaking, it seems they close several thoroughfares in their cities on Sunday and reserve the streets for people. The people ride bikes and roller blades or they walk or run.
    • email print
  • Many large cities around the world are doing what they are calling Ciclovia.
    Generally speaking, it seems they close several thoroughfares in their cities on Sunday and reserve the streets for people. The people ride bikes and roller blades or they walk or run.
    Some host organized events like distance races and some are just fun walks or runs.
    Some cities include stages or plazas, in which instructors lead the people in dancercise, yoga, tai chi, etc.
    Some have live bands or places for jam sessions.
    There seemed to be plenty of food vendors and others who show up, too.
    The closest North American event of this type with which I am familiar is the weekly Portland Saturday Market, which is so popular that it also includes Sunday. It is conducted only in the massive park along the Willamette River, but that is a lot of territory for a weekly event.
    I was there when they also had a bicycling carnival hosted by the folks that make Fat Tire Beer. I saw hundreds of bicyclists dressed in all kinds of costumes parading around the park on their dressed-up bikes.
    Chicago closes the main highway along the lake, Lake Shore Drive, on at least one Sunday per year and they even charge a fee to ride your bike and raise something like a quarter million dollars to support bicycling in the Windy City.
    A common thread throughout the videos about Ciclovia is that it develops a love of the city by the people because they know that every Sunday during the year they can find large avenues closed to motorized vehicles and where people meet up and find each other.
    They come there to exercise, dance, eat, listen to or play music, shop, etc. When you have that to look forward to, people develop a sense of connection to the city.
    That kind of connection means that people stay there and others want to live there. The city life becomes fun and it is better than someplace else that does not have such a life.
    So, is Leavenworth big enough for a weekly Ciclovia?
    It might be tough to do it on main streets like Delaware, because 7 Highway cuts the city in half, but it might be possible to take it underground by using Three-Mile Creek.
    If people knew that every Sunday they could come to Three-Mile Creek for a party with jam sessions, some food, do some running or walking, etc., it might help develop that sense of loyalty to the city and for people to want to live here and not elsewhere.
    When we go to Portland to visit family, I always look forward to going to Saturday Market.  
    Page 2 of 2 - Sometimes we spend a little money and sometimes we just walk around and visit with vendors or just sit still to be entertained by the street performers.
    When it is warm, we enjoy sitting by the fountains where the kids run through the dancing waters.
    That is also where most of the street performers and food vendors are located, so it draws a huge crowd.
    Leavenworth will never be Portland or Chicago or any of the large metropolitan cities, but it does have some small potential to develop a party atmosphere and to attract a regular crowd downtown.
    Certainly Hay Market Square would serve as the center of activity at one end of Three-Mile Creek and the Landing Park would be another center of activity at the river end.
    Our weather would not allow us to have Ciclovia every Sunday, but a season that matched the Farmersí Market season might be a place to start.
    Check out Ciclovia online and see what you think and whether Leavenworth is big enough to do it.
      • calendar