ATLANTA STREETS ALIVE
STORY: Claire Ruhlin | Photo: Erik Voss
This month, more than three miles of West Midtown’s roads will be closed to cars to allow for pedestrians to walk, run, bike, skate and frolic as they please. Held by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, Atlanta Streets Alive Westside invites Atlantans to leave their cars at home and experience the city by bike, foot or wheel.
The free event officially kicks off with an opening parade that begins downtown at 4 p.m. and weaves its way to Midtown through nine neighborhoods. Make sure to get there earlier rather than later; there will be free bike decorations for guests while supplies last.
“Atlanta Streets Alive allows Atlantans to reclaim our city streets as public space and experience them as a place of community, where people are the focus,” says Haydée Santana, community engagement director for the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. “It’s not a festival but an initiative to share a culture-shifting experience with as many Atlantans as possible.”
Along the route will be an assortment of interactive experiences hosted by local businesses and organizations—think pop-up musical performances, street art and games. “We create a living street environment that highlights transportation options and where health and civic pride thrive,” says Santana. “We hope participants see a safe, vibrant, people-focused city street experience as a reality we can strive toward and embrace as part of everyday life in Atlanta.”
One of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition initiatives is advocating for better cycling conditions, as well as making biking a more commonly used mode of transportation in a city that has long depended on cars. “The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition is working toward a day when anyone can hop on a bike in Atlanta—when biking is completely integrated into our city’s culture, daily life and infrastructure,” says Rebecca Serna, executive director at the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.