Louisville will block off parts of Bardstown Road and Baxter Avenue from Broadway to the Douglass Loop on one Sunday in October to encourage walking and biking.
It’s called CycLOUvia, after a weekly event in Bogota, Colombia called Ciclovia. In Bogota, miles of streets are closed to vehicular traffic and opened to pedestrians, bicyclists and skaters every week. When Gil Penalosa, the city’s former parks commissioner, visited Louisville in March, he spoke about the ways the event benefited the city.
“And we actually get over one million people every single Sunday of the year, which is something that is very interesting,” he said. “And similar programs have been set up. Because this is something that works in cities of 50,000 people of 5 million people or 10 million people, it works equally well.”
This isn’t a new idea in the United States—places like Los Angeles, Portland and New York have been doing it for years. Sometimes it’s called some variation on “Ciclovia,” and sometimes it’s called “Open Streets.” In Kentucky, a similar event has happened in Lexington.
Metro Government is calling on citizens to help fund the first CycLOUvia. A campaign that went up today on the popular crowd-sourcing website Kickstarter says its goal is to raise $3,000 to pay for signage, bagging parking meters and “creating exciting nodes of activity.” The actual cost of the event will be more than $15,000.
Spokeswoman Rebecca Fleischaker says Metro Government has designated $10,000 to the event from federal money that goes to decreasing congestion and improving air quality, and Councilman Tom Owen has contributed $2,500. Fleischaker says she’s confident the Kickstarter campaign–launched by Broken Sidewalk blogger Branden Klayko–will raise the additional $3,000.
CycLOUvia is October 14 from 2 to 6pm.