|Looking East from 16th Street and Locust Street|
My wife, kids (in a bike trailer) and I used the first Open Streets as an opportunity to explore downtown, rather than ride the entire route from Forest Park (next time!). In all, this was a great, really fun event. Here are a couple of thoughts on how it can be even better.
|So Close, Yet So Far Away|
Second, I don't know what level of attendance/participation was expected, but there is no reason we can't do better next time. I'm not sure when this event was first announced, but I didn't hear about it until urbanstl.com blogged about it this past Monday. Subsequently, not one single person I mentioned it to or asked to join me had heard about it. Maybe this first event wasn't announced until this past week, but if it was earlier than that, the City has got to do a better job in communicating to the public for subsequent events.
I think we can, and should, help in that regard. Let's view Open Streets as an opportunity to invite people who might not otherwise be favorably disposed toward downtown to come and view it in a new light. It's great that people who are inclined to participate in these sort of urban events do participate--but I don't think that's enough. Let's get new people downtown. It's the old idea of changing "hearts and minds," one person at a time. I believe that just getting people down there is half the challenge, and that once there, most people could not help but appreciate and enjoy the beautiful built environment the rest of us love.
|Louderman Lofts and Rooster restaurant, 11th Street and Locust Street|
|End of the Line at 8th Street and Locust Street|
|Detour to Citygarden|