REDMOND, OR -- Redmond hosts its first Open Streets event, this weekend, shutting down a portion of downtown to motorized vehicles, to encourage bike and pedestrian traffic. Bend has hosted several Open Streets, most recently on Mother’s Day, "Open Streets is an international initiative, actually," says Commute Option's Brian Potwin, "It started in Bogota, Colombia and it’s moved across the United States. There’s over 130 different cities in the U.S. that are doing it – Portland, Eugene, obviously. But, then other cities around the U.S. you wouldn’t necessarily expect, like L.A. does an Open Streets event."
Potwin acknowledges Central Oregonians love their cars, but tells KBND News, "We also have a community that loves to be outside, be physically active, be up at the mountains, do things on bicycles, so the reaction has been extremely positive because our community is all about getting outside. And, it’s really about the neighborhoods themselves; we’re inviting them to come out."
Redmond’s inaugural Open Streets
is Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., on Deschutes Ave. between SW 6th and 15th. It features live music, walking story books with librarians, lawn games, bicycle races. Or, bring another mode of transportation, "Skateboard or scooter or come with the family and go for a run. There’s all different ways to enjoy Open Streets," says Potwin. Bicyclists can even test their speed against a police radar gun. And city officials will be on hand to talk about planned bike and pedestrian improvements, including the Homestead Canal Trail.