From Columbus to Atlanta to Savannah, people will be taking over the streets this weekend in community events.
In Columbus, the inaugural CutBait Music Festival will close Broadway Friday and Saturday to make room for outdoor stages and music lovers.
People in Savannah will take part in the city’s second Play Streets event of the year Sunday on Pennsylvania Avenue. Play Streets is an initiative started by First Lady Michelle Obama in 2012 to encourage children to be more active.
Sunday’s event will focus on bicycling. Savannah has already scheduled two more Play Streets dates for the fall.
Atlantans will also give up their cars Sunday to open nearly three miles of Peachtree Street for other activities.
“Open streets events help us experience the streets which are our greatest public asset, you know the largest public space that we all own and pay for, from an entirely different angle,” said Atlanta Bicycle Coalition Executive Director, Rebecca Serna. “So, on a typical day on a major Atlanta street, cars really are prioritized. During Atlanta Streets Alive, people become the top priority.”
Atlanta Streets Alive is part of an international movement to make roadways safer for everyone. Their most recent event on Highland Avenue in October 2012 drew 20,000 people.
“We don’t see this as just a special event, but really a way to show people what’s possible,” explained Serna.
“The funniest thing to me is people will come up to me after the event and they’ll say, ‘You know, you ruined the street for me because now my three-year-old thinks that we should be able to ride our bikes on it every day.’ Great, that’s what we want them to think. Wouldn’t that be the ideal world that we’re going for where people from 8 to 80 can really take full advantage of our city’s infrastructure on whatever mode they choose.”