HALIFAX – This Sunday will offer Halifax the opportunity to uniquely engage with the city while encouraging alternative modes of transportation, walking, biking, skating, etc. Inspired by the sheer number of “open street” type events elsewhere (e.g. Bogota’s Ciclovia) Switch is primarily about reclaiming streets as more than just a vehicular transport artery, but as public space, as a place for community.
While in other Canadian cities like Montreal or Ottawa, it is routine to close down kilometres of streets to motorized vehicles for urban festivals and gatherings, Ross Soward and the Planning & Design Centre didn’t have an easy time getting permission to open up a 2km stretch as recounted by Chris Benjamin for The Coast and Lisa Roberts for Halifax Magazine.
SwitchHFX has the potential to be “transformative” in how urban residents start seeing, interacting and engaging with streets. The success of Switch will also be felt in supporting the North-South Peninsula Bicycle Corridor route to be located on Agricola versus local street bikeways, but that’s a topic for another day.
Bring a helmet, bring a friend. Let’s make this a success. You’ll want more of this type of thing in Halifax, I promise.
What: Switch: Open Street Sundays
When: Sunday, September 9, 2012 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Where: South Park Street, Bell Road, Ahern Avenue, North Park Street, Agricola Street