Thanks for making StreetsTalk a Success!

Melissa Constantine gives an overview of "Open Streets"

Tuesday's StreetsTalk event was a great success.  After a presentation about "Open Streets" by Melissa Constantine, a group of about 20 people discussed the idea of having an event here in the Twin Cities.  There was great enthusiasm for having Open Streets in the Twin Cities, and the general concensus was to think big. 

There was no shortage of ideas about what goals this event could help accomplish and after a long discussion of potential activities, we reached an exciting conclusion.

The beauty of Open Streets is that, with the simple act of opening streets to people, they can do whatever they want!  

The streets can become places to walk and run and rollerblade and bicycle safely.  They can provide space for music and art.  They can be a place to meet neighbors, and easily get to and from local shops.  They can be a place to enjoy yoga or aerobics in the open air, or a place to teach your kid how to ride a bike.  They can become truly public places.

In addition to accomplishing all of those things for a short time, there was a great discussion about the long-term benefits of forming a coalition of support for Open Streets.

Artist Ken Avidor's sketch of StreetsTalk

 (Ken Avidor's website)

The group brainstormed streets where this could take place, and came up with a long list -- Nicollet Avenue south of downtown, Lake Street, Hennepin through downtown, Cedar Avenue, Broadway Street NE, University Avenue, Marshall Street and Grand Avenue.

There was generally more interest in doing a series of smaller events, in different neighborhoods, rather than one big event. 

Two important questions went unanswered:

1) what season makes the most sense?  can we do a fall or winter Open Streets?

2) can we really have an event without cheese curds?

Thanks again to the West Bank Social Center for hosting and to the Hampden Park Co-op for donating delicious cheese and crackers.