Last year, for two days, parts of Michigan Avenue and Vernor Highway became free of vehicular traffic. The event, called Open Streets Detroit
, encouraged pedestrians to reimagine the use of roads through the use of vendors, performances, and interactive street art.
"Ultimately, over 10,000 people came each day, most of them from Detroit," wrote Jessica Meyer, in a piece for Model D about the event
. "There were no major injuries besides an occasional bee sting and there was no violence or fighting. Residents from both Corktown and Southwest expressed pride in showcasing their neighborhoods. … Through events like Open Streets Detroit, we can empower Detroiters to think critically about their surroundings and advocate for their right to public space."
The event was such a success, that it's happening once again. Organized by The Downtown Detroit Partnership
, the free event will take place on Sunday, October 1, from noon to 5 p.m. There will be an addition to the route this year, beginning at the newly created Beacon Park downtown and connecting to Michigan Avenue.
Map of pedestrian path for Open Streets Detroit - courtesy of DDP
"We received a lot of positive feedback from participants and business owners from last year's events, and we're looking forward to working with the Corktown and Southwest Detroit communities to further build off that momentum," said Lisa Nuszkowski, project lead for Open Streets Detroit, in a press release. "We found that there is a real desire for a program like Open Streets, which helps connect communities, support local businesses, and encourages people to get out and get active."
The organizers are also seeking program sponsors, "who can create family-friendly participatory activities focused on health, wellness, arts and culture."
[Open Streets Detroit was also featured in a Model D piece
about the future of Michigan Avenue]
Open Streets Detroit takes place on Sunday, October 1, from noon to 5 p.m. Apply to be a program sponsor here.