Bike, walk, and roll, but don't drive: Southside streets are closed this Sunday for car-free Streets Alive event

September 6, 2014 by Rachel Cera

Several blocks on Ithaca's southside will be transformed tomorrow from thoroughfare to street fair. The sixth "Streets Alive" event will close parts of Plain Street, West Clinton Street, and Wood Street to drivers from 1-5pm on Sunday, September 7th.

"Streets Alive is not really a fair or festival," organizer Tim Logue tells 14850 Today. "It's an open streets event, where we close some streets to cars and open them up to people." A member of the Street Alive organizing committee, Logue is also a transportation engineer for the City of Ithaca who's intimately familiar with motor vehicle traffic.

"Part of the point is to transform one of our greatest public spaces, street rights of way, and give them back to the people to celebrate, at least for a few hours," Logue says.

It's the sixth such street fair; similar Southside events have been joined by spring events in Ithaca's Fall Creek. Logue says the idea is to "encourage people to get out, to be social, to do something active and healthy, and to strengthen their community." Organizers ask participants to leave behind their cars and "Bike, Walk, Roll, and Move." 

South Plain Street will be closed from Green Street to Old Elmira Road, West Clinton Street will be closed from Corn Street to Albany Street, and Wood Street will be closed from Plain Street to Meadow Street. The biggest traffic impact will be on drivers heading between the west end and South Hill, who'll need to detour around the closed blocks of Route 96B.

"We've tried to program some stuff, mostly related to walking & biking, and healthy living," says Logue, "but we've tried harder to not over-program it, to make sure that we leave plenty of room for spontaneity and serendipity."

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