In countries around the world there has been a movement to promote healthier lifestyles for years. The “ciclovia” program is basically a major street closing to allow for pedestrians, bicyclists, skaters, and any other form of movement that does not involve an automobile. In Bogota, Colombia they shut down major streets for Cyclovia on a weekly basis and they have been for over 30 years! Last year in Louisville, Mayor Fischer decided he wanted to do this same thing the Louisville way. He called it CycLOUvia.
“CycLOUvia is certainly in step with our goal of creating a healthier Louisville,” Fischer said. “It also will help encourage alternative transportation options and pedestrian and bicycle safety, it’s good for economic development and it’s a great way to bring our citizens together.”
Well apparently everything went over very well among Louisvillians because CycLOUvia is back! This year the event will fall on Sunday, October 13th. From 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm a 3 mile stretch of Bardstown Rd / Baxter Ave between the Douglass Loop and Broadway will be closed to automobiles . Everyone is welcome to take to the streets via biking, skating, walking, or dancing. The two center lanes of Bardstown Rd / Baxter Ave will be for bikes and the outside lanes are for pedestrians. During these four hours a major thoroughfare becomes a paved linear park for our enjoyment. Yes, we already have lots of parks, but this is different. Let’s not forget that there are shops and eateries all up and down Bardstown Rd and Baxter Ave. Shops and restaurants are encouraged to engage the walkers, skaters, and riders. Last year there was live music on different parts of the sidewalk, handouts, and fun games! This is basically a really cool street fare…and it’s free!
With that being said, I hear that Mayor Fischer wants to amp it up a bit and plan 3 more of these events in the spring, including the Frankfort Ave corridor and the Broadway corridor. There are obviously costs involved with this and numerous volunteers needed. T-shirts are sold to help offset some of these costs and there are other ways to donate as well. If you went last year and you plan on going again this year, why not get a t-shirt? Either way, I feel that this is a super cool Louisville event, but also something very special for the Highlands specifically. So come out to the Highlands and take a traffic-free walk down one of Louisville’s busiest streets, fellowship with other neighbors, and soak up the fabulous Louisville atmosphere!
ps – if you are unable to attend and you have to do some driving that day, vehicles will be allowed to cross Bardstown Rd at Eastern Pkwy, Grinstead Dr, and Highland Ave, so plan ahead.