Open Streets Knoxville
DANCE! BIKE! PLAY! ...IN THE STREET!
Open Streets Knoxville brings together community groups and local businesses, giving people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to walk, ride bikes, hula hoop, and much more - all in a setting that is fun and safe! More than a street festival, Open Streets Knoxville gives residents an opportunity to explore their neighborhood and local businesses in a safe, fun, and family-friendly way. Participants can enjoy being physically active and visiting local businesses by foot or on bike. It encourages the use of active transportation and healthy living, and has a goal of giving residents an opportunity to rethink our streets as public space.
The goal of Open Streets is to have at least a one mile route on Knoxville streets closed to traffic. Our events typically bring thousands of people into the street! Bike Walk Knoxville has in-kind support from the City of Knoxville and some funding from a Knoxville Community Agency Grant, but depends heavily on community sponsors and businesses to help defray the substantial costs of Open Streets Knoxville events.
We had a great time at Open Streets Knoxville 2023. Check back in 2024 for information about our next event!
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Why Open Streets?
Why have an Open Streets in Knoxville? Because Knoxville has a lot of streets and it’s not every day that you can be in them car-free and care-free. Take your whole family out for this great opportunity to explore and experience Knoxville's roads without the presence of cars.
Open Streets gives people from all over Knoxville the chance to visit with neighbors, friends and people from throughout the area, and get some exercise – all on city streets that will be closed to car traffic and open to walkers, joggers, cyclists, skaters and all other forms of people-powered movement.
Motor vehicles are detoured from the route allowing everyone the freedom to enjoy “open streets” safely and comfortably. Open Streets isn’t a race, parade or competition; it’s a chance to enjoy Knoxville from a new perspective. Walk your dog, roller skate, blow bubbles and have fun because during Open Streets, the streets are yours!
With every Open Streets Knoxville event, we seek to accomplish the following objectives:
- Enhance the brand and identity of greater Knoxville as a progressive urban community
- Increase the health and activity of Knoxville area residents
- Promote and increase awareness for walking and biking as an acceptable and safe mode of travel on public streets
- Increase neighborhood mobility, livability and access
- Provide a unique, sociable, and fun experience for everyone
- Provide a free public event affordable for all
The Global Open Streets Movement
One of the first and largest Open Streets (A.K.A. Cyclovias) in the world is held in Bogotá, Colombia. Every Sunday and holiday, every week of the year, the city closes down over 70 miles of roadways to cars to invite people to bike, walk, talk, exercise, picnic, sunbathe, etc. in the streets. People from all backgrounds come together in this beautiful community-inspiring event.
What is a Cyclovia?
Cyc˙lo˙via (/ˌsiːklɵˈviː.ə/) n.
A Spanish word signifying the temporary closure of a network of streets to cars so that they become “open” to people. During Cyclovia anyone can bike, walk, skate and participate in fun, free activities. The first Open Streets Initiative was called Cyclovia.
Check out this video to learn about the Open Streets movement: