On that day, between 9.00am and 2.00pm, the stretch of Sir Lowry/Victoria Road between Russell Street and Roodebloem Road will be closed off to motorised vehicles, and opened to people to walk, skate, cycle, play, dance, explore, or just connect with friends and family in a safe, relaxed public space.
Open Streets Days celebrate streets as shared public spaces, and encourage people to think differently about how they move around the city. The programme has grown in popularity since the first one was held in Observatory in 2013. This will be the third to be hosted in Woodstock.
Confirmed activities for Open Streets Woodstock include swing dancing by Cape Town Swing, Cool Kid on a Bike by Pedal Power Association and Bicycling Empowerment Network, a Scavenger Hunt by WWF South Africa, skateboarding lesson by Twenty Skeight / Eduskeight, a park activation by the Woodstock Residents’ Association, an outside broadcast by Bush Radio 89.5fm, a graffiti jam by BAZ-ART, salsa dancing by Sun-kissed Salsa, skating by Cape Town Rollergirls and lots more.
Rebecca Campbell, Programmes Director at Open Streets Cape Town, says: “On every other day of the year, Sir Lowry/Victoria Road is dominated by cars, buses and taxis, and extremely hard to navigate as a pedestrian, skater or cyclist. Open Streets Woodstock is a perfect opportunity to celebrate the heritage and diversity of the area. We hope to have tons of people coming out to collectively reimagine the street and share talents, flavours and recreational activities.”
“Open Streets days give Capetonians an opportunity to experience streets as safe and welcoming public spaces where we can connect, socialise and participate in activities. As cities around the world evolve to become more human centred, we must also reimagine our city and turn it into a space not only built and meant for vehicular traffic, but more so for pedestrians and cyclists. We must rethink the use of public spaces and streets and how these assets could assist in creating a more sustainable and liveable city,” said Councillor Brettt Herron.
Open Streets Woodstock coincides with the end of Transport Month, which runs every October to raise awareness about the importance of transport in South Africa. Open Streets is involved in various events relating to Transport Month, including a weekly #Bike2Work bike bus, which leads cycling commuters in a group from Claremont, Gugulethu and Table View to the CBD every Friday during the month. In the last week of October, Open Streets is also leading a Learning Exchange, in which delegates from 10 African countries will be visiting Cape Town to learn about the Open Streets process, with a view to implementing it in their own cities.
Anybody interested to participate in Open Streets Woodstock by bringing along an activity to fill a spot on the route, please contact Open Streets at firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 286 0823.
Photo by Lisa Burnell