The equipment needed to effect a road closure for an Open Streets day has become our Achilles's heel. Not only is it expensive, but getting the necessary barriers, signs and infrastructure has become a disproportionately intensive part of the exercise due to the requirements of the (mandatory) event permit.
Acknowledging the importance of keeping people safe, we are racking our brains to figure out how to reduce the costs related to infrastructure. On the one hand, semi-permanent infrastructure would be most ideal if a particular street became a regular Open Streets day route; but on the other, the investment of high-tech bollards and other equipment might be too high given that we have a long way to go to developing a regular route.
In Bogota, Colombia, from the moment that Open Streets (or Ciclovia, as it is called there) started 41 years ago until today, the infrastructure has been rather simple and therefore, inexpensive. This infrastructure is used once a week on a Sunday (7am-2pm) and every public holiday, to create over 120kms of safe space in the capital city for people to run, walk, cycle and do other recreational activities. The images below are a simple example of how streets can be opened to people and closed to cars.