What is Sunday Streets?
Sunday Streets (also called “Open Streets”) closes streets to automobile traffic for a day so that people may use the space for other physical and social activities. The streets become parks as people replace car traffic. People walk, bike, skate and dance and play. Everyone from businesses and community organizations to musicians and artists use the space creatively, engaging the public and providing spontaneity and discovery.
It sounds simple, yet it really is very different and exciting.
People get out and connect with their community and urban environment in a transformative way. This temporary public space inspires creativity and change for the better, on that day - and beyond. As of early 2013, there are more than 70 Sunday Streets events in North America.
Check out StreetFilms.org for more about Open Streets around the world.
The first Sunday Streets in Berkeley was on October 14, 2012. More than 42,000 people came to Shattuck Ave to stroll, skate, cycle, dance, play in the street.
People came from all over the Bay Area to experience Berkeley anew. Local Berkeley businesses reported a 30-50% increase in sales on the day of the event. The first-ever Sunday Streets Berkeley was by all measures a great success.
Sunday Streets Berkeley has very much been inspired by Sunday Streets San Francisco’s successful 5 year run. We are so thankful for their leadership, encouragement and sharing of resources and wisdom in producing Sunday Streets Berkeley.
Sunday Streets Berkeley takes place on Shattuck Ave for 17 blocks from Rose Street to Haste Street. It is a celebration of local businesses and organizations. Storefronts will be unobstructed, and business owners will be encouraged to promote commerce and visibility by setting out seating on the street, hosting activities, and otherwise inviting interest and community.
Open Streets Worldwide
San Francisco, Bogota, Portland, St. Louis, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Mexico City, Vancouver, Minneapolis and more have had many successful years of Open Streets. The public’s love for these events is overwhelming.
Promoting Economic Development, Public Health, Car-Free Transportation, and More
Open Streets are increasingly common in cities seeking new and fun ways to achieve economic, environmental, social, and public health goals. These goals are shared across business, civic and community groups.
Open Streets offer new economic opportunities for commercial districts. In a recent study of an Open Streets event in St. Louis, 73% of attendees spent money at a restaurant or store along the route, 68% became aware of a store or restaurant that was new to them, and 94% responded “Yes - Positively” to the question: “Does Open Streets change your feelings about the city?”
Livable Berkeley promotes sustainable land use and transportation policies to reduce our impact on the environment and make our city more walkable, and more cyclist and public transit-oriented, with vibrant public spaces and commercial districts.