Earlier this year, the City of Clarkston and the Clarkston Community Center were presented with an opportunity. With a grant in hand to enhance awareness of bicycling and bike safety, they wanted to try to reach more people than just a bike class could.
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition encouraged Clarkston to try an open streets initiative, to give residents and supporters the chance to experience biking and walking on streets where they might normally feel unsafe outside of a car, while building community and having fun together. ABC agreed to provided some guidance on planning, and assistance with marketing and design as partners, but the real stars were the Clarkston community members and leaders!
Thus Clarkston Streets Alive was born. Several short months later, despite heavy rain and temperatures in the 40s, Clarkston Streets Alive carried on as planned on Sunday, November 8th. Nothing could stop the City of Clarkston and the Clarkston Community Center from hosting their first open streets event.
A bike parade kicked things off, with community organizations set up near the Clarkston Community Center, on N. Indian Creek Drive. People were able to walk, bike, and play on the 1.2 mile route. There were a variety of activity partners present - MARTA brought out a bus so people could test out how to load a bike on the front rack, Refuge Coffee Co. served up very welcome warm drinks, and Atlanta Contact Point provided unicycling lessons to the curious.
All in all, it was a great Open Streets event (despite some not-so-cooperative-weather) and we at the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition were delighted to see another community embrace the open streets concept.