Many moons ago, New Orleans was a city with a great public transit infrastructure. Neighborhoods were compartmentalized and self-sustaining, requiring fewer long trips for goods and services. Streets were less clogged with traffic, and bicycles could move freely, as the Gods intended. Somewhere along the line, people got lazy, gas got cheap, streetcar lines got abandoned, and the RTA began a 30 year performance art piece challenging conventional concepts regarding “time” and “punctuality.” Saturday morning, October 26th, Bike Easy will transport us back to the glory days with their Play Streets event. (Though they will not be fixing the RTA.)
The first event of its kind in New Orleans, Play Streets will close Esplanade from Broad to Claiborne, and Bayou Road from Esplanade to Broad, reintroducing the notion of street as a place for pedestrian and cycle transit, for socializing and public discourse, and most importantly, for fun. Easy Streets events have enjoyed considerable success in progressive cities such as Oakland, which actually bear more semblance to New Orleans than you may think.
From 9AM to Noon the streets will be filled with points of interest, provided by participating partners. You can look forward to:
- Cooking demos/food samples
- Bicycle parade
- Instant recess
- Roller derby push cart races
- Second line at Bayou and Esplanade 10:30am
- Free bicycle mechanic
- MINI-CYCLOCROSS Y’ALL (I seent it on the map!)
More info is available from Bike Easy, New Orleans’ finest bicycle advocacy group. Check out the event page to get involved or donate.
Take back the street!
Yeah You Ride