(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced the dates of the upcoming Open Streets events for 2023. Open Streets events offer communities the opportunity to experience their streets in a whole new way by temporarily closing roadways to vehicles to provide safe spaces for walking, biking, skating, playing, and other social activities. The first Open Streets event will be held on Sunday, June 4 on 12th Street NE in Ward 5 between Franklin Street and Michigan Avenue. The second Open Streets event will be held on Saturday, October 7 on Georgia Avenue in Wards 1 and 4.
“Every year, Open Streets events provide an opportunity for residents to come together, be active, and enjoy our vibrant and thriving communities in new ways,” said Mayor Bowser. “These are events are about coming together – to enjoy our beautiful city, to support local businesses, and to think about the future our streets and the future of public space in DC.”
Both Open Street events will take place from 9 am to 3 pm, allowing District residents and visitors to safely walk, bike, scoot, and play throughout area roadways. Open Streets events also offer easy access to recreation and other health-orientated programming to promote economic development by supporting local businesses.
Open Streets events include programming and activities led by local businesses, community organizations, and District agencies focused on community building, health, and transportation safety. Attendees can expect to see free fitness classes, double dutch, chalk murals, live music, pop-up bike lanes, foam parties, and more. Businesses along Open Streets routes are also provided extra space in the roadway for outdoor dining, vending, and other activations. Open Streets events happen rain or shine, and attendees are encouraged to bring comfortable walking shoes, bicycles, roller skates, or scooters to experience the variety of activities on the route.
“We are thrilled to come back to 12th Street for this year’s inaugural event, as it was the highest rated of the six Open Streets events we held in 2022,” said DDOT Director Everett Lott. “Thanks to Mayor Bowser’s support, we’re able to highlight so many alternative modes of transportation while offering loads of fun for the entire family, and also providing a huge draw for the mixed-use corridor, as many attendees get to experience area businesses for the first time.”
The Open Streets concept originated in Bogota, Colombia in 1976 and has expanded to more than 122 American municipalities, including New York City, Atlanta, and Portland, Oregon. The District of Columbia began celebrating Open Streets in 2019 with an inaugural event on Georgia Avenue that attracted nearly 15,000 people.
For more information about the District’s upcoming Open Streets events, visit opestreets.dc.gov.