We might be in the middle of summer right now, but there are already things to put in your calendar for this fall. The number one thing on the list is Open Streets Detroit. The Downtown Detroit Partnership and DTE Energy Foundation are working together to bring the international event to Detroit.

Open Streets Detroit will close Michigan Avenue from downtown to approximately the Michigan Central Station and a portion of West Vernor Highway in Southwest Detroit to all motorized vehicles.

In the place of the vehicular traffic, there will be a ton of free activities for people to participate in besides walking and biking down these thoroughfares like sports, street fair activities, creative booths, exercise classes, and other health and wellness classes. This will be the first time that either street will be closed for this purpose.

Open Cities Detroit

The route will showcase numerous parks throughout the city like Campus Martius Park, Roosevelt Park, Clark Park, and Boyer Playfield. It will also give people the opportunity to walk throughout these neighborhoods and to get to know the businesses and restaurants along Michigan Avenue and Vernor. You miss a lot when you are driving down these streets, so the fact that people will be able to slow down and take the time to explore is great for everyone.

“The DTE Energy Foundation is proud to help provide this unique, first-time experience in Detroit and serve as a catalyst for change in our communities,” said Faye Nelson, vice president at DTE Energy, and president of the DTE Energy Foundation. “The open streets concept has been successful in many other cities across the world, promoting the economic prosperity, culture and vitality of local neighborhoods.”

More than 200 cities worldwide have established on-going Open Streets initiatives, many of which are modeled after Bogotá, Colombia’s highly successfully Ciclovía, a weekly program that opens over 70 of miles of city streets to citizens for outdoor physical activity and has attracted up to two million participants over the course of its 30-year run.

Organizers are still looking for community partners to provide programming for the event. If you are interested in applying they will start taking applications on July 12.

The plan is that Open Streets Detroit will be held on September 25 and October 2 from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m..

There is one caveat to this entire event and that is that it still needs to be approved by city officials. We will update when we know if it has been approved or not.

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