Cycle and Stroll to Car-Free West Hartford “Center Streets” on Sunday Aug 27th

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People of all ages filled the streets at the 2016 inaugural Center Streets event in West Hartford. Photo by Pam Lander.

Folks of all ages are invited to “take to the streets” for a care-free and car-free summer morning in West Hartford Center on Sunday August 27th, 2017, from 9am to 1 p.m. This second annual family-friendly event expects to surpass last year’s estimated crowd of 2,000 participants, and will feature the West Hartford Police Department hosting a bike rodeo and free bike registration. Learn more at our public FaceBook Event Page.

The town will close traffic on four roads that form a rectangular loop around the central business district: Farmington Avenue, South Main Street, Memorial Road Extension, and LaSalle Road. Ride your bicycle or scooter, or take a stroll down the street, without automobiles. Participating restaurants will offer brunch specials and free surprises, many merchants will feature discounts, and live music will be performed all morning. Children will be able to play hula-hoop, jump rope, and draw with chalk in streets closed to traffic.

“Our first year of Center Streets was beyond amazing,” recalled co-organizer Ethan Frankel. “We were thrilled with the massive turnout and everyone wearing smiles.” He was inspired by car-free summer events that have become increasingly popular in New York City and elsewhere around the globe. Residents tell co-organizer Edward Pawlak that they’re looking forward to this ‘open streets’ festival. “We would love for it to become an annual summer event, with support from the Town of West Hartford.” Center Streets is the signature community initiative of Bike West Hartford, Inc., a non-profit organization that promotes bicycle-friendly policies and programs in town.

Check out this video clip from the first Center Streets event in 2016:

Financial support for Center Streets is being provided by many local business and residents, including Whole Foods (principal sponsor), United Bank, West Hartford Police Officer’s Association, Scott Franklin & Associates, Inc., Farmington Savings Bank, Bloomfield Bike Shop, Filomeno, Thomas Fahy Insurance, Keating Insurance, Berkshire Bank, Simsbury Bank, Connecticut Ecosystems LLC, the MDC Water Wagon, Daniel Johnson, Dan Firestone, and the Frankel Family. Dust off your bikes, scooters, and strollers, and meet up at Center Streets!

Bike West Hartford, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation promoting the development of bicycle infrastructure and education within West Hartford.  http://www.bikewesthartford.org/

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Jack Dougherty

Jack Dougherty writes about cycling adventures, advocacy, and his growing appetite at JackBikes.org.