Mayor Hosts More Than 2,000 at Inaugural Open Streets Nashville
First-Time Event Hosted by Mayor’s Office and Walk Bike Nashville Filled the Streets of the Gulch Neighborhood with Walkers, Cyclists and Fun Activities
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean was joined by more than 2,000 walkers, cyclists and others participating in the inaugural Open Streets Nashville event that closed the streets to cars today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Gulch.
The event began on 11th Avenue under the Church Street Bridge with a ribbon-cutting program celebrating its transformation into a half-mile Complete Street. Following the ribbon cutting celebration, Mayor Dean led event attendees on to the Complete Street for a celebratory Open Streets Parade to bike, walk or skate into the three-hour event on the new Complete Street.
“Today’s event celebrated using all kinds of ways to move around - walking, bicycles, mass transit – and inspiring people to stop relying solely on their cars,” Mayor Dean said. “It's about mobility, and it's about connecting neighborhoods to each other. I am proud that our city has joined the more than 90 Open Streets initiatives in the United States and Canada as a way to encourage participation in physical activity and healthy recreation. I enjoyed experiencing the Gulch in a new way, and I hope that other neighborhoods in our city will follow the example of today’s event with additional Open Streets Nashville events in the future.”
Activities at today’s Open Streets Nashville event included free mini fitness classes led by CrossFit Gulch and Metro Parks; performances of The Frog Prince by Nashville Public Library’s popular Puppet Truck; free rentals from Nashville B-Cycle bike rental kiosks; a unicycle exhibit hosted by Green Fleet Bicycle Shop; a bike repair stand by Halcyon Bike Shop; and a guest appearance by Nashville Sounds mascot Booster. Participants had the opportunity to bike and walk freely on the streets of the Gulch, stopping along the way to play cornhole and giant Jenga, tour the MTA nMotion Bus, and relax in REI’s pop-up “chill zone” featuring camp chairs, water and energy bars.
Sidewalk activities and specials from Gulch businesses included Cantina Laredo, City Fire, AccessorEyes, Biscuit Love, Bond Coffee, Juice Nashville, Lucchese, RuSan’s, Party Fowl, The Pub, Party Fowl, Peg Leg Porker, Two Old Hippies, Turnip Truck and Yazoo, with a pop-up shop and barber shop quartet from Pioneer Gentlemen’s Barber, which is set to open in the Gulch in August. Entertainment included street performances by Playing By Air, chalk artists and a live music stage featuring performances by Lynn Taylor & the Barflies, The Shy and Supershaker.
Community partners of the inaugural Open Streets Nashville event included Hawkins Partners, Vanderbilt University, Collier Engineering Co., RPM Transportation Consultants, Bank of Nashville, Earl Swensson & Associates, The Andrews Agency, Nashville B-cycle, Prima, Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority, Lightning 100, Team Green Adventures, CocaCola Bottling Co. Consolidated, Gresham Smith and Partners, Creativity Moves Kids, The Gulch, Metro Public Works and Metro Parks.
Gulch business owners voiced their support for the Complete Street project:
- John Dyke, Founder/Owner of Turnip Truck: “As Nashville continues to develop, it's critical that we make our streets as safe and accessible as possible for pedestrians. These upgrades in The Gulch will benefit everyone who lives in, works in or visits the neighborhood. Our customers will certainly find grocery shopping more convenient due to easier access.”
- Holly Coltea, Co-owner of barre3 Nashville: “The 11th Avenue upgrade is an amazing asset to our neighborhood. Now with this completed, 11th and 12th feel like a complete neighborhood. 12th Avenue has already had its moment in the spotlight; now with 11th Avenue complete, the Gulch feels like one fabulous neighborhood. Truly a neighborhood to visit where you can stay for the entire day: get your exercise and then go indulge in a little shopping and a lot of eating!”
- Joe Wiese, GM, Lucchese Bootmaker: “Lucchese has been in the Gulch for over three years, and we have the seen the neighborhood continue to grow, develop and prosper. The Gulch has increasingly become a 'must-see' Nashville destination, and we are proud to be a part of such a burgeoning scene. These new projects are a welcome addition to the neighborhood.”
For more information about future Open Streets Nashville events, connect with Walk Bike Nashville on Facebook or visit www.openstreetsnashville.org.
About Open Streets Nashville
Open Streets Nashville encourages participation in physical activity and healthy recreation by opening streets to pedestrians and cyclists while closing them off to cars. Other Open Street festivals have taken place around the country with Los Angeles and New York implementing the first ongoing festivals. The first-ever Open Streets Nashville was presented by Mayor Karl Dean and Walk Bike Nashville in the Gulch on Saturday, June 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information about Open Streets Nashville, visit www.openstreetsnashville.org.
Photos provided by Metro Photographic Services.