St. Pete Opens Streets for the People

Alexis Hartman, 3, paints the Nomad Art Bus at Open Streets St. Pete on Sunday, October 29.  “We used to live in Philly,” said Michelle Pilner, Hartman’s mother. “It’s good to see the city gearing towards that [walkability] here. We base where we live off walkability.”

Open Streets St. Pete, now in its second year, closed off Central Avenue between 9th and 22nd Streets, Sunday, October 29, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m in a festival aimed to promote walkability, bikeability and fun in an area usually dominated by vehicle traffic. City officials, including Mayor Rick Kriseman and Chief of Staff Kevin King attended the event, alongside St. Petersburg Police officers, local businesses, charities and residents.

A training course set up by St. Petersburg Department of Transportation provided bicycle safety lessons lead by police officers, as well as a free helmet giveaway.

“I think when you make a city more bikeable and walkable, you give residents a higher quality of life. You’ll see improvements to air quality, traffic safety, public health… it’s an all-around win-win,” said Cheryl Stacks, city of St. Petersburg transportation manager.

City of St. Petersburg Transportation Manager Cheryl Stacks instructs Dominick Holler, 7 about helmet safety, following a biking lesson from St. Petersburg Police Officer Michael Hughbanks.

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