Pensacola Streets Set To Open For Ciclovia 2019
Some major streets in Pensacola will be off limits to anything that runs with a motor for a few hours later this month as Ciclovia returns to town. Since it started in the 1970s in Bogota, Columbia, Ciclovia has been spreading around the world.
Two years ago, Ciclovia came to Pensacola for the first time, and thousands of people took to the road on bikes and skates and their own two feet.
"You see people walking, riding bikes, roller skating, conversing (and) socializing. That's the great thing about streets that work well is that people tend to do that," said Vernon Compton, a longtime resident of northwest Florida who has been active with several environmental organizations. He was able to run through the open streets during the event. "That was a lot of fun for me personally, but then also just walking around and meeting people and talking to them and seeing friends and just being able to stop. They had chairs set up for people to be comfortable. Just lots of activities going on."
"There were performers, you could ride your bike everywhere, there were a lot of events going on such as helmet fitting, there was food everywhere and a lot of people downtown just enjoying the day and enjoying getting out and riding a bike," said Erin Weinreich, a student at UWF who also enjoyed the open streets during last year’s Ciclovia. She says she plans to get there a bit earlier this year to visit more of the tents set up and to socialize with others.
Ciclovia, also known as Pensacola Open Streets, will close down Palafox Place and South Palafox Street from Garden Street down to the pier, and Bayfront Parkway and Main Street from the Gulf Power Building to Bruce Beach, just past the ballpark.
"If we get sunny weather from 9(am) until 2(pm) on that Saturday, the 23rd of March, We're going to have so much fun," said Rand Hicks, the chairman of Ciclovia Pensacola. "The great thing is that we're getting healthy when we come to Ciclovia, we go out and we exercise."
The event’s planners hope this will get people out and moving in their community. Most merchants along Palafox Place and South Palafox Street will be open during the event, which is open to everyone and is free of charge. Ciclovia - Pensacola Open Streets 2019 is Saturday, March 23 in downtown Pensacola from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. For more information, visit pensacolaopenstreets.com or facebook.com/pensacolaopenstreets.