|Open Streets Salem postponed to 2020|
Indeed there were. Shoot.
In the minutes the reason for the postponement is "struggling to close routes." It would be interesting and helpful to learn more about the source of friction. Is it at the City? Is the City refusing to support the event in some way? Is it neighbors who do not see value in closing the streets for walking and biking? Are they creating static? What streets are contested? Is it a bigger street like State Street? Or just neighborhood streets? What's going on here?
And are the problems more than merely technical details for negotiation? Is there some way the event needs fundamentally to be reshaped?
The event never really found a footing. Sunday Streets took place in 2013, 2014, and 2015. But it went on hiatus in 2016. Reformulated for Saturdays as Open Streets Salem, it took place in 2017 and 2018. And it is on hiatus again in 2019.
This hiccuping suggests a more consistent pattern, arising from deeper things than merely the vicissitudes of volunteer organizing on a shoestring budget.
|Look at LA! They are doing it on larger, main streets|
It has seemed like as an "open streets" event, it should lean harder into closing busy streets to cars and creating a real lure in "car-free streets." If car-free is any draw, that is in contrast with car-full.
Car-free on a quiet neighborhood street that only sees a few hundred trips a day is not different enough.
Downtown, On Your Feet Friday has seemed for several years to be an event begging for some closed-street action. Maybe there are ways the two events can merge or leverage each other.
Perhaps there will be more to say as additional information comes out. An entirely different set of struggles could be behind the latest pause, and this is mainly speculation here. Still, it is troubling that the event has not proved more popular, and this suggests greater course-correction and stronger institutional support, especially from the City, may be necessary.
|Is post-event assessment measuring the right things?|
For previous notes over the years, see here.
|From back in May, this seems superseded now|
It will be interesting to see what is the final shape for any event bolted-on to the larger Cherriots celebration on the 7th.