Over a mile of downtown Carpinteria roads will be completely car-less on Saturday, April 1—populated instead by bodies dancing, making street art, tai chi, bicycling, jazzercising and just standing around enjoying the company of friends and neighbors. Open Streets, a brand new concept for Carpinteria, will close portions of 8th Street, 9th Street and Linden Avenue to promote public health, active transportation and community by transforming streets into a public park for a day.
“Just about anything goes in the street—except cars,” said Kent Epperson of Traffic Solutions, which is organizing the event along with the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition and Global Good Impact.
Many months of planning have gone into the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. event, and over 80 diverse free activities for people of all ages and abilities will take place along the 1-mile route. On Feb. 27, the Carpinteria City Council approved the Open Streets permit, which includes closure of three connected streets—Linden Avenue (from 9th Street to Carpinteria State Beach), 8th Street (eastbound from Linden Avenue to Palm Avenue), and 9th Street (westbound from Linden Avenue to Reynolds Avenue).
Outreach for the event has involved contacting residents along the closed streets to inform them that their cars cannot be parked on the roadside nor driven on the street during the eight-hour event. Parking lots at Aliso School, Carpinteria Middle School and Carpinteria Children’s Project at Main will be open to the public starting at 7 p.m. on Friday for off-site parking.