Ithaca, N.Y. — Ithaca’s south side was flooded with roller bladers, bicyclists, pedestrians, musicians, dancers and more on Sunday.
The Streets Alive! event closed off half a mile of the streets running along South Plain Street from traffic. There were musical instruments for children, sidewalk chalk and Zumba.
Streets Alive! is a bi-annual event hosted by several community organizations.
“The Ithaca Streets Alive! is a unique event in which some of it is organized and some of it is spontaneous activity that happens in the streets,” said Rena Scroggins, Program Director of Bike Walk Tompkins, and one of the 18 organizers of the Ithaca Streets Alive!
“One of the things that excites me the most about Streets Alive! is that it has all these positive community building aspects to it and all this potential for mixing neighborhoods.”
Streets Alive! is part of a nationwide event called “Open Streets,” which is dedicated to providing an opportunity for communities to open up their streets to bicyclists and children.
Among the organizations that volunteered for the event was Bomber Bikes from Ithaca College. Bomber Bikes was providing free bicycle repairs.
“We are trying to get people out and riding and active in the community,” said Matthew Dezii, a volunteer from Bomber Bikes.
The event was assisted by about 110 volunteers who worked to keep the streets blocked from traffic. A majority of the volunteers were students from Ithaca College and Cornell University.
Big Red Bikes (Cornell University’s bike share) also volunteered to provide free bike rentals to attendees that did not have their own bicycles.
“Streets Alive! is amazing. It’s a great way to build community; it’s a great way to bring people who don’t normally come out to the South Side, for whatever reason, to come to the South Side,” said Leslyn McBean Clairborne, a resident of Clinton Street and county legislator.
“We love it.”