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Experience a Tucson without cars at Cyclovia

08.04.18.cycloviatucson.PA-4
Pascal Albright | The Daily Wildcat Cyclovia Tucson looks to promote and increase awareness for cycling and walking as an acceptable and safe mode of transportation on public streets. The free public event was open to all in a hope to get people active and out, it took place this Sunday April 8, in downtown Tucson.

Cyclovia is a free, biannual event where three miles of Tucson streets are made car-free for the day and are lined with different activities, events, food and other entertainment. The spring 2019 Cyclovia event will take place Sunday, April 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Cyclovia is a program of the Living Streets Alliance, a non-profit organization that advocates for inclusive streets that are a safe, public spaces for anyone who travels on them, regardless of their transportation method.

“Our mission is to advocate for a thriving Tucson by creating great streets for all of us,” said Kylie Walzak, lead program manager for the Living Streets Alliance. “We envision streets as public space that connects people to each other and to places.”

The Cyclovia route extends three miles from the Banner University Medical Center Tucson location to the Tucson Historic Warehouse Arts District. 

“Cyclovia is a chance to remove cars from a network of streets completely so that people can experience what it is like to get around in their city outside of a car,” Walzak said.

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Over 100 activities and performances will line the route of Cyclovia. Many of these events will promote fitness and healthy living and incorporate poetry and writing, as Cyclovia will be celebrating national poetry month. 

“We have a stated goal that everyone who attends Cyclovia will encounter poetry in some way along the route,” Walzak said. “We’ve really used that as a theme to plug in all kinds of poetry themed activities all along the route.”

Banner University Medicine is the title sponsor of Cyclovia, and the Banner University Medical Center Tucson location will preview the first two floors of its new patient building at the start of the Cyclovia route, according to Katie Riley, director of media relations at Banner University Medicine. 

Banner will host guided tours of the new building, and just outside there will be live music, food trucks, a zip line and other activities. 

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The 2019 Cyclovia spring event will be the 15th event over the last eight years. Walzak said Cyclovia has been a popular event throughout the years, and the Living Streets Alliance is expecting 40,000 people to attend.

The Living Streets Alliance has had success in creating safer streets in Tucson. In February, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and the Tucson City Council unanimously adopted a complete streets policy which requires new streets to have safe means of transport for every user.

“We’ve really gone far down the road, pun intended, of creating streets that really prioritize one dominant mode of travel in personal automobiles,” Walzak said. “And that’s not achieving the highest potential of our streets. Our streets should be safe, comfortable, convenient places that foster the community.”

The full route, a line-up of activities and more information can be found on the Cyclovia website.


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