Focus Cities: Get ready to roll through the heart of San José with Viva CalleSJ

This post, by our partners at Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, has been made possible by the grant-funded Focus Cities California program, a joint project of UC Berkeley SafeTREC and California Walks, which supports increased safety in walking and biking.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

SVBC is proud to once again work with the City of San José’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services (PRNS) on Viva CalleSJ, the City’s open streets program. Our organization has been part of the planning and outreach team for the last two events, in 2015 and 2016, and we’re looking forward to this year’s event, on Sunday, September 17, featuring the longest Viva CalleSJ route yet, Downtown and Eastbound: El Corazón.

El Corazón will appropriately run through the heart of San José. Beginning in Japantown, participants will be able to bike, walk, skate, scoot, hop, jog, shimmy, or dance south to Santa Clara Street. Then, heading east, Santa Clara becomes Alum Rock Avenue. Once the route reaches Alum Rock Village, it turns south again and heads all the way to Lake Cunningham Park. The total length: 7.2 miles!

SVBC has been a big fan of open streets events for years. We like them for their health benefits, the way they connect communities, and the fact that they show residents that distances they once thought could only be conquered by a car are, in fact, totally bikeable. And we’re not alone in our love of using streets as a giant park. Turnout for the first event, in 2015, was a respectable 30,000. The next year, that amount tripled! In 2017, we expect to see well over 100,000 participants take to the streets to play, mingle, and celebrate San José.

Head to the Viva CalleSJ website for details about the route, the planned activities, and transportation to the event. Remember, this is a community event that can’t happen without the help of hundreds of volunteers. If you’d like to get involved, visit the volunteer page and sign up to be part of the team!

Cross-posted at Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s site.