Car-free event planned for Huntington

July 12, 2013
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An “Open Streets” event this Sunday will close part of Huntington Avenue to cars and make the street a “paved park” for walkers, bikers and others to enjoy.

The July 14 event, running 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., is organized by a coalition called Circle the City, which held similar events last summer in Jamaica Plain and along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway downtown. It will close the outbound side of Huntington between Brigham Circle in Mission Hill and Belvidere Street in the Back Bay.

Another Open Streets event will come to Blue Hill Avenue in Dorchester and Roxbury in September.

The intent of Open Streets is for Bostonians to “reclaim their streets,” according to a press release. The free event is not a street festival, but will have various activities such as fitness clinics, tours, music and dance classes.

“I hope our residents will take advantage of the opportunity to walk, bike, skate and play together on car-free streets,” Mayor Thomas Menino said in the press release.

Circle the City is named for its original plan for much more extensive street closures linking all of the Emerald Necklace Parks, which has not happened. Last summer’s Open Streets pilot events were aimed at streets that connected various public parks, but this year’s Huntington Avenue event will not directly connect to any major parkland. An alternate name for part of that stretch of Huntington is the Avenue of the Arts due to various cultural institutions, which may be involved in Open Streets programming.

The main coalition partners in Circle the City are the Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness, the Boston Cyclists Union, the City of Boston Bikes Program, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, the Fenway Alliance, the LivableStreets Alliance and Sustainability Guild International. For more information, see circlethecityboston.org.

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