A stretch of E. Lake Street in Minneapolis will be closed to vehicles Saturday for the first of a number of Open Streets events in the city this summer.
The street will be closed from 2nd Avenue to 22nd Avenue from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the event, which is intended to showcase how a street and neighborhood can come together without the noise, commotion and safety concerns connected with cars and trucks zipping past.
Though Open Streets events feature some of the trappings of street festivals, they're designed to simply encourage people of all ages to come out and socialize, entertain or play.
The annual series of Open Streets events includes this neighborhood lineup:
- Glenwood: Sunday, July 16.
- Cedar-Riverside: Sunday, Aug. 20.
- W. Broadway: Saturday, Sept. 16.
- Lyndale: Sunday, Oct. 8.
The events are presented by the city, Our Streets Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Foundation.
In announcing the scheduled Open Streets events, Mayor Jacob Frey and city officials rolled out a marketing program aimed to persuade more Minneapolitans to get around using something other than their personal car or SUV.
"As You Go MPLS" is touted as a "mode-shift campaign" as part of the city's goal to have 60% of trips in Minneapolis taken via walking, biking, or transit by 2030, a figure set out in the city's Transportation Action Plan. As of 2019, those methods made up an estimated 32% of all trips, according to city data.
Free bus passes from Metro Transit and discounted e-scooter rides from Lime, via code LIMEMSP23, are available if needed to get there. Metro Transit will offer information on rider discounts and the B Line, slated to open in 2024 for faster trips along Lake Street, and also will host a mural painting event at the Interstate 35W and Lake Street Station. Lime, Spin and Veo will offer free e-bike and e-scooter demos as part of the city's 2023 Shared Bike and Scooter Program.