There’s a special event that happens every year in Tucson (and around the world!) that brings thousands of people to the streets – Cyclovia! Here in Tucson, Cyclovia is a program of Living Streets Alliance, but this concept has its origins in Bogota, Colombia, where the first “open streets” event happened, and still happens, every week. Cyclovia events close down sections of roadways to cars and makes them available for biking, walking, and community engagement.
WDG decided to participate in the Spring 2019 Cyclovia and we had a GREAT experience. We got to be a part of a larger effort of people who support multi-modal transit. We got to show the community that landscape architects have an important role in roadway projects. We got to watch over 44,000 participants enjoy open streets on a beautiful Sunday.
Because a large breadth of our work at WDG is related to transportation, we decided to do a pop-up traffic circle installation. Our goal was to show people how an intersection could be transformed with a traffic circle to become safer, encourage slower driving, create water harvesting opportunities, and beautify the neighborhood with vegetation. We took the meaning of “traffic calming” one step further and made our demonstration a traffic “calming” circle, complete with yoga, a zen garden, incense, therapy plants, and music.
We were completely overwhelmed by the positive response we received – people loved the idea of a traffic circle in their neighborhood and appreciated being able to visualize one temporarily. We felt very encouraged by all the supportive comments for traffic calming, and the success of a pop-up installation project. With a bit of effort, it’s possible to demonstrate an idea and generate buy-in.
Some of our highlights:
Plant donations from three nurseries (huge thank you to Pima County Native Plant Nursery, Mountain States Wholesale Nursery, and Civano Nursery)
50 native plant giveaways (Mammillaria) (thank you Pima County Native Plant Nursery)
Opportunity to explain our excitement for traffic calming to Gabrielle Giffords
Very creative cactus yoga poses – including a group of acroyogis!
People momentarily turning into plants at the Dress Up Like a Plant station
Chalk and zen garden designs from many creative kiddos
Shoutouts from TDOT
Scroll below for more great pictures from Cyclovia!