Local officials including the mayor and Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) turned out this morning to promote Streets Alive!, a mile-long block party planned for Sunday, Sept. 7.
The event, organized by Citizens’ Greener Evanston and the city, will close Main Street to car traffic from 1 to 6 p.m. that day from Hinman Avenue to the Robert Crown Center.
The “open street” event will feature an array of activities from talent shows to hula-hooping, a giant chess board, local performing artists and food trucks.
Biss said the event will be symbolic of efforts to address “a whole circle of issues” ranging from the environmental benefits of reducing reliance on cars to achieving a more healthy lifestyle.
Many forces in society effectively demand that people have cars to have jobs now, Biss said, which creates a major burden on the less affluent.
And, he added, the increased density that results from more walkable communities can be a major factor in encouraging economic growth and prosperity.
Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said the event would both help the city reach its goals for reducing its carbon footprint and give residents an opportunity to have some fun.
Last year a pilot project for the new initiative closed a portion of Dempster Street to cars for part of a day.
Update 8/8/14 11:11 a.m.: A map distributed at the news conference indicates that north-south traffic will be permitted at Main Street’s intersections with Chicago, Ridge, Asbury and Florence avenues during the event. Except for Florence, all of those are signalized intersections.