The Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative brought the Latin American tradition of Ciclovía to Milwaukee last Sunday. People enjoyed churros from a food truck, live dance performances and chalk drawings as vendors offered information about alternative transportation.
The event marked the second annual Ciclovía hosted in Milwaukee. The concept of Ciclovía originated in the late ’70s in Bogota, Colombia, where the streets were closed every week to motorized vehicles to leave space for recreation and exercise. The goal was to reduce pollution and to motivate residents to commute on their bikes.
Alderman José G. Pérez and his family attended the event’s festivities and participated in the two-mile bicycle ride.
“Ciclovía brings the neighborhood together to exercise and socialize in a safe, fun environment,” Pérez said. “It’s a family-friendly event with lots of activities for kids and adults to enjoy.”
South Side Bicycle Day was also celebrated at the event. The Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers provided free children’s helmets and raffled off more than 600 bicycles and bike locks.
According to Ian Bautista, executive director for the Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative, the third Milwaukee Ciclovía will occur on Aug. 14.
“We thought it was a great idea and Milwaukee deserved to enjoy it,” Bautista said.