The Ciclovia/Car Free Sundays Workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, 24 Liberty Drive. There is no fee for the event.
The workshop aims to teach people that it isn’t as difficult to walk places as they might have come to think.
David Kenemer, principal planner for the Northwest Regional Commission, hopes many who attend will discover how easy and convenient walking or cycling to places really is.
During Car Free Sundays, which have not been scheduled yet, streets will be opened to people and closed to cars. Anyone can come out and improve their mental, physical and emotional health, said Kenemer. People can do any physical activity they wish to do in public — walk, bike, skate, dance, skip, etc.
The workshops are taught by Gil Peñalosa, executive director of the Canadian nonprofit organization 8-80 Cities and former commissioner of Parks, Sports and Recreation in Bogota, Colombia. Peñalosa has spoken at more than 150 workshops and seminars in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
“This is not a fundraiser either. It is just available to the public to teach them about ciclovia and to learn about walking and biking. Our goal is to highlight our downtowns on a typically slow Sunday afternoon and get people to go downtown, shop, look around, eat, meet with friends and family, while also learning about the benefits of walking and cycling,” Kenemer said. “We want people to appreciate what they have and utilize it.”
Ciclovia is Spanish for bike path but often refers to any event that calls for the closing of streets for pedestrians and cyclists.
Topics for the day include benefits of ciclovia, basic elements of logistics, best practices, international examples and hands-on group activities.
The walking and cycling idea came from Peñalosa while he was in Bogota.
The event is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Transportation, Northwest Georgia Regional Commission and Bike! Walk! Northwest Georgia.
For more information contact Kenemer at 706-295-6485 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn about similar events go to bikewalknorthwestgeorgia.com.
Tayler Critchlow, a junior at Armuchee High School, is an intern with the Rome News-Tribune.