Houston is not known as a pedestrian- or biker-friendly city. Houstonians love to drive and traffic on busy streets can be horrific. Public transportation is shunned by many residents and cyclists are often afraid of the many road warriors clogging the streets. In an effort to reopen these busy streets to pedestrians, cyclists, joggers, and families, the city of Houston started a program called Sunday Streets.
Houston’s Cigna Sunday Streets event grew out of a pilot program in which a busy street would be shut down for a few hours on a Sunday to give people an opportunity to experience on foot an area they normally only drive through. The program was such a success, with thousands attending, that the city decided to make it a permanent event. The city partnered with Cigna in order to make this possible.
The goal of the event is to make exercise fun. Residents and businesses along the route organize activities for participants like concerts, yoga classes, and rock climbing walls. Cyclists, skaters, and joggers are all welcome and encouraged to participate in Sunday Streets. Cigna says that on average participants got 2/3 of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended guidelines for physical activity (150 minutes per week).
The program has been a huge success. An average of 20,000 Houstonians attends each event. By walking these streets they are introduced to new businesses and restaurants that they normally might not have noticed. In addition to helping these small businesses, participants in the program also say they are more likely to bike or walk to destinations in the neighborhood. This program encourages people to get out and experience neighborhoods in an up close and personal way while also getting great exercise. The next Sunday Streets event will take place on April 26th from 12pm-4pm on 19th Street from Heights Boulevard to Shepherd.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a pedestrian or cycling accident, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884.