15,000+ Bicyclists, Pedestrians Come Out to Garden Grove’s 3rd Open Streets Event

More than 15,000 people came out to Garden Grove's third open streets event. All photos by Kristopher Fortin
More than 15,000 people came out to Garden Grove's third open streets event. All photos by Kristopher Fortin

More than 15,000 people came out to bike and walk in Garden Grove’s Open Streets event on Saturday.

The 2.5-mile route stretched from Main Street to West Street and had some streets closed to cars, streets with mixed traffic, and a one-mile pop-up protected bike lane.

The route had plenty of activities to choose from. Information booths and zip lines lined Garden Grove Boulevard, which was closed to car traffic in the westbound direction and open toward the east. Vans hosted a skatepark on Acacia Parkway, and Main Street featured live music and performances.

There was also lots of bike/ped infrastructure concentrated in the route. West Street’s one-mile two-way protected bike lane served as the easternmost north-south connection, and artist James Dinh’s metallic flower sculptures with bicycle rims as petals were installed throughout the neighborhood greenway and among the many parklets.

Pop-up protected bike lane on West Street from Morgan Lane to Garden Grove Boulevard. Southern California Association of Governments sponsored the bike lane through their Go Human campaign. Photo by Kristopher Fortin
Pop-up protected bike lane on West Street from Morgan Lane to Garden Grove Boulevard. Southern California Association of Governments sponsored the bike lane through their Go Human campaign.

What makes the success of this event all the more unique is that Garden Grove doesn’t boast an overly dense downtown. The city’s downtown is no more than a stretch of two city blocks along Main Street, with the surrounding area predominantly suburban. How suburban? Across from Main Street is a Costco with an expansive parking lot.

The turnout was better than anticipated, according to Kimberly Huy, Garden Grove’s director of Community Services. Huy said that the weather may have played a role in this year’s turnout–in October 2015, it got up to 107° during the event. This year the temperature topped out around 78°.

This is the first year the city took complete charge of planning and coordinating the event. The past two iterations were contracted out to Community Arts Resources, the nonprofit behind CicLAvia in Los Angeles.

Though this year’s city budget didn’t include enough to hire CARS again, it didn’t stop people from coming out.

“I think Aaron (Paley) would be proud of us,” said Erin Webb, a senior planner for the city, referring to CARS’ president.

View looking east on Garden Grove Boulevard. Half of the street's travel lanes were closed to car traffic. A midblock traffic median separated the open streets event on the north side of the street from the car traffic on the south side.
Looking east on Garden Grove Boulevard. Half of the street’s travel lanes were closed to car traffic. A midblock traffic median separated the open streets event on the north side of the street from the car traffic on the south side.

 

Garden Grove Open Streets event passport. If participants visited the 10 zones on the route and filled the included survey they were enrolled into a raffle for a bicycle.
Garden Grove Open Streets event passport. If participants visited the ten zones on the route and filled out the included survey, they were entered into a raffle for a bicycle.

 

Lemonade and water stand in driveway on Morgan Lane near the northeast end of the event's greenway.
Lemonade and water stand in driveway on Morgan Lane near the northeast end of the event’s greenway.

 

Chalk sidewalk designed and created by Alta Planning at the 8th St-Acacia Pkwy intersection.
Chalk sidewalk designed and created by Street Plans, Alta Planning at the 8th St/Acacia Parkway intersection.

 

Southern California Association of Governments had informational booths along the route with bike/ped safety info.
Southern California Association of Governments had informational booths along the route with bike/ped safety info.

 

Multiple parklets were installed along the route.
Multiple parklets were installed along the route.

 

Orange County Transportation Authority Active Transportation Coordinator Paul Martin, left, surveys a passerby about OCTA's Active Transportation Plan.
Orange County Transportation Authority Active Transportation Coordinator Paul Martin, left, helps a passerby fill out a survey for OCTA’s Active Transportation Plan.

 

Youth at play in Recess Revolution's site at Community Center Park.
Youth at play in Recess Revolution’s site at Community Center Park.

 

Garden Grove police officers manage traffic at the Euclid St-Acacia Pkwy intersection.
Garden Grove police officers manage traffic at the Euclid St/Acacia Parkway intersection.

 

The city's Animal Care Services brought out dogs from the Huntington Beach Humane Society for a petting zoo. All the dogs were eligible for adoption.
The city’s Animal Care Services brought out dogs from the Huntington Beach Humane Society for a petting zoo. All the dogs were eligible for adoption.

 

Rock climbing on Acacia Parkway.
Rock climbing on Acacia Parkway.

 

Performer at the downtown Garden Grove station on Main Street.
Performer at the downtown Garden Grove station on Main Street.

 

Walking the rooster in downtown Garden Grove.
Walking the rooster in downtown Garden Grove.

 

Cruising down Acacia Parkway.
Cruising down Acacia Parkway.

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