PRESS RELEASE: Thousands are expected to take to the streets of North Oakland and Southwest Berkeley this Saturday, May 30, from 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for car-free fun at the 2nd Annual Love Our Neighborhood Day. It is the first of three events presented by East Bay Open Streets, a production of Walk Oakland Bike Oakland (WOBO) in association with the Downtown Berkeley Association and North Shattuck Association.
A one-mile stretch of San Pablo Avenue from Ashby to Stanford will be closed to vehicle traffic to make way for the public to walk, bike, skate, dance, stroll, play and experience the evolving neighborhoods of North Oakland’s Golden Gate and Southwest Berkeley in a whole new way. The main focus of free community-driven event is to bring residents and visitors out for exercise, movement and cultural enrichment on car-free, carefree city streets.
“The sustainability of our region depends on forward-thinking, multi-city collaboration,” said Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates. “Open streets events highlight the importance of smart growth, transit alternatives and building community. We are proud to join the cities of Oakland and Emeryville in opening our neighborhoods to car-free fun and enrichment for all.”
“The residents and shop owners in the historic Golden Gate neighborhood of North Oakland are excited to once again host Love Our Neighborhood Day for all to enjoy,” said Oakland City Councilmember Dan Kalb, who represents all of North Oakland (District One). “This will be a dynamic, car-free, family-oriented day of discovery and entertainment for one and all.”
More than 60 interactive health, fitness and arts activities will take place along San Pablo Avenue, hosted by local artists, performers, community organizations, churches, neighborhood groups and area businesses. Open streets events are generally non-commercial; sales are limited to food from local vendors and area brick & mortar businesses.
New Activities for 2015 Love Our Neighborhood Day:
- “Riveropolis” interactive play river curated by North Oakland artist Gregory Gavin
- Egg-carton gardens with City Slicker Farms
- Pedal-powered sewing machine art
- Recycled/upcycled art with Sticky Art Lab
- Berkeley Maynard Academy student science fair exhibit
- Unicycle fun with the CA Unicycle Association
- Community story boards and chalk art activity
- Interactive martial arts demonstrations of Judo, Capoeira, Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen, and styles of Kung-Fu
- Screen printing with The Grease Diner art studio/gallery/gift shop.
- Local artists Spray Saints and No One showing and creating art on the spot.
- Games, crafts, and giveaways from businesses and community groups
The something-for-everyone event will also feature bike demos; massage services; capoeira performances and instruction; drumming circles; free bike rentals; yoga & meditation hosted by Siddha Yoga Ashram and; Oakland Public Library Bike Library among others. Scores of San Pablo Avenue establishments – including pedal power pioneers Rock The Bike – will welcome the public to shop, dine and experience the myriad amenities that can be found along the avenue every day.
Live music will ring out virtually everywhere along the one-mile footprint, including the main stage at San Pablo & 61st Street where a variety of area artists will perform including: Destiny Junior Company from Oakland’s Destiny Arts Center; Galen Ash Band (Bluesy Folk, Berkeley); Strangelove Labs (Funky Folk/Pop, Oakland); Sal’s Greenhouse (Funk/Soul, Oakland) and; Taylor Mdna (Hip Hop/Rock, South Berkeley). On San Pablo near 67th Street, CelloJoe will perform his unique style of cello music with sound powered by bike pedal!
Also on tap will be an array of great eats from local vendors Ebbett’s Good to Go, Doc’s Classic, Prickly Pig, Fist of Flour Pizza Co., and Take 5 Café, and at area brick & mortar establishments like Actual Café, Tribu Café, James & The Giant Cupcake, Victory Burger and Namaste Pizza.
“WOBO is thrilled to partner with the communities of North Oakland and Southwest Berkeley to host the return of this exciting, grass-roots open streets event,’ said Chris Hwang, Board President of Walk Oakland Bike Oakland. “By creating a temporary, safe, car-free space, we hope to help shine a bright light on local commerce and culture in these two venerable, dynamic neighborhoods through a rare opportunity to gather and play on a State Route consumed by automobiles the rest of the year.”
2015 East Bay Open Streets sponsors include the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Berkeley Half Marathon, City of Berkeley, City of Oakland, East Bay Express, East Bay MUD, Thornwall Properties, Inc., Clif Kid, Sports Basement, Ruth Stroup/Farmers Insurance; GenZe by Mahindra, Actual Café, Diablo Magazine, 510 Families and The E’ville Eye in addition to Downtown Berkeley Association, North Oakland Association and Livable Berkeley.
“East Bay Open Streets invites us to leave our cars behind and instead become reacquainted with our community by biking or walking,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Bay Area Air District. “When we choose to bike or walk around town, we help reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while enjoying the beauty of our neighborhoods.”
For more about the three East Bay Open Streets 2015 events ─ 2nd Annual Love Our Neighborhood Day (May 30, North Oakland/Southwest Berkeley), 3rd Annual Love Our Lake Day (September 20, Lake Merritt) and 4th Annual Sunday Streets Berkeley (October 18, Downtown/North Berkeley) ─ please visit: www.eastbayopenstreets.org.
WOBO is a membership-based, volunteer-driven organization whose mission is to improve neighborhood livability, vitality and sustainability by making walking and biking in Oakland safe, easy, accessible and fun. Learn more at wobo.org. Follow them on Twitter @walkoakbikeoak.