— The streets connecting Kenmore, Summit Lake and Firestone Park will yield to walkers, bicyclists, joggers and skaters June 25 for Open Streets.
The event takes place from noon to 5 p.m. throughout the three neighborhoods for a day of outdoor recreation and community building.
The city of Akron will open the streets for residents (closing them to cars) for a route that includes Kenmore Boulevard, the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail, Wilbeth Road and South Firestone Boulevard, a 4.3-mile route, allowing citizens to bike, run and walk as they enjoy attractions along the way.
“Open Streets is an international movement to re-imagine public spaces by closing streets to cars and opening them to people,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said. “For one day only, Open Streets Akron will transform our roadways into a paved playground to create neighborhood-level engagement and encourage healthy lifestyle choices. It is a truly unique and inspiring experience to watch residents walk out of their homes and onto city streets filled with cyclists, joggers, food vendors, community booths, entertainment and pedestrians of all ages. I encourage everyone to consider participating in this wonderful, free event and experience their city in a new and different way.”
The event is designed to promote mental health and healthy lifestyle choices and is pet and kid-friendly. Local businesses and community groups will participate along the route. Citizens may also ride the METRO free on June 25.
Open Streets Akron is possible due to the support of the Ward Council members, the financial contributions of Knight Foundation, Bridgestone, Summit County Public Health, the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition and the community support from Akron Racers Foundation, Akron-Summit County Public Library, METRO RTA and Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance.
“I want to thank the sponsors and the mayor’s office for supporting this Open Streets event,” Ward 7 Councilman Donnie Kammer said. “I am proud to be a passionate advocate for the Firestone Park community and it has been a great pleasure to work with other stakeholders to bring this event to my ward. I hope the Open Streets event will be a great success in Firestone Park and the surrounding communities of Kenmore and Summit Lake.”
A community meeting about the event will take place at Firestone Park Community Center (1480 Girard St., Akron) on Thursday, June 8 at 6 p.m. This is open to anyone participating in the event or anyone that would like to learn more about the Open Streets initiative.
For info, visit www.akronohio.gov/cms/recreation or call the City of Akron Recreation Bureau at (330) 375-2804.