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Lyndale Ave. To ‘Open’ 20 Blocks This Sunday

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A busy Minneapolis street is about to change dramatically this Sunday.

Lyndale Avenue will be closed to cars for 20 blocks. It’ll only be open to bikers and walkers for the Open Street Minneapolis event.

“We’ll have the chance to experience our street and our neighborhood in a completely new way,” said Colin Harris, who leads the event.

It’s happening for the second year in a row. Vehicles will get the brakes, and bikes will get the green light. Healthy living will be promoted. Street yoga is planned, along with a new activity: Zumba. On top of everything, there will be more music than there was last year.

“It’ll be like an open street, lots of space to leisurely bike and walk and not be overstimulated,” Harris said.

The event happens Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. along Lyndale Avenue South from 22nd Street to 42nd Street.

Grace Elwell was at last year’s event. She says wandering out into the open street (safely) gives a wonderful feeling.

“It was just like playing in the street when you were a little kid,” she said.

There will, of course, be less noise on Lyndale Avenue, since vehicles will be banned for the day. The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition will be apart of the event, and several businesses are sponsoring it, too.

“It’s a great opportunity to remind folks that driving is not the only option,” said Steve Gershone, a cyclist.

One of the benefits of this festival is that it gives a boost to businesses that line the avenue. There are dozens of them, in fact.

“Get families out, promote some of these business on Lyndale, it’ll be fun,” Gershone said.

Open Streets Minneapolis is one of more than 70 initiatives in North America that’s modeled after the Ciclovias (Spanish for “bike paths”) of Bogota, Colombia, which transform the city on Sundays. The events have grown for almost 40 years.

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