Did You Know?

Only 24 percent of jobs in the region are accessible by transit in 90 minutes or less by a typical resident — and that number drops to 12 percent in the suburbs.

Open Streets, open minds

So it’s been 3 weeks since Open Streets on State Street, and the magical day is still rolling through my mind.

Yeah, of course, we’re biased because we’re the group that got the ball rolling (along with our partners, the Chicago Loop Alliance).

Still, even if I wasn’t involved “behind the scenes,” Saturday, October 1, 2011 would still be a special day I shall remember for a long time.

Why? Because Open Streets stands out. Sure, Chicago’s cup runneth over with festivals, music venues, block parties, the marathon, etc.

But Open Streets is different; it’s not a festival or a marathon or a music venue.

It’s really about imagination. Why not temporarily open up our valuable public streets to bring people together and encourage healthy recreation without worrying about car traffic?

I saw many smiling faces on kids, moms and dads in the kids zone building ginormous Imagination Playgrounds with giant blue blocks and wheels.

I saw great music performed by DePaul’s pep band.

I overheard Nigerian students showing their competitive edge with the Lady Foot Locker-sponsored relay races. One student shouted, “I can’t believe we’re on State Street hula-hooping.”

But the most common comment on the street was, “We should do this every weekend.”

Now imagine that.

Check out the video captured by our videographer, Nick Kazinsky.

More Open Streets, please.