Viva Streets! ciclovía drew out 7,500 for a bike ride on a closed street


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The Williams brothers Evan, 11, and Spencer, 10, left their Ash Street residence around 10 a.m. to explore. They were pretty pleased at the chance to play table tennis at a normally busy intersection.
Ben Turner, the director of sales, marketing and public relations for the Denver bike sharing program B-Cycle, expected a great turnout, but the numbers exceeded even his expectations -- BikeDenver estimated 7,500 came out. "Denver is trying hard to be a city with first-class biking amenities, and holding a 'ciclovía' is an important step to that," said Turner. "It's important that this one was successful -- which it was -- and that we continue to do them, because cities that are known for being cycling cities do this."

Piep van Heuven, executive director of BikeDenver and resident of Park Hill, knew that her block party-loving neighborhood would be an excellent venue for the inaugural event. 23rd Street was chosen in particular since it is bookended by two popular parks (City Park on the west and Fred N. Thomas Park in Stapleton) and had the potential to draw in the residents of the neighborhoods connected to those parks.

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One Park Hill resident, Mark, father of two girls named Lillian and Isabelle, decided to bring another two girls to the event: his hens, Clementine and Lemondrop. The engineer originally built his coop on wheels for ease of clean-up, but added a temporary wheel to get them to Viva Streets! "They said there was a party on 23rd Street, so here we are," said Mark.
"We were thanked more times than I can count today," said van Heuven, who has been a part of the group that has been planning Viva Streets! since November. "It is clear that Denver communities and neighborhoods really embrace this street closure-type of community event."

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