For more than four hours today, several miles of Downey streets, roughly between downtown Downey and the Columbia Memorial Space Center, were closed to cars for the first Downey Ride and Stride event. Instead of car traffic, the roads were wide open for walkers, bikers, skateboarders, and any other mode of transportation that didn't involve a motor. Along the way, there were games, music, and plenty of food.
The freedom to walk down the middle of the street, without concern for cars, was surprisingly liberating. We walked probably half the 5.5 mile path that was available before turning around and walking back. (Shuttles were available in case you wanted to walk the entire distance and then get a ride back to your car.) This event was very different from most Downey street events, which are typically confined to a small area. This was an opportunity to walk the city, and it was a lot of fun.
Ride and Stride is one of eight events funded through the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Open Streets Grant Program, which seek to encourage walking, biking, and public transportation.