Faye Nelson and Eric Larson with Carol Cain, host of CBS 62’s Sunday Morning Michigan Matters program.

Open Streets Detroit creates car-free space for neighbors to run, bike, shop and play together

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The DTE Energy Foundation is sponsoring the first-of- its-kind Open Streets Detroit, led by the Downtown Detroit Partnership this fall. Faye Nelson, vice president of DTE Energy and board chair & president of the DTE Energy Foundation, and Eric Larson, CEO of DDP, were recently interviewed by Carol Cain, host of CBS 62’s Sunday Morning Michigan Matters program, to talk about Open Streets Detroit.  Faye and Eric share more information about this exciting event here.

What is Open Streets Detroit?

Open Streets Detroit, led by DDP and presented by the DTE Energy Foundation, will connect neighborhoods, neighbors and businesses in southwest Detroit by temporarily closing four miles of two major streets in the city. The event is part of a global movement to reclaim public space for people by temporarily transforming streets into paved parks and public spaces.  These vehicle-free zones will allow local families and the community to walk run, bike, shop and participate in fun activities together.

When will it occur?

Open Streets Detroit will take place from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 25 and Sunday, October 2.

Where will it occur?

The event’s four-mile path begins at Campus Martius Park on Michigan Avenue in Downtown Detroit, continues down to Roosevelt Park in Corktown, through Southwest Detroit, past Clark Park, and ends at Boyer Playfield at Livernois and Vernor. The route highlights vibrant neighborhood retail and green space in communities along both Michigan and Vernor.

What kind of events can attendees expect?

Open Streets Detroit is working with businesses and community partners to provide programming such as yoga, dance, exercise classes, basketball and kid-and senior-friendly activities along the route. Programming is anticipated to be announced in late August. In addition, attendees will be able to freely walk, bike and run along the route without having to worry about vehicular traffic.

What is the significance of this event?

Open Streets Detroit provides the opportunity to support local business, showcase our unique communities, and celebrate the many cultures that make up Detroit. The event will bring Detroiters closer together by connecting neighborhoods that, although in close proximity to each other, are often divided physically and culturally. By removing traffic on the major roads that connect them, residents and visitors alike will have a unique opportunity to connect with their neighbors, experience the vibrancy of our city’s diverse neighborhoods, and support local businesses.

Why is the DTE Energy Foundation Sponsoring Open Streets Detroit?

At DTE Energy, it is our aspiration to be a force for growth and prosperity in the communities where we live and serve. We recognize that starts with building safer, more connected, inviting and commercially viable neighborhoods to improve the quality of life for residents. Our support of Open Streets Detroit is an example of how we can help positively impact the communities where we live and serve and spur economic development in the region.

DTE is working to support neighborhoods in Detroit through a variety of ways, including our partnership with the Public Lighting Authority to light up every street in Detroit by replacing 66,000 street lights with energy-efficient LEDs and improve our resident’s safety and quality of life. The Foundation is also funding youth employment programs to provide 600 neighborhood youth with summer jobs, and supporting the American Red Cross neighborhood fire prevention program to provide free smoke detectors and fire safety education. The Open Streets concept has been successful in many other cities across the world, promoting the economic prosperity, culture and vitality of local neighborhoods. We are proud to collaborate with the Downtown Detroit Partnership to provide this unique, first-time experience in Detroit and serve as a catalyst for change in our neighborhoods and communities.

Who is invited to attend?

Attendees of all ages are welcome to attend. This is a family-friendly event.

Is there a cost?

Open Streets Detroit is free and open to the public.

Where can I go for more information?

Visit www.openstreetsdet.org