A loop of West Hartford Center was closed to vehicle traffic Sunday morning for the inaugural ‘Center Streets’ event.
By Ronni Newton
The roadways around West Hartford Center were busy on a hot and sunny Sunday morning, but the traffic was limited to those on bike, scooter, skateboard, and stroller, or on foot.
On Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, West Hartford hosted its first ever Center Streets event, with a loop around West Hartford Center completely closed to vehicles for three hours, allowing pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles and devices full use of the roads.
Organizers hope Center Streets will be something much more than a one-time event.
“It was very successful, especially for the first year,” said Scott Franklin of Bike West Hartford, Center Street’s main sponsor.
Franklin estimated that several thousand people, of all ages, participated in the event. REI handed out 400 water bottles, he said.
There were several groups providing live music, a bike tag sale, and booths from various groups. Barcelona was handing out paella, and many other restaurants had special offerings just for the Center Street event.
“I think the merchants today have seen the impact of this,” said Tracy Frankel, whose husband Ethan was one of the event chairs.
Franklin said LaSalle Road should be a pedestrian street between Arapahoe and Farmington Avenue, and many other Bike West Hartford members nodded their heads in agreement.
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