SIMCOE, JUNE 23, 2011 – This Thursday, June 30th, a section of Norfolk St. S. in Simcoe will be closed to cars and open for pedestrians, bicyclists, rollerbladers, and any other non-car movers for a celebration ofOpen Streets.
The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit and the Downtown Simcoe BIA are hosting the family-friendly day for local residents and visitors to the community. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., a section of Norfolk St. S, between Young St. and Peel St., will be closed to automobile traffic to allow pedestrians a chance to participate in a number of on-street activities.
The Health Unit organized similar events in Caledonia and Port Dover in April 2010 to celebrate World Health Day. More than 900 people attended the events last year, and the Health Unit is hoping for a similar response this year.
“We have free on-street activities planned for people of all ages,” said Michele Crowley, Health Promoter with the Health Unit. “Our activities this year include fitness demonstrations, children’s games, a tea party, skateboarding demonstrations, wrestling performances, guided walks, street busking and mechanical bull rides among other things.”
The purpose of Open Streets is to encourage residents and visitors to leave their cars at home and to explore their community and their downtown on foot or bike. Similar events have taken place in other parts of the province, as well as in many major cities around the world.
“Encouraging active forms of transportation, such as walking or biking, benefits the health of our residents, the environment, and develops a sense of community that is missed when people hop in their car to drive everywhere they go,” noted Crowley.
Crowley also mentioned how exciting it is to have numerous organizations and downtown merchants on board and participating in the Open Streets event.
“Hopefully, people will make a habit of leaving the car at home more often. Research shows that people in cars don’t spend money, but people walking do.”
Larry Dawson, Executive Director of the Downtown Simcoe BIA, is excited to be involved. “Partnering with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit to promote a healthy community makes sense, as we focus on healthy lifestyles, attitudes, and shopping. So park and walk; it will make you feel good.”
The following road closures will take place from 6am to 5pm to allow for set-up and take-down as well as the festivities themselves:
· Norfolk Street, from Young St to Peel St
· Robinson Street, from Kent St to Norfolk St
· Argyle Street, from Norfolk St to Lynnwood St
· Sydenham Street, from Norfolk St to Culver St
Please note that through traffic will be detoured onto Colborne Street via Windham Street and Dean Street.
For more information aboutOpen Streets, contact Michele Crowley at the Health Unit at 519-426-6170 Ext. 3239.
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Health Promoter, Population Health
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
Ext. 3239 at either 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623