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September 27, 2016

Advocacy group calls for three Open Streets events in Philly in 2017

Open Streets Recreation
22_20160924_Open Streets_Margo Reed (1).jpg Margo Reed/for PhillyVoice

Roller-skaters and cyclists alike flood the streets as part of Open Streets PHL's Philly Free Streets event on Sept. 24, 2016.

More, please.

Basking in the glow of Saturday's free streets event along South Street and in Fairmount Park, a carless streets advocacy group is lobbying for an expansion of cycle and pedestrian events across the city.

The lobbying by Open Streets PHL is aimed at Mayor Jim Kenney, who got behind the inaugural event, and even trooped down South Street as a participant.

"Open Streets PHL is calling for at least three more Free Streets events in 2017 in neighborhoods spanning Philadelphia's footprint: North Philly, West Philly, the River Wards, and South Philly," the group announced in a mass email to supporters Tuesday afternoon.

"Bringing Free Streets to additional neighborhoods and business corridors all over the city is the best way to grow Free Streets, and achieve Mayor Kenney's goal of making this the most diverse, inclusive, and fun community event in Philadelphia," read the message.

The group did not respond immediately to a request by PhillyVoice for further comment.

Deputy Managing Director Clarena Tolson, who leads the city's Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems, which organized Saturday's event, said further evaluation of the event is necessary.

But she added, “The response to the inaugural Philly Free Streets was truly heartening, and we appreciate the support of our sponsors, including OpenStreets PHL."

Tolson said there will be announcements in the future.