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Walker/cyclist takeover

A new-to-Albuquerque event is aiming to bring life back to the streets by keeping out the cars and letting cyclists and pedestrians run free.

ABQ CiQlovía will close down two miles of streets from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 21. to give people a chance to leave the spandex outfits at home, bring out the cruiser bikes and meander along without a care.

The route is from Tingley Drive SW along Alcalde Place to the intersection of Lead Avenue and 14th Street, north on 14th to Mountain Road and west past Tiguex Park, Explora and the Albuquerque Museum to Rio Grande Boulevard.

The idea is to bring people off the bosque trail and into areas of the city like Old Town and Downtown so they can enjoy the neighborhoods by biking, walking, browsing at local shops and eating at local restaurants, said event coordinator Dan Majewski.

“We’re providing an opportunity for safe recreation in our city streets without needing an automobile,” Majewski said.

The concept originated in Bogotá, Colombia, in the 1970s where a former mayor instituted a weekly event, closing some streets to vehicle traffic so residents could walk, bike, run, skate, picnic and generally hang out.

Los Angeles, San Diego and Tucson have followed suit with their own version of the take-back-the-streets event. Majewski, said it helped spur new municipal policies to make streets more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists.

“You can make positive change and have it be fun,” Majewski said.