Today, a number of major thoroughfares in downtown Madison were closed to car traffic for another sort of party: Ride the Drive. In the words of the organizers, "This community event is an invitation for all citizens to leave their cars behind to experience some of Madison’s most scenic byways a whole new way - by riding, walking, skating, or strolling along some of our city’s most beautiful streets." Perhaps importantly, some of these streets are ones that would be challenging, or even impossible, to bike on during normal traffic. Scattered along the 6-mile route were various attractions—stages with live music, vendor tents with food and information, and activities for families. Quirky Madison at its best.
Of course, effective communication also requires identifying the right channels, and I'm not sure whether city websites and posters in downtown business windows were enough to reach the people outside the choir, so to speak. It will be interesting to see whether today's street closures attract any negative attention this week from the car conservatives in town.-Guest post by Erin McMullen Jonaitis