Learning Center

Open Streets – What happened, what did we learn and what’s next for people-first places? – Webinar Recording

Open Streets – What happened, what did we learn and what’s next?
Webinar recorded: Wednesday, June 9th, 2021 at 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

During the pandemic North American cities and towns provided greater space for active mobility and social distancing – but will they now disappear? Hear from advocates, practitioners and experts about the scope of the open streets response, the effects on active living and mobility, and challenges with implementation and community engagement. What lessons did we learn as the open streets movement transitions into a post-pandemic world?

Additional Resources:

Warren Logan serves as the Policy Director of Mobility and Interagency Relations for the Mayor’s Office of Oakland. Warren works closely with the City’s Department of Transportation, Public Works Department and other Bay Area public agencies to develop strategies that advance the city’s vision for safe and sustainable transportation for everyone. Through his Interagency work, Warren is responsible for developing interdepartmental and interagency working groups to deliver major capital improvements in Oakland and across the Bay Area.

Prior to the Mayor’s Office, Warren worked as a senior transportation planner for the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. There he managed the agency’s emerging mobility practice, researching how these services impact San Francisco’s long-range transportation goals, developing city and state policies and framing opportunities for public private partnerships.

Warren and his team have been an instrumental force behind Oakland’s noteworthy 74-mile open streets project and the Essential Places initiative, projects that have iterated and centered around community engagement and equity principles, based on early feedback on the Oakland Slow Streets program.

Dr. Tabitha Combs has expertise in transport and land use planning, the built environment-travel behavior connection, equity impacts of new mobility innovations, and transport planning in developing contexts.

She has a particular focus on understanding the social and environmental impacts of transport policies. She has a Ph.D. and master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an undergraduate degree from Davidson College.

Tabitha joined America Walks on this webinar last year, Research in Action: Trends in How Municipalities Are Addressing Increased Demand for Safe Public Space, which was an initial look at the open/slow streets movement in relationship to COVID-19.

Matt Ainsley is the Market Strategist for Eco-Counter in Montreal. Matt’s role at Eco-Counter revolves around ensuring organizations have the tools and resources necessary to collect and communicate robust, accurate, and powerful bike and pedestrian count data. Matt manages Eco-Counter’s partnerships with leading advocacy organizations across North America, including The League of American Bicyclists, American Trails, IMBA and more. Since the start of the pandemic, Matt has been tracking the growth of cycling across 13 countries on Eco-Counter’s interactive data dashboard, leveraging that data to keep the momentum going into the future.

Clara Cantor is a Community Organizer with Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Seattle’s leading grassroots walk/bike advocacy organization. Clara leads a coalition of neighborhood-based volunteer groups working to make every neighborhood in Seattle a great place to walk, bike, and live. They were instrumental in pushing for open streets in Seattle, called “Stay Healthy Streets” and “Keep Moving Streets”, and in conducting outreach to determine if the temporary pilots were actually working for people. The Mayor of Seattle has now pledged to make 20 miles of Stay Healthy Streets permanent, and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is now working with the City to determine what that looks like and how to proceed in areas where there are still concerns. Clara is a team builder with a focus on racial equity in transportation and urbanist advocacy movements. She enjoys making art, being outside, befriending neighbors and building community.

José Leal (moderator) At MIG, his projects have encompassed everything from complete streets, parks, schools, and recreation facilities. As Director of the Tribal Nation Building Studio, José is responsible for guiding an interdisciplinary studio of designers, planners, engineers, and scientists to provide engagement, planning, and design services to Tribal Nations to support and strengthen tribal community cohesiveness and resilience, self-determination, and sovereignty. His work focuses on the power of inclusive planning and design and cultural relativism to connect people to the spirit of place through storytelling.