Open Boulevards Returns

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsAs a source of fun and peace, Open Boulevards will once again make its return to the North Lawndale neighborhood this Sunday for a jammed pack day of music, games, food, and so much more. From noon to 5pm, families will have the opportunity to take in the historic neighborhood and all that it offers. Recently, Lawndale Bilingual News interviewed Director of Public Information for the Chicago Department of Transportation Erica Schroeder on what families can expect at the Open Boulevards event.

Lawndale Bilingual News: Open Boulevards is around the corner happening in the North Lawndale neighborhood, what are you looking forward to the most about the event?
Erica Schroeder: There’s a lot to look forward to, including music, food trucks, interactive arts activities, and a community fair with local organizations. One highlight that we’re really looking forward to is a community bike ride in collaboration with Equiticity and Boxing Out Negativity that will start and end at the Open Boulevards event. The ride will last about an hour. Older kids who feel comfortable riding on the street and at a leisure pace are welcome to join. Parents with younger kids on bike trailers or chairs are welcomed as well. Divvy loaners bikes will be available for people who do not have or cannot bring a bike. You can learn more about the community bike ride and RSVP here:

Lawndale Bilingual News: What served as the impetus for Open Boulevards?
Erica Schroeder: Open Boulevards started in Fall 2021, initially as one of many programming opportunities to give residents more safe and fun outdoor activities as the City was reopening during the pandemic. Since then, the Open Boulevards series has become a popular and unique way for people to enjoy this extra open space in their neighborhoods. CDOT has worked closely with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), and local community groups, like the Lawndale Popup Spot, and Alder Scott in bringing the event to life again this year.

Lawndale Bilingual News: How do you hope Open Boulevards inspires the community at large?
Erica Schroeder: Chicago’s historic boulevards are one of our city’s best civic assets – providing green space and vital connections between parks and neighborhoods. By opening the street to people, we’re creating a more comfortable and spacious atmosphere for kids and families to walk, bike, and roll safely through their neighborhood. We hope everyone has the chance to enjoy Douglas Boulevard as the vibrant public space that it is.

Lawndale Bilingual News: How would you like to see Open Boulevards expand in the following years?
Erica Schroeder: We hope to continue this yearly tradition and continue to provide more ways for residents to experience streets as public spaces where communities thrive.

Lawndale Bilingual News: What should people expect at Open Boulevards? 
Erica Schroeder: Open Boulevards is a free, family-friendly event that temporarily closes Douglas Boulevard to car traffic and opens it to people walking, biking, rolling, and connecting with neighbors, local businesses, and community partners. You can expect music, games, food trucks, and more. Bring your bike, scooter, or just yourself and enjoy the boulevard on a beautiful fall day. I’m attaching a community flyer with some additional details.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Photo Credit: Chicago Department of Transportation

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