There will be one more opportunity to enjoy San Jose’s fall weather outdoors before the cooler months of winter with the inaugural VivaCalle SJ, a free open-street event that will temporarily close six miles of San Jose streets for walk, bicycling skating, dancing and variety of other activities.

Arriving October 11, VivaCalle SJ (pronounced Vee-Va Ka-Ye SJ) is the combination of Spanish words Viva and Calles—meaning “Streets Alive.” The purpose of the new event is to promote and encourage people to find alternatives to driving in San Jose, such as bicycling, walking and public transportation, said Shiloh Ballard, Executive Director for the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.

The six-mile route will start at St. James Park before heading east St. John Street to Emma Prusch Farm Park on Keyes/Story Road. The route passes the Tropicana Shopping District, the Calle Willow Shopping District, Little Saigon and South First Street.

“One of the goals of VivaCalle SJ is to get people to explore the city like never before, and this inaugural route showcases some of the city’s iconic streets and neighborhoods,” Ballard said.

Participants can start anywhere along the route at anytime and go as far as they like. There will be gathering areas, called “hubs,” with vendor booths and entertainment. Other activities will be announced as the event approaches.

“A bicycle allows people to see and connect with their community in a new and exciting way, and we are glad to partner with the city for an event that will give people the chance to experience open streets,” Ballard said.

VivaCalle SJ is a collaboration of the City of San Jose’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services and Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and funded by the Knight Foundation. It is inspired by similar programs in other big cities such as San Francisco’s Sunday Streets program and events in Los Angeles, Guadalajara and Bogotá.

In 2010, the coalition hosted a similar event, Via Velo, which closed about five blocks of San Fernando Street between highway 87 and Third Street.

VivaCalle SJ follows a several initiatives by San Jose to transform the city into one of the best bicycling cities in the U.S., including new bike lanes and a regional bike-share program.

“We are glad that the City has taken such a strong stance in support of biking, and we are happy to continue working with them as partners,” Ballard said.

To clear the route for the event all cars parked on the street along the route must be moved by 1am to avoid being towed. Streets are closed to traffic and will not be opened until 4pm on the day of the event.

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