Pray for Sunday Street

City launches free event to ‘activate’ corridor

On May 21, the city of Sacramento will block cars from entering significant chunks of Broadway, 26th Street and Second Avenue to make way for Sunday Street, a free event from 8 a.m. to noon that’s designed to “activate” the corridor.

For Broadway, the freeway has acted like a dam that lets through only little trickles of the flood of development that’s swept through the rest of Sacramento. But with events like Art Street, burgeoning fixtures like the award-winning New Helvetia Brewing Co. (1730 Broadway), and restaurants like the newly opened Selland’s Market Cafe (915 Broadway), there’s been some momentum.

The city’s active transportation specialist, Jennifer Donlon Wyant, said when she started 11 months ago, the City Council made reinvigorating the street one of her top priorities. She’s been working on Sunday Street since December. And she also secured a grant to fund a permanent redesign of a stretch of Broadway.

The pop-up park will feature soccer, four-square, salsa dancing lessons, art-making classes, bicycle safety demonstrations and street performers like Handstand Nation, who specialize in “circus arts and AcroYoga.”

This type of event started in Bogota, Colombia, in the 1970s with “Ciclovia,” a weekly tradition that continues to this day, in which the city shuts down more than 62 miles of streets for 1 million to 2 million pedestrians and bicyclists. Other iterations of the event exist everywhere from Oakland to Tokyo to Kiev.

“We want to support the neighborhood economy,” Wyant said. “But also, we want people to reimagine what Broadway is.”