On Sunday 29 March 2015, Capetonians from all over the city discovered that streets have power to connect people, as thousands flocked to Langa to join local residents in celebrating their vibrant, historical and friendly neighbourhood.
Inspired by Bogotá’s Ciclovía (a weekly event that turns 120kms of city streets into car-free space), Open Streets Cape Town aims to create shared places that embody respect for all and help bridge the social, economic and spatial divides of the city. It is this ability to connect people and change the way streets are used, perceived and experienced that makes Open Streets such a vital movement in South Africa.
As part of Open Streets Langa we organised a BikeBus/ group cycle from the CBD and Southern Suburbs to the event. Over 60 cyclists joined the ride, many had never cycled to Langa before and were amazed at how easy it was. Seeing so many cyclists and pedestrians enjoying car-free streets was truly inspirational – a glimpse of a future where the streets are shared by all. As Rebecca Campbell (Open Streets organiser) remarked “Seeing the Bike Bus was my ‘moment’ of the day… I was blown away by seeing the street filled with cyclists coming towards me. Wow!”