Car-Free Streets Draw Bigger Crowds in San Antonio Than Pro Sports

It’s hard to argue that people in Texas just aren’t into walking and biking after you watch the above video from the Rivard Report, which shows the overjoyed crowds at San Antonio’s Síclovía open streets event earlier this month.

This was the tenth Síclovía, which happens twice a year. About 65,000 people came out to bike, jog, Zumba and play along 3.4 miles of streets winding through the heart of the city. For comparison, the Spurs, San Antonio’s major pro sports franchise, play at an arena with a capacity of 18,500 people.

The main goal of Síclovía, which is run by the YMCA, is to promote physical activity and healthy habits. While many San Antonio residents would like more regular events, the YMCA says they don’t have the capacity to do more.

As for making streets safe for biking and walking every day, San Antonio still has a long way to go on that front, says Council Member Shirley Gonzales, a champion of the city’s recent Vision Zero legislation. But she sees this as an opportunity.

“Why can’t we have that every day?” she said. “Síclovía is an example of what the city can do… so that people see alternatives for what the streets can be.”

Photo: Siclovía
Photo: Síclovía
  • Bernard Finucane
  • davistrain

    Sounds like a fun time was had by all (or at least many). I noticed one person in the photo wearing a “Play In The Street” T-shirt. But comparing it with a pro sports event isn’t really valid. Such events may be held in facilities that only hold on the order of 15,000 spectators, and as another commenter said, “It’s cheaper, too”. No worries about tickets selling out, and you can participate on your own schedule and not worry about being in your seat by game time.

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