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Published April 20, 2010, 12:00 AM

Streets Alive to promote community health, fitness

Downtown loop to be closed to vehicles Aug. 29, Sept. 19
A five-mile loop around downtown Fargo-Moorhead will be closed to motorized vehicles on two Sundays late this summer as part of an effort to improve community health.

A five-mile loop around downtown Fargo-Moorhead will be closed to motorized vehicles on two Sundays late this summer as part of an effort to improve community health.

On Aug. 29 and Sept. 19, only “human-powered” transportation will be allowed on the route, which includes Broadway south of 10th Avenue North in Fargo, portions of Main Avenue near the Red River – including Veterans Memorial Bridge – and part of Center Avenue in Moorhead.

A coalition of Fargo-Moorhead organizations, including the cities themselves, is sponsoring the Streets Alive event from noon to 5 p.m. on both days.

“It’s part of an effort to create a culture and an environment that is very supportive of being physically active,” said Rory Beil, director of the Cass Clay Healthy People Initiative.

As area residents travel the route by walking, running, bicycling or whatever mode of non-motorized transportation they choose, they can take part in different activities and interact with vendors offering health-conscious food and products, Beil said.

Traffic will be allowed in and out of the downtown area through designated crossings at certain intersections along the route, and detours also will be set up to guide traffic, Beil said.

Fargo wants to be a leader in establishing its Streets Alive event, modeling it after similar health-conscious events in Portland, Ore., and Madison, Wis., which drew thousands of participants, Beil said.

He added that he’s hoping for a couple thousand people to participate, and if it’s successful, he’d like to pursue holding Streets Alive once a month during summertime.

Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker, Moorhead Mayor Mark Voxland and several other community and health leaders endorsed the event Monday as part of a communitywide initiative to promote healthier lifestyles.

Walaker and Voxland said they hope Streets Alive will encourage people to develop exercise regimens, which might spur future interest in annual Fargo marathon events.

“People that are physically fit know how to do it,” Moorhead Mayor Mark Voxland said. “This a great opportunity to get all those others because you don’t have to be physically fit to get out, walk around and enjoy our downtown communities.”

 www.fmstreetsalive.org


Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541

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