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Viva Calle San Jose Is Wonderful

Viva Calle 2017 in Japantown. Photo: Larry Ames

The City of San Jose connected Japantown, Downtown, and the East Side with seven miles of car-free streets on Sunday, September 17. The city’s annual Viva Calle lures residents out on foot, bicycle, and skates with special events all along the route.

“This is a fantastic annual event in San Jose that brings tens of thousands of bikers, walkers, strollers, skateboarders, etc. together to celebrate open streets shut down to automobiles,” posted resident Brandon Alvarado on Facebook.

Bike Party Heroes at Viva Calle San Jose 2017 on September 17.

Inspired by neighboring San Francisco, which has hosted eight such Open Streets events every year since 2008, San Jose now closes a selected route for one day each September, beginning in 2015. California State Assembly member Ash Kalra and San Jose City Council members Raul Peralez and Magdalena Carrasco were among the politicians in attendance.

San Jose Bike Party led a 100-strong “Heroes Ride” from Cunningham Park at the event’s 10 am kick-off. “Bike Party is Political!” shouted one participant.

Despite the event’s popularity, City of San Jose has no plans to expand it to more than once annually. The next Viva Calle is scheduled for September 2018.