On Sunday, April 26, all traffic on 19th Street between Heights Boulevard to Shepherd Street will be re-routed to make way for Heights residents and businesses to enjoy the community and one another through activities – walking, running, dancing, skating, cycling and more – in the street. Cigna will have its Mobile Learning Lab, including interactive, computer-based stations featuring activities focused on healthy habits, nutrition and exercise.
Part bike tour, part walking tour, part block party, Cigna Sunday Streets was created to promote and improve the health of Houstonians and offers new economic opportunities for neighborhood commercial districts.
“Cigna Sunday Streets is a family-friendly opportunity for residents to get outside and enjoy physical activity, socialize with neighbors and enjoy art and performances,” said Mayor Annise D. Parker. “The pilot program, initiated in 2014, was such a success. Thanks to Cigna, the event will continue and we will be ‘closing our streets’ for years to come.”
With an estimated attendance of up to 20,000 people throughout the day, Cigna Sunday Streets aligns with Mayor Annise Parker’s Go Healthy Houston initiative which promotes programs, policies and actions designed to decrease or prevent obesity and chronic diseases by increasing access to healthy food and opportunities to be physically active.
“At Cigna we believe creating a healthy Houston starts with the entire community working together to support programs that help people live healthier lives,” said Mike Koehler, Cigna’s president and general manager for South Texas. “Continuing Sunday Streets and expanding it into new neighborhoods will give people a safe haven to engage in outdoor activities that promote health, such as biking, running or walking with friends and neighbors. We are proud to partner with the City of Houston and hope to see even more people enjoy Sunday Streets in 2015.”
Mayor Parker added that Sunday Streets also enhances the efforts of several local nonprofits working towards strategies like complete streets, increasing bike culture amongst non-traditional populations, and growing Houston’s youth with the concept that opportunities for physical activity are a social norm.
Cigna Sunday Streets is modeled on other events from around the world including Ciclovía in Bogotá, Colombia and the Paris Plage in France. Sunday Streets originated in Bogotá, Colombia as “Ciclovía,” a day of free, healthy activities that promote community in public streets. Thirty years later, the concept has spread around the world from Tokyo, Japan to Kiev, Ukraine and throughout U.S. Cities that include San Francisco, Portland, St. Louis, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Minneapolis. Cigna Sunday Streets is a project of the Mayor’s Office of Special Events.