Grid Shots: No cars on State Street edition

Yesterday, Open Streets on State Street happened in downtown Chicago. And thousands were there to enjoy the breakdancing performances, open skate park, and dance for fitness lessons.


A skateboarder jumps off the ramp in the skate park at State Street and Van Buren Street open to anyone. There were even skateboards to borrow. 


People of all ages worked together to draw with chalk an image featuring the Mona Lisa and other paintings, with the help of an artist. Photo by Dubi Kaufmann. 


Bike and Roll lent out bicycles for free. Photo by Serge Lubomudrov. 


People roller skated through a car-free State Street. Photo by Dubi Kaufmann. 

All photos were taken from the Grid Chicago group on Flickr. Add your photos each week to get featured in Grid Shots. I’ve uploaded 67 photos from the event, and one video.

The University of Illinois at Chicago library has posted several photos to its Flickr account showing State Street when private automobiles and taxis were not allowed. The roadway had only one or two lanes in each direction – now there are two a and a center lane. Some parts of State Street (between Washington and Kinzie) are six lanes wide. The sidewalks were very wide back then; nowadays, there’s a lot of pedestrian congestion (which is probably a good thing).


Looking north on State Street at Randolph Street. You can see Marina City towers and the Chicago Theater. Note the wide sidewalks. 

4 thoughts on “Grid Shots: No cars on State Street edition”

  1. Chicago did this for decades when State Street was a pedestrian mall… it’s fun to see a few hours on a weekend, but ped malls don’t work in Chicago.

        1. Open Streets is a short event a few times a year (well, once for Chicago, but other cities have them many times each year) that shuts down the street to all motorized traffic. It’s not a pedestrian mall, it’s a “temporary activity mall”.

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