A few years ago, I trained for a running race, and it astounded me how much more of my town I saw when I was on feet as opposed to wheels.

I smelled roses, noticed Art in Public Places, considered restaurants I'd never tried, and thought about how nice it is to go more slowly from time to time.

Open Streets, an event happening this weekend, could create the same kind of 'a-ha' moment for others, as sections of Laurel and Whedbee will be shut down from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 20.

Not only will it be easy to stroll through everything that is happening, and there will be a lot, but it will be just as easy to join in.

Plus, part of the section of town that will be shut down to motor vehicles is somewhat residential, so it may be a place that you haven't spent a lot of time. I know I haven't.

Click here for the map.

This event promotes community pride, local businesses, air quality, and physical activity, while encouraging the use of streets as a public space for the community to gather and share. With more than 100 documented initiatives in North America, open streets are increasingly common in cities seeking innovative ways to achieve environmental, social, economic, and public health goals.

Open Streets are temporary events that invite people to experience public streets in ways other than driving. By temporarily closing streets to motorized traffic, Open Streets provide a safe and comfortable space for people to walk, bicycle, jog, rollerblade and play!

The Open Streets route is located in an area with great bicycle connections and adequate parking, in between Laurel and Whedbee Streets in Fort Collins. If you need help finding a bike route or a place to park, please let us know. And if you live on the route, all you’ll need to do is walk out your front door!

Click here for the Open Streets website.