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Race Street in Holyoke to Become Pedestrian-friendly Outdoor Space Starting Oct. 3

HOLYOKE — Race Street in Holyoke, located along the canal, will be transformed into a pedestrian-friendly walk for the fall season, named “Canal Walk Roll & Stroll,” and will formally launch on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 10 a.m. The project is an initiative of the City of Holyoke and supported by the Solomon Foundation, and is a collaborative civic project managed by OneHolyoke Community Development Corp.

The goal of the project is to make the Race Street canal walk the biking, walking, and leaf-peeping destination in downtown Holyoke, so neighborhood residents can enjoy an enhanced healthy outdoor location through the fall.

The transformation of Race Street includes temporarily adding specially designed barriers and markers to expand the walkable and bikeable zones on the street while still allowing space for parking. By temporarily narrowing the road to single-car use, Race Street will be a safer, relaxed site for food trucks and other vendors. Transportation planning was provided by Kittelson & Associates.

The Canal Walk Roll & Stroll will be installed on Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. to noon, and will remain through the fall. Walking, bicycling, and literacy events on site will be announced. Community groups, food trucks, and other vendors are invited to use this public space and are encouraged to contact the project manager for inquiries and assistance.

In support of the Canal Walk Roll & Stroll, Holyoke’s Bike & Pedestrian Committee will offer an air and oil station for bicyclists who visit Race Street at the kickoff at 2 p.m. on Oct. 3. Gift pouches will be given to the first 25 participants. A community walk will also be hosted from the same location on Saturday, Oct. 24, with more details to follow.

In addition, beginning Monday, Oct. 5, the Holyoke Chicopee Head Start Family & Community Program will install a ‘story walk’ on the Race Street canal walk, between Dwight and Cabot streets, featuring Graeme Base’s Animalia. A story walk is a different way to read a children’s book, where pages of the story are posted outside and families read as they walk. The story walk will be left up during the month of October.

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