This report presents the findings from an evaluation of the September 2018 Viva CalleSJ open streets event in San José,CA. The research was designed to assess the success of the event, guide planning for future open streets events, and inform potential funders and community partners about the benefits of such events. To gather the impressions of participants, local residents, and workers at businesses along the event route, the mixed-methods study analyzed results from a survey of 1,571participants, 114 interviews with community members and businesses, and participant observations. Researchers also examined social media presence and a related augmented reality gaming component. The study found that Viva CalleSJ 2018 participants were resoundingly positive about their experience. Many said that the event brought people together from across the city and inspired a sense of community and civic pride, and the majority of participants benefited from at least one hour of physical activity. Most local businesses and residents viewed the event positively as well, and many food and beverage outlets appeared to benefit from increased patronage during the event. However, some shop keepers along the event route and residents in surrounding neighborhoods were not aware of Viva CalleSJ in the weeks prior to it happening or did not have a clear understanding of how it might impact them. Some were wary of the road closures and in some cases were ultimately frustrated by what they perceived to be negative impacts on their businesses.

Publication Date


Publication Type



Active Transportation

MTI Project



Pedestrians, Bicyclists, Open streets, Active transportation, Physical fitness, Interviews, Surveys


Transportation | Urban Studies (105 kB)
Supplemental Materials

1895-RB-Community-Benefits-Local-Engagement-Open-Streets.pdf (2153 kB)
Research Brief