Enjoy Open Streets Safely

Open Streets ¡Calles Vivas! is all about movement, creativity and FUN, but we need to stay safe at the same time.  Here are all the important details you’ll need to keep your Open Streets experience safe and memorable!

Rules of the Road

1) Be respectful of the rights of other participants. The streets don’t belong to bikers, skateboarders or to pedestrians only. They belong to EVERYONE!

2) Forward moving traffic flows on the outer (right-most) lanes. Stationary people and activities must remain in the center (left-hand  and center-turn) lanes.

3) Slower traffic keeps to the right. Keeping slow traffic to the right fosters a more predictable route and helps people avoid accidents.

4) This is not a race. There is no reason to go as fast as you can (besides, you’ll miss things if you do). Going too fast is dangerous. You can’t predict what the thousands of people around you might do. Give yourself time to stop and others time to get to the right, if they’re moving slowly.

5) Pedestrians: If you’re in the street, stay to the right, as you are naturally slower than the bicyclists.  Also, use common sense. If being in the street is obviously unsafe because a pack of 500 cyclists are coming up behind you, please consider moving to the sidewalk to be safer.

6) Bicyclists: Pedestrians have the right to be in the street, just like you. Treat pedestrians in the street with respect.  One road…one world…share them both! 🙂 Also, bicyclists must stay OFF the sidewalks (it’s the law)!  All this applies for Pedicab drivers too!

7) Skaters, skateboarders and others on wheels are encouraged to join the route, but please stay off the sidewalks (wheelchairs, however, are allowed on sidewalks). And, if you’re moving slower than most traffic on the street, stay to the right.

8) Bicyclists, skateboarders, skaters and scooter riders wear a helmet! Children under 18 on bikes or wheels must wear a certified safety helmet, per California state law. Adult riders are also strongly urged to wear a helmet to keep safe.

9) Children: We strongly urge that children who are beginner cyclists walk instead of ride. Open Streets is not the time or place to learn to ride a bike and can be extremely intimidating and frightening for children who do not possess moderate cycling skills. Their unpredictability also can create a hazard for cyclists and others around them. Our route features a special kids zone where children can practice safe cycling. We encourage parents to check it out if children need additional training.

10) Carvers (also known as “TRIKKE” riders): Please be mindful of the swerving nature of your vehicle and the impact your motion has on those around you. In a crowded environment, there may not be enough room to maneuver successfully and you may need to dismount with your fellow participants.

11) No motorized vehicles, including bikes and mopeds. No motorized scooters, skateboards or anything else, EXCEPT…

12) Motorized vehicles with handicapped placards are allowed as long as you are not required to register with DMV. Meaning: a motorized car? – NO. A motorized scooter (with a handicapped placard)? – YES.

13) Electric-assist bicycles are allowed provided you keep a safe speed comparable to other riders.

14) If the route gets too crowded to ride your bike, walk your bike until it’s safe to remount.

15) Follow the signs to stop and obey the instructions of traffic officers, police and volunteers at vehicle and soft closure pedestrian crossings.

16) Be Nice!

17) Be safe!

18) Don’t litter! Recycle when appropriate.

19) Smile and Enjoy!

Ways to Participate


By bike is the best way to explore our full event route!  There will be plenty of bike parking at the Activity Zones along the route, and in some spots, complimentary bike valet.

Have a small problem with your bike? Stop by any of our local bike shop boothes along the route to see a bike technician… for free! However, please be sure to service your bike prior to Open Streets. Free bike repair is only for minor issues: flat repair, tire pumping, popped chains, etc. Please do not arrive expecting to get a full service repair.


All pedestrians are welcome. You may either walk in the streets to the right of bicyclists and other riders, or on the sidewalks. If you’re in the street, stay to the right of the outer-most lane and move to the sidewalk if you feel that there are too many bicycles, etc. in the street at any given time.

Here are some ideas to enhance your day:

1) Visit businesses and attractions along the route; shop and support local!
2) Enjoy the myriad activities, performances and classes we’ve laid out for the day.
3) Don’t forget about the beach! Stop for a stroll along the waves, or catch a volleyball game or a free slackline lesson!
4) Getting tired of walking? You can hire a Pedicab driver to take you along the event route. Pedicabs will be stationed and riding throughout our route. Please be sure to tip your hard-working Pedicab drivers!


Please familiarize yourself with MTD’s bike guidelines here.


We strongly recommend that children who are beginner cyclists walk instead of ride. The Open Streets route is not the place to learn to ride a bike and can be intimidating for children who do not possess moderate cycling skills.  Be sure to check out the KidUCate Zone where children can practice safe cycling if they need additional training.

If your children will be riding bikes, please make sure they stay to the right if they are going slow. Please also encourage them to pay attention to other riders and communicate or signal before they get on or off the route.

Whether your children walk, bike, skate, scooter or pogo (hey, it could happen), their safety is your responsibility. Needless to say, please keep both eyes on them at all times, considering the number of people in the streets, and have them stay close to you.


Open Streets is for everyone, not just those on foot, bikes or skateboards. We welcome wheelchairs in the streets and on the sidewalk! Please stay to the right of the road and follow pedestrian traffic.  If you’re able you may also want to hire a Pedicab driver to take you along the event route.  Pedicabs will be stationed and riding throughout our event route.

Motorized vehicles are not allowed except for motorized scooters with a handicapped placard. Please note: If your motorized scooter requires registration with the Department of Motor Vehicles, it cannot be on the route.


We ‘heart’ artists! If you are making art along the route, we ask that you stay either on the sidewalk or public grass areas and keep at least a four-foot clearance for other sidewalk users, or in the center (inner lanes) of the street. Your best bet is to enjoy some of the open spaces along the route to create your project. Please be mindful of your materials and be sure to clean up anything you bring!


Whether you’re riding together as part of a bicycle club, walking together for a company outing or sharing information about your non-profit, Open Streets offers a great chance to spend time together!

Some groups may make special shirts for the day, others may carry signs or banners and others may simply enjoy the sights and sounds together. As with individuals, no registration is required and you are welcome to enter or exit the route at any point.

If you want to distribute materials to participants along the route, you are welcome to do so, but you cannot do so from a stationary position within the route. You must keep moving. Please do not distract bicyclists and create a safety hazard, however. Please be mindful of the environment and clean up any of your materials that you see along the route.

If you want to set up a table on the route and distribute information to participants, you must secure permission from a property owner along the route and follow the city’s guidelines, and you may not block the sidewalk.

Enjoy Bringing Our Streets Alive Safely!

By familiarizing yourself with the following information, you can help to make SB Open Streets a safe and fun event for everyone.


Cars are not allowed, but any other form of non-motorized transportation is. Be aware of how people around you are traveling – biking, walking, skating, etc. – and respect their right to the road.


Please check out this link from our partners at the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition to learn about general bike commuting rules.


Maintain a slow, safe speed at all times on or near the event route. Stay on the outer/right lane of the road when moving, proceeding with the flow of traffic.


Police officers and route monitors will be at controlled crossing intersections to process the flow of car and pedestrian traffic into parking lots.  Be prepared to stop when instructed to do so.


Our sponsor REI has a comprehensive information and video page about biking with children. Please take the time to review this information if you plan to enjoy Open Streets with a child.


Open Streets is not an ideal place to teach a child or an adult how to ride a bike due to the heavy flow of bike and pedestrian traffic. While we welcome participants of all ages and skill levels, we strongly suggest that children and all participants learn the basics of bike riding before participating on the route. Fortunately, SB Open Streets offers great opportunities for walking and other non-bike travel.


The Carpinteria Police Department will provide a strong security presence at Open Streets. In addition, there will be emergency medical technicians on standby along the route, as well as first aid providers in Activity Zones.

In case of a serious accident or injury, first call 911. Then send someone to the nearest Activty Zone or Info Booth to report it to Open Streets staff. If you are between Zones, look for the nearest uniformed officer or responder, or Open Streets staff member.

If you notice any suspicious activity or a suspicious package, immediately report it to the nearest Open Streets staff member or uniformed officer. The safety and well-being of our participants is our primary concern. We are working closely with the City of Carpinteria and the Sheriff’s Department to provide as safe and secure an environment as possible.


Staff members and volunteers can be identified by the Open Streets’ t-shirt. Staff members can assist you with finding the answers to questions and with helping to find the right person to respond to emergencies. If you are missing a member of your party, have been in a minor accident or have been part of an incident, please contact the nearest Open Streets staff member. This is often the fastest way to ensure police officers or emergency personnel respond to the situation rapidly and effectively.

Business Participation

With thousands of potential customers passing by open storefronts throughout the day, we encourage retailers and restaurants to participate, even if it’s just by greeting people who pass by your front door. Many businesses benefit tremendously from other established Open Streets events, some noting record sales. This is a great opportunity to reach a new customer base.

If you’re on our event route, other ideas include:

  • Plan on being open for the full Open Streets event hours, from 9 AM – 5 PM
  • Make your storefront visible with signs, banners and sandwich boards (within City signage guidelines, please)
  • Bring your business outside! If you have permission to use the sidewalk in front of your business, bring some activity outside during the event. Please note: Under the terms of our permit, the street must remain passable by emergency vehicles. Do not place anything in the street itself.
  • Advertise your business before the event. If you’re offering an Open Streets special, let us know as early as possible and we can help promote it via social media and in our event day materials (see our Provider Application).
  • Help get the word out in advance.  Put up our Open Streets flyer to let customers and participants know you support SB Open Streets and will be open for business when our streets come alive! Click here to open and print our flyer.


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