MTI survey shows that Viva CalleSJ delivered a third-year of fun and physical activity for participants

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Over three-quarters said that they got more than 60 minutes of physical activity at the event
April 30, 2018
San José, CA

For the third year, the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) conducted an independent survey of participants during the City of San José’s Viva CalleSJ open streets to help assess the event’s success. On September 17, 2017, the City of San Jose closed six miles of streets so that people could walk, dance, bike, and explore along the route. The complete report, A Survey of Viva CalleSJ Participants: San Jose, California, 2017, is available online.

An estimated 130,000 people attended the event. Viva CalleSJ offered a wide range of activities, like yoga, Zumba, rock climbing, and live performances, that encouraged participants to keep moving. In a new partnership with Pokémon GO game maker Niantic, Viva CalleSJ enticed players to stay active while on the hunt for rare virtual creatures to capture, train, and battle. For participants looking for a break or an opportunity to refuel, a variety of food trucks and unique vendors were available.

A total of 860 diverse participants completed the survey. Some key findings include:

  • Over three-quarters of participants estimated that they got more than 60 minutes of physical activity at the event;
  • Nearly one-quarter were returning participants who attended previous Viva CalleSJ events, and 60% were San José residents;
  • More than one-third came by bike to the event;
  • The two most popular reasons for attending Viva CalleSJ were “it sounded like fun” and to “get some exercise”;
  • The most popular organized event activity was watching the entertainment along the route.

The report findings suggest the following implications for future Viva CalleSJ events:

  • The events will successfully get people moving for at least one hour of physical activity.
  • Participants will likely enjoy performances, food trucks, and activities.
  • Integrating a smart-phone game like Pokémon GO into the event can attract participants who might not otherwise attend, including people from outside San José.

Figure 1. People come to Viva CalleSJ for both fun and exercise

The survey instrument was a one-page paper questionnaire that respondents completed at the event. It was available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese, the languages most commonly spoken in San Jose. Surveyors distributed the questionnaire to as diverse a set of adult participants as possible at five zones along the route. The sampling strategy was not random, but it was as close to random as feasible given the circumstances. A total of 860 people turned in surveys usable for analysis.


Asha Weinstein Agrawal, PhD, and Hilary Nixon, PhD, are professors of urban and regional planning at San José State University. Cameron Simons is a researcher at the Mineta Transportation Institute.


The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) conducts research, education, and information transfer programs regarding surface transportation policy and management issues, especially related to transit. The Institute is funded through the US Department of Transportation, the US Department of Homeland Security, the California Department of Transportation, and public and private grants. The internationally respected members of the MTI Board of Trustees represent all major surface transportation modes. MTI, the lead institute for the four-university Mineta Consortium for Transportation Mobility, is affiliated with San Jose (CA) State University’s Lucas College and Graduate School of Business.



Irma Garcia, MTI Communications & Workforce Development Coordinator




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