Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What is CicLAvia?

What is CicLAvia?

I asked myself the same question and was not prepared for the great adventure we experienced through the streets of downtown Los Angeles.
CicLAvia temporarily removes cars from L.A. streets - and the streets fill up with smiles!
     With three hugely successful CicLAvias (10/10/10, 4/10/11 and 10/9/11) under our belt, we are currently preparing for the April, 15 2012 CicLAvia. 10 miles of streets were car-free from 10 AM - 3 PM on Sunday October 9th 2011. In 2012, we’re doing the initial route again, and adding new spurs to El Pueblo/Olvera Street and South LA, for a total of ten miles.
     Ciclovías started in Bogotá, Colombia, over thirty years ago as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets. Now they happen throughout Latin America and the United States.  From
     As we entered the streets of Olvera Street already people were gathered at 9am listening to various speakers and supporters of CicLAvia.  It was not until after Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke that I was informed of the partnership of Bike Nation with the city of Los Angeles, Venice, Playa Del Rey, Westwood and Hollywood.  It is a bike share program that plans to have 400 stations and provide 4,000 bikes for rent.
     I had not come prepared with my bicycle but my friends and I noticed bike nation was renting out bikes for an hour for free! So as excited cyclists and pedestrians made their way to the starting line, we put our names on a waiting list.  Fifteen minutes later we were on our way down the streets of downtown!  What an exciting feeling of being able to ride down the streets with no cars.  We made our way to the 1st St. bridge and while my friend and her child turned back, her husband and I rode up the bridge.  I admit it was not easy, but I was not going to miss the opportunity of riding the bridge that connects Los Angeles to East Los Angeles.  From there we made our way back and after returning our bicycles we walked back to downtown to enjoy a dessert at Syrup on Spring Street. 

     I recommend everyone to come out to the next CicLAvia on October 14, 2012.  It is a free event and a great opportunity to visit downtown without getting stuck in traffic.  Take the opportunity to see the beauty of the buildings and historical sites and enjoy some great hidden eateries.  Mostly take the time to share a great day with family, friends and especially your children. 

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