Imagine a city where you can ride your bicycle, skateboard, roller skates or just walk and not fear that cars could swipe you into an accident. A place where you can take time, see your surroundings and maybe have that ice cream cone or just talk to people without worrying about freeway or street traffic. Could one be describing the City of Los Angeles?
Thanks to another large metropolitan city – Bogota, Colombia – this ideal scenario happens in Los Angeles every so often at the CicLAvia events.
It was in 1976 that Bogota started to close off certain streets to cars so that runners, skaters, bicyclists and the general public at large could enjoy a day without the noise, fumes and stress of automobile traffic. In addition, stages were set up in city parks to add free entertainment in those closed-off areas to make the day complete.
After Bogota’s success, many cities around the world started their version of Ciclovía (a Spanish word that means “cycleway”), the term used to describe these pedestrian- and bike-friendly events. The many countries that jumped on the bandwagon include Australia (2014), Argentina (2009), Belgium (2011), Canada (2012) and the United States (Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver and Los Angeles, among many others).
It was on Oct. 10, 2010 that about 100,000 Angelenos decided to ditch their cars and take to a 7.5 mile section of car-free streets that stretched from Boyle Heights to East Hollywood on the first-ever L.A. Ciclovía, renamed CicLAVia.
With the help of leaders from City Hall, the biking community and many other enthusiasts this ideal has become a frequent event that rotates around different areas of Los Angeles. Don’t miss the next CiLAvia and get yourself out of your car, home, apartment or condo and onto your bicycle, skateboard, skates or just your two legs. While getting some exercise you will help mother nature and our beloved City of Angeles become a more humane and pleasant place!
CicLAvia returns to the Heart of Los Angeles on Oct. 5 from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. with an almost entirely new route, crossing through Downtown along parts of the first CicLAvia route into areas like Echo Park, the Historic Broadway Theater District and Boyle Heights all the way into the County of Los Angeles and into East Los Angeles.
For more information, visit ciclavia.org.