Los Angeles is known as a city of smog, traffic and cars. CicLAvia is an event that aims to change that image for a day of walking, skating, playing and riding bikes. On April 14, 2012, 10 miles of Downtown and South Los Angeles will be closed to cars to make it safe for people to flock. Restaurants and shop owners are encouraged to welcome visitors to CicLAvia.
On Sunday, April 15 starting at 1am, a no parking rule goes into effect on the streets of CicLAvia. At 6am, cars parked on route will be towed. The city will close the streets at 8am to secure the route for participants. The streets are closed until 3:30pm, when the event ends. In the past, CicLAvia has closed down streets from Hollenback Part to Boyle Heights, through Little Tokyo, Westlake, MacArthur Park, Koreatown and into East Hollywood, otherwise known as “The Bicycle District.” This year, CicLAvia will extend south to Central Avenue, Exposition Park and more of South LA, further east into Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles, and north to Chinatown. In the future, CicLAvia plans to extend as far as Long Beach, San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica, Culver City and East LA.
You don’t need a bike to partake in CicLAvia! In the past, people have celebrated by playing dodgeball, practicing toga, capoeira, marching in parades and much more. Hydration station will be available at Hollenbeck Park, MacArthur Park, Heliotrope, El Pueblo and the African American Firefighter Museum. CicLAvia water bottles will also be on sale at rest stops.
The event comes from ciclovias, which started over 30 years ago as a result of congestion and pollution of city streets in Bogota, Colombia. Today, hundreds happen throughout Latin American and the United States to connect the community. Ciclovias bring people together to enjoy the public space of the streets without traffic and relieve stress.