L.A.'s CicLAvia bike ride might become a monthly event
Riding a wave of popularity that has drawn hundreds of thousands to five car-free events in and around downtown Los Angeles in the last two years, the organizers of CicLAvia are now wondering where to go next.
The latest CicLAvia was held Sunday, when more than nine miles of city streets were closed to motor vehicles for over five hours to make room for an estimated 100,000 bicyclists, pedestrians and skateboarders.
L.A. held its first CicLAvia in October 2010, inspired by Bogota, Colombia’s weekly ciclovía (Spanish for "bike path") events, which began more than three decades ago and have been adopted by other cities in Latin America and the United States.
The idea of CicLAvia is to get people out of their cars and to explore the city by bicycling, walking, running, skateboarding or other healthy activities.
“We’ve been talking internally and we’re trying to formulate what our policy is going to be and what our plans are going to be for 2013,” said CicLAvia cofounder Aaron Paley. “We have been looking at new places to do this in L.A. County and not restricting it just to downtown L.A.”
“We’re not going away … We’re definitely going to be a regular part of the fabric of the city, and stay tuned for announcements for where we’re going to be going,” Paley said.
Have an idea for a CicLAvia route in the city or county? Here are some general guidelines from Paley for suggested routes:
--No freeways. “They’re not fun and friendly,” Paley said.
--Avoid steep grades and hills as much as possible.
--Keep the route between 5 and 10 miles.
--Pick routes that connect neighborhoods.
--Stay away from residential areas in favor of commercial corridors.
--Stay away from streets with big-box stores that have big parking lots. That’s because having CicLAvia on those streets would likely hurt business by blocking parking.
--Think about including special neighborhood landmarks and hubs such as Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights or Exposition Park on the route.
--The route should be basically linear and should not be a loop or in the shape of a “C” or circle because that would be a severe inconvenience for people inside the closure areas.
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-- Ari Blooomekatz
Photo: Thousands of bicyclists pedal up and down Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles during the Fifth Annual Ciclavia on Sunday. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times