Tune up your bicycles and dust off your jump ropes and get ready to go out and play this Sunday — on the streets. More than seven miles of streets will be liberated from cars for CicLAvia — a car-free streetfest of sorts — on Oct. 10 from 10 am to 3 pm, clearing the way for flaneurs, cyclists, and hopscotch players to take over the city.
Angelenos living in East Hollywood, Boyle Heights, and everywhere in between will wake up to see the usual traffic-clogged streets transformed into pedestrian-friendly plazas and playgrounds. What you do with the day is up to you. The fitness-obsessed can burn more than 500 calories by briskly walking the entire path, while the sweet-toothed can make it their mission to hit every dessert shop along the route. To enjoy the day, all you have to do is go out and play! But if you’re looking for more organized fun, try these options:
>> Social Bike Ride at CicLAvia. Join Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition for a leisurely ride through all 7 miles of CicLAvia. Meet at 10 am at Hollenbeck Park in Boyle Heights. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
>> Rally to Kick Coal and Oil Out of Los Angeles. For a good old fashioned eco-rally, join Green LA, Sierra Club, 350.org, Greenpeace, and other environmental organizations to urge the City of Los Angeles to move toward cleaner energy sources. The rally begins at 12:30 pm on the south lawn of Los Angeles City Hall at the corner of Main and First in downtown Los Angeles.
How did CicLAvia come about? The inspiration for the event came from the Ciclovías in Bogotá, Colombia, which started more than 30 years ago. Today, Ciclovias regularly close off major streets to car traffic and its pollution, giving people the public space to play and breathe.
For L.A., this CicLAvia is the first — and as of yet the only — planned event. Organized primarily by a small group of dedicated local activists with the support of Mayor Villaraigosa, the day’s intended both as a fun, community event and a more serious call for clean air, public spaces, sustainable communities, and alternative transportation options.
Serendipitously, CicLAvia’s happening on the same day as 10/10/10 — a “Global Work Party” organized by environmental organization 350.org intended to push politicians towards taking action to address global climate change (thus the rally at 12:30 pm). I’ll highlight some of the other events happening as part of 10/10/10 later in the week — but regardless of what else you decide to do, make some time to enjoy the car-free streets at CicLAvia this Sunday!