CicLAvia to close 7 miles of LA streets for a day

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Brian Watt/KPCC

Heidi Zeller of the CicLAvia steering committee at Los Angeles City Hall, Sept, 22, 2010.

Los Angeles City officials announced plans Wednesday to close seven and a half miles of city streets to cars on Sunday, October 10. The occasion: CicLAvia.

Imagine seven and a half miles of Los Angeles streets closed to car traffic for a day so cyclists, pedestrians, and skaters can take over. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says there’s some history behind this idea.

"CicLAvia started over thirty years in Bogota, Colombia as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets," said the mayor. "Now does that sound familiar?"

To Angelenos, it should. Heidi Zeller of the CicLAvia steering committee says the city of L.A. wants to show what its streets can become when the cars go away.

"We’re transforming them into a giant public park for a day," Zeller said.

The chosen date should be easy to remember: Sunday, October 10 — or 10/10/10. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Everyone will be welcome, and admission is free.

"This is gonna connect people in Boyle Heights, downtown, in Koreatown, Little Tokyo, MacArthur Park, ending in East Hollywood — or beginning in East Hollywood," said Zeller.

"It’s not just for those particular neighborhoods, everyone is welcome, whether you live in the Valley, in the South Bay. And we also want everybody to know that it’s not a race: it’s about open space. "

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