Ten miles of streets across Los Angeles are closed to vehicles — open to be thronged with thousands of bicyclists and pedestrians — for five hours Sunday, as CicLAvia winds across the heart of the city.
The event is a street party, not a street race, said pedestrian advocate Deborah Murphy. She told Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's blog that some pedestrians have nearly been mowed over by bicyclists coasting down a steep hill where a mandatory-dismount rule is now being enforced.
The route again closes cross streets between the eastern edge of Hollywood and the Westlake and Pico-Union districts, primarily along New Hampshire Avenue and 7th Street. At Figueroa and 7th streets downtown, the closure forks north to Chinatown, east to Boyle Heights, and south to Central Avenue.
Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., vehicles are banned from the CicLAvia route, and drivers are only able to cross the road at major streets where crossover points are staffed by traffic control officers.
Fans arriving for the 12:30 p.m. Sunday game between the L.A. Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center may be affected by closures on north-south streets. Those closures go as far south as 7th Street west of the Harbor (110) Freeway, and 9th Street in downtown itself.
L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa promised to use the 9:30 a.m. kickoff ceremony, at Olvera Street's La Placita Church, to "announce a new bike initiative that will significantly improve transit options in Los Angeles," his office announced. The initiative will mark "a milestone in the administration's 'all-of- the-above' strategy to build a more sustainable city," his announcement stated.
Metro allows bicyclists to bring their wheels onto subway and light rail trains, and is touting public transit as a great way to get to CicLAvia. MTA buses can take limited numbers of bicyclists to the event.
More than a dozen major bus lines have to be detoured Sunday as routes cross CicLAvia.
This is the fourth CicLAvia, which is now held twice a year due to overwhelming attendance. The event has become crowded with pedestrians enjoying stress-free walking and play on the streets, so much so that bicyclists are being asked to exercise caution and courtesy on some blogs.
CicLAvia is modeled on a popular event in Bogota, Columbia.