4th CicLAvia event closes streets for cars, urges Angelenos use legs

Cyclists ride through the street at CicLAvia in downtown L.A. October 9, 2011.
Cyclists ride through the street at CicLAvia in downtown L.A. October 9, 2011.
Eric Richardson/KPCC

For the fourth time, CicLAvia will bring a breath of fresh air to the streets of L.A.

Ten miles of congested downtown and South L.A. roads will be transformed into car-free space, beckoning folks to come outside and meet the neighbors. The closure will range from East Hollywood through Downtown L.A. and into Boyle Heights.

“CicLAvia represents a sea change in our city,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told CBS. “We’re getting off our addiction to the single passenger automobile by creating infrastructure for bikes, increasing public transit options, and making it easier for Angelenos to get from point A to point B with or without their cars.”

Erick Huerta, a CicLAvia veteran, says the event offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

"It was at the last CicLAvia where I kind of had like this 'wow' moment," said Huerta. "We were in downtown and there was traffic. There was bike traffic. Like folks, there were so many folks riding that you couldn't ride. [...] I've never experienced that in my life."

Tafarai Bayne, a member of CicLAvia's board of directors, agreed, saying that the event unites the community.

"It's not just about like 'Here's a bike,'" says Bayne. "Its also, 'Here's some space.' Here's some opportunities to ride with other people, here's some new friends."

The name CicLAVia is a play on the Spanish word for “bikeway."

The idea began in Bogota, Colombia.

CicLAvia runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 15. A map of the route can be found here.

Correction: This story originally said that this was the fourth annual CicLAvia; it's the fourth CicLAvia, but takes place twice a year and is only two years old.