What is our largest public space? The network of public streets, of course, and this weekend cyclists and pedestrians will be enjoying that open space in downtown Los Angeles without any cars getting in their way.
Inspired by Ciclovía, the original regular street closure event in Bogotá, Colombia, CicLAvia (pronounced seek-lah-vee-uh) opens L.A. streets to pedestrians and bicyclists, creating a temporary web of public space on which residents of Los Angeles can walk, bike, socialize, celebrate and experience more of their own city.
“There are about 10 miles that are open for the public to come and participate and they can participate in any way they like,” said CicLAvia board member Jonathan Parfrey. “It's LA's biggest block party. The thing I love about it it's kind of changed the way people look at the city.”
From Boyle Heights to Downtown, MacArthur Park to East Hollywood, El Pueblo/Olvera Street, and South L.A., CicLAvia encourages Angelenos to not only make active use of their streets, but to rediscover the streets and neighborhoods that often go unnoticed in a car.
“The first thing i noticed when I went to Ciclavia for the first time is just how totally quiet everything is,” said Josef Bray-Ali, the co-owner of Flying Pigeon Bike Shop in Cypress Park. “All you can hear is the soft rushing of people's bike tires, walking… it’s a transcendental moment to be on the 6th street bridge crossing over from East L.A. to Downtown and to have the air blowing across you.”
This year’s CicLAvia will take place on Sunday April 15, from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Will you be attending? If so, will you be biking, running, or walking?
Jonathan Parfrey,CicLAvia Board Member and a Commissioner of the Los Angeles Board of Water and Power