The vaunted closed-street bike parade known as CicLAvia returns to Los Angeles city streets this Sunday with a ride from Echo Park though Downtown and into East Los Angeles. This exciting route not only offers a window onto our region’s complex urban fabric; it also bids Westside riders to explore areas to the east which we are less likely to seek out. We’ll be there on Sunday and may even catch a feeder ride to Echo Park. Join us!
What Is CicLAvia?
What needs to be said about our region’s foremost celebration of the street as a public space? This Sunday morning, feel-good shutdown of traffic that otherwise rules is not only an opportunity to see our region from a different perspective. That’s important because we must refocus our attention from the reigning mobility paradigm, in which policies and priorities make motoring our first and most convenient choice, to a near-future wherein multimodal mobility offers real transportation options to those who don’t want to drive.
In fact, CicLAvia has been conceived as a bona fide social program to prompt us to reconsider our most overlooked public space resource: city streets. “Our streets are congested with traffic, our air is polluted with toxic fumes, our children suffer from obesity and other health conditions caused by the scarcity of public space and safe, healthy transportation options,” the CicLAvia folks say. “CicLAvia creates a temporary park for free, simply by removing cars from city streets. It creates a network of connections between our neighborhoods and businesses and parks with corridors filled with fun.”
We’ve participated in many of the CicLAvias and it’s always a blast. And you don’t even need to own a bike to enjoy CicLAvia. There are plenty of opportunities to rent a ride. And if you don’t want to ride, you can walk, run, skate, or scooter. By whatever means of conveyance, be sure to join us! And be sure to ride safe.
This ‘Heart of LA’ route will once again make Downtown LA a fulcrum of sorts for a cross-region ride. From the west, riders will gather in Echo Park and then follow the historic Pacific Electric route to downtown. From there we’ll thread through the Historic Broadway Theater District, where a relocated pedestrian zone will encourage mixing; then stop at the Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture (at Grand Park) before crossing the Los Angeles River to pass by Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights on the way to the East Los Angeles. The official route terminates with a ‘kids zone’ at the East LA Civic Center.
Grab A Feeder Ride!
Unlike recent CicLAvias, this weekend’s ride does not close Wilshire Boulevard so you’ll likely find yourself on a parallel route to downtown or to the route’s terminus at Echo Park. Fortunately you won’t have to think too hard about it: we have two good feeder rides to lead us to either the Echo Park terminus or the Downtown hub.
Riders in Beverly Hills can join up with not one but two ‘feeder’ rides to the downtown event. Santa Monica Spoke, that city’s premier bike advocacy organization, is hosting a ride departing from the Santa Monica Pier at 8:30 a.m. (come early for the free bagels). Their route courses through Beverly Hills along Santa Monica Boulevard South and Burton Way before it hooks up with LA’s 4th Street bike boulevard to the western Echo Park terminus.
If you make your way to Mid City, bike shop I Martin is hosting a feeder ride from that shop at 8330 Beverly Boulevard which will depart at 8:30 a.m. This feeder takes the same 4th Street route to downtown. With enough riders from the Westside, we can make it a defacto CicLAvia route east!
You need not ride the whole CicLAvia route or even ride to the event at all. Public transit has always been a key consideration for ride organizers. Find Metro rail stops all along the route! We’ll see you there!