Lessons from Mexico City: Ciclovia



When I woke up on Sunday Morning here in Mexico City and looked out my window down at the giant Reforma Blvd., it was full of hundreds of cyclists. Without knowing it, I had stumbled into one of Mexico City’s weekly Ciclovia events where miles of major Boulevards are closed off to automobile traffic and instead taken over by cyclists, rollerskaters, walkers, soccer players, dogs, children and many more.

My friends and I walked down to the street and marveled at the constant stream of cyclists – old and young, men and women, all kinds of bikes. What a great way to experience a city! For those who didn’t have bikes, there were kiosks every half-mile or so where you could borrow a bike for free. I didn’t have my passport with me so I couldn’t borrow one. The good news is that this is a weekly event so I plan to borrow a bike next week. There are also numerous racks full of free city bikes that people could use as well.

What also impressed me was that several of the blocks had programmed space where the streets were used for other purposes. With world cup fever going on down here, several blocks of street were converted into mini-soccer fields. Another stretch of street was turned into a showcase for locals who had restored old VW Bugs to show off their cars. Ciclovia here gives a variety of options for people to experience their streets as vibrant places to enjoy.

At major intersections, police regulated the car traffic so it could cross the Ciclovia on a regular basis. We later took the subway about six stops down to the historic Zocolo, and to my surprise, the Ciclovia was going on all the way down there!

If Mexico City can do this on a weekly basis, why not Los Angeles? I’m definitely looking forward to riding in the first Ciclavia in Los Angeles on September 12th. I encourage you to plan on attending and invite your friends to join you.


  • internetdude

    I’ve got two observations from this post:

    (1) learn how to use the tag in wordpress

    (2) you cannot use images stored in your gmail inbox when you’re publishing them online for everyone to see. Upload them to the streetsblog server or host them somewhere else (Flick, imgur, etc.)

  • You mean the <!–more–> tag?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

When Are Open Streets Events Really Open Streets Events?

|
This weekend, urban walkers, cyclists, and families can gear up for two first-time open streets events: Tomorrow, Saturday, April 23, the city of Burbank hosts CiclaBurbank, billed as “a local Open-Streets event on the Burbank On Parade route while it’s still closed to motorized traffic.” The event takes place from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on […]

A reckless rider pleads guilty to assault with a deadly weapon. But does that say more about the city that charged him than the cyclists that ride there?

|
Yes, bike riders are subject to the same laws drivers are. Maybe Santa Monica police and prosecutors wanted to send that message loud and clear. Maybe they wanted to make an example of one reckless cyclist so other bicyclists would straighten up and ride right. But to do it, they slapped a reckless, red light […]

Bike Summit Keynotes: Change Can Only Come with Inspired Leaders

|
Four very different speakers, with different backgrounds and from three different cities, traveled to Los Angeles to inspire local cyclists to bring change to our streets. While each of these leaders told different stories and had different experiences, each had a common theme: to see the change we want, we need an educated and inspired city leadership.

Introducing the Long Beach “Ciclovía”

|
For readers and Long Beachers alike, they have known of my dream to bring a ciclovía to our city, my dream of shutting down a large stretch of street to make way for cyclists and skaters, walkers and runners. According to officials, it wasn’t a matter of discussion but one of money. And according to my […]

Long Beach Ciclovía? We’re Closer Than You Think

|
If anyone knows me well in Long Beach, I have had many dreams of bicycling infrastructure and events, but there is one which stands out most significantly: the ciclovía. L.A.’s own CicLAvia instills a jealousy within me that has made me perpetually strive to make on in Long Beach materialize–even to the extent of praising the […]