Come Out and Play: Let’s Help CicLAvia Become More Friendly to Kids and Walkers

CicLAvia was amazing last Sunday.  When you think that less than a year ago it wasn’t certain Los Angeles would every have an open street festival and now we’re having over 100,000 people take to the streets, it’s double-amazing.

But if there’s one thing that kept the day from being perfect, it’s that some people who decided to experience CicLAvia on foot, or on a bike ride with small children, were harassed or made to feel imperiled by rude or reckless bicyclists.  I don’t think these isolated incidents should take away from the wonder that is CicLAvia, but this is an event for the entire public, so we should all strive to make everyone feel welcome.

As I’ve said at several places, my walk with family and friends was wonderful, but this quiet drumbeat is something that needs to be addressed.  But if not everyone has that experience, and some of those complaining are good friends, so instead of just kvetching on the Internet, let’s help the CicLAvia team out.  I know they’re already brainstorming ways to make CicLAvia more family and pedestrian friendly, but I know we have a creative group here so leave your suggestions in the comments section.

Some popular suggestions on the Internet so far are to extend the route, so that cyclists and pedestrians will have more room on a longer route, and having spurs to other destinations along the route so that people not interested in riding (or doing anything else) on a bike freeway have places they can play in the street.

Those are good ideas, but as the number of people taking part in CicLAvia grows, just growing the route doesn’t seem to be a long-term fix.  What we need to do is find ways of changing the behavior of the vast minority of cyclists who were creating issues for the slower participants in CicLAvia that were enjoying the route.  I’m guessing signs would be ignored.  However, the guy dressed in a Roman gladiators helmet standing on the decline on 7th leading to Figueroa did a decent job of getting people to slow down.  Maybe we need to get out an entire legion.

Again, leave your thoughts for the CicLAvia team in the comments section.