By the early afternoon of April 10, it was clear that CicLAvia had outgrown its original seven and a half mile route. In the urban core of Downtown Los Angeles, bikes were packed so thick on the road that entire groups wouldn’t make it through traffic signals and other road users were intimidated from using the street. Something had to change for the amazing car-free party to continue to attract new riders.
CicLAvia staff got to work and announced earlier today that the October 9th 2011 CicLAvia will have an expanded ten and a half mile route with more open streets in the Downtown snaking North and South for a much larger car-free party.
“We’re excited about the three new miles, and we’re looking forward to expanding more,” writes Joe Linton, one of the organizers of CicLAvia. “Bogota started in the 1970s with only 7 miles and now they do 80 miles – every Sunday!”
The CicLAvia Blog shares the details of the expanded routes:
NEW! South Spur: The south spur branches off the route downtown, south on Spring Street, east on 9th Street (which becomes Olympic) and south on Central Avenue to the African American Firefighter Museum on Central at 14th Street. This new mileage includes Downtown Los Angeles’ Fashion District with hundreds of establishments selling colorful rolls of cloth, and a small area informally known as the “piñata district” where huge numbers of colorful piñatas are sold. The hope is to extend this route further south via Central Avenue in the future.
NEW! North Spur: The north spur branches off the route at L.A. City Hall, heading north on Main Street, crossing the 101 Freeway into the historic El Pueblo plaza area, including Olvera Street. It continues on Paseo Olivares, Spring Street, New High Street, Ord Street and into the heart of L.A.’s Chinatown on North Broadway, ending at Chinatown’s Central Plaza. Both El Pueblo and Chinatown offer CicLAvia participants lots of great places to eat! The new spur also makes a much easier connection with Union Station and with the Metro Gold Line Chinatown Station.
While the lion’s share of the credit for the expanded route, and for CicLAvia in general, goes to the volunteers who work so tirelessly to make the event happen, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the support of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his staff. The Mayor has backed CicLAvia both behind the microphone and in public meetings. One month after the April CicLAvia, he promised an extended route at the May Blessing of the Bicycles, and that doubtless helped keep city staff focused on CicLAvia expansion.
CicLAvia is also hoping to raise another $10,500 through a Kickstarter Campaign over the next month. While L.A. Streetsblog and CicLAvia aren’t officially partners, we’re proud to see the Streetfilm on the April event featured as part of their campaign.