CicLAvia: Where’s Next?

Next?

It seems as though each CicLAvia is attracting more and more people to the carfree festival that connects ten neighborhoods bordering and including Downtown.  After past CicLAvia’s, we’ve asked where’s next? But as CicLAvia has become such a powerful symbol of what Los Angeles can be, the chorus calling for a local CicLAvia is growing.

We have just over six months to the next CicLAvia, and there are four contenders to host the next gigantic car free festival.

1) The current route, either as it exists or with a further expansion.  The “standard” CicLAvia route connecting the East Hollywood Bicycle District to Hollenbeck Park has proven popular.  Media estimates for the amount of people attending CicLAvia in some form dwarf similar events in other American cities.  The route expanded for last weekend’s event with spurs up to El Pueblo (Olvera Street) and down to the African American Firefighter Museum.  However, the two spurs weren’t as heavily traveled, or as well marked, so last weekend’s route could still prove popular and hold some new sights.

2) In the April CicLAvia, there were new t-shirts available that celebrated a future CicLAvia South L.A.  While a completely new route for South L.A. didn’t happen in 2011, there was some real movement towards that goal with regular meetings and rides promoting alternatives to the 10/10/10 route that has been the backbone of the CicLAvia route.  There has also been talk of having CicLAvia run along the route of Phase 1 of the Expo Line, from Downtown L.A., down to the USC campus and on to La Brea.

3) While they’re not calling it CicLAvia, there are also rumblings from advocates and city staff that Culver City should be the next Southern California city to hold a Ciclovia style event.  At the same time, Westside Councilman Bill Rosendahl has also pushed for a West L.A. CicLAvia and Santa Monica has also made some noise about closing off a portion of its streets for a carfree party.  Could there be a route connecting Culver City to the water?  Or even more impressively could we see a combination of the second and third options?

4) While the San Fernando Valley has hardly been a hotbed of bicycling activity, we have seen signs that even The Valley is moving towards livability.  Yesterday, Dakota Smith penned an article for the Daily News asking whether the SFV is ready for CicLAvia.  Today, the Daily News’ editorial board is asking the same question.  A CicLAvia in the Valley this April is a long shot, but when the local paper of record takes an interest, anything is possible.

Do you have a better idea?  Leave it in the comments section.

  • guest

    Expo line has stops at USC, not UCLA.

  • I think they meant “follow the expo phase 1 line, then on to UCLA, and then to La Brea”. Also, phase 2 will get close enough to UCLA that commuting to school via expo is not a bad option (either completing the trip by bike, or bus). It’s 2.5 miles to get to the center of campus from the Expo/Westwood stop, and while I’m not pretending it isn’t some inconvenience, I’ve definitely had bi-modal commutes with longer bike portions.

  • Anonymous

    NELA!
    Figueroa>York>Eagle Rock>Cypress
    Good transit connections, good freeway bypass for those that must drive, draw from a variety of neighborhoods and cities of various communities.

    Or at least consider a circular arrangement. There’s enough car crossing points that it won’t strand the neighborhood.

  • Did you forget about the bike path that has been running from North Hollywood to Woodland Hills for the last six years alongside the Orange Line Busway. The SFV is actually more bike friendly than you might imagine.

  • If there were a CicLAvia in Santa Monica, I’m not sure we could get there from the Antelope Valley by public transit (Metrolink), as we can to downtown, at least not within a time frame where we could actually participate. 

  • Mike

    This Cyclavia did try for less of a bike ride and more of a street party atomsphere, but, they more or less failed at pulling that off.  Any future event should think about creating more bike-free space as well.

  • Mel

    I tried to go on the Chinatown spur and I honestly don’t know what happened. I thought we were on the route and then suddenly we were biking in the middle of car traffic and we had a difficult time getting back onto the CicLAvia route because we couldn’t find where it was and we had to deal with 1 way streets. I am not sure if this happened with other people and if barriers had been knocked down. This was probably around 2:30.

    As a San Fernando Valley car-free resident, there are other bicyclists around, but I feel like it’s less common than in some of the other LA neighborhoods I’ve travelled over the years. I would personally love a valley CicLAvia and I think I would have an easier time getting friends living in the valley to attend since the overhead cost of getting to the event would be decreased and I think they would learn a lot. My perspective and knowledge of my neighborhood definitely changed once I stopped driving everyplace. I usually bike the valley streets early in the day on the weekends to avoid car traffic, but I would love to go out during the day and have my friends with me. I frequently bike to the Burbank area on Magnolia during the weekend. Some areas might be a little…. quiet, I suppose, but there are also a decent number of shops along the way to Burbank and some nice mountain/cloud views, depending on the weather.

  • Mel

    I tried to go on the Chinatown spur and I honestly don’t know what happened. I thought we were on the route and then suddenly we were biking in the middle of car traffic and we had a difficult time getting back onto the CicLAvia route because we couldn’t find where it was and we had to deal with 1 way streets. I am not sure if this happened with other people and if barriers had been knocked down. This was probably around 2:30.

    As a San Fernando Valley car-free resident, there are other bicyclists around, but I feel like it’s less common than in some of the other LA neighborhoods I’ve travelled over the years. I would personally love a valley CicLAvia and I think I would have an easier time getting friends living in the valley to attend since the overhead cost of getting to the event would be decreased and I think they would learn a lot. My perspective and knowledge of my neighborhood definitely changed once I stopped driving everyplace. I usually bike the valley streets early in the day on the weekends to avoid car traffic, but I would love to go out during the day and have my friends with me. I frequently bike to the Burbank area on Magnolia during the weekend. Some areas might be a little…. quiet, I suppose, but there are also a decent number of shops along the way to Burbank and some nice mountain/cloud views, depending on the weather.

  • Northeast LA, or a multi city Westside route (Culver City/LA/Beverly Hills/Santa Monica). And yes, yes, yes, more pedestrian activities, less bicycle freeway as I recall those speed demon bicyclists rapidly peddling DOWN the 4th Street bridge.

  • Patrick

    4 routes, each covering a different part of town (westside/south bay, SF valley, eastside/northeast, downtown/south), rotated on a 3 times/year basis.  This would draw more riders who could locally access a ride and thereby increase participation and awareness.

  • As far as I know, no barriers came down until after 3:00. Did you continue straight up Spring from the City Hall hub? Because riding the Chinatown/El Pueblo spur would have required jogging a block over to Main St before proceeding north.

  • Guest 66

    CicLAvia Route 66!  From Claremont (the start of LA county) to Santa Monica. 

  • Marcotico

    I think there is merit to keeping the original route and expanding it. Remember in Bogota this is done every Sunday! (i think). Imagine if eventually permamnent gates or removable bollards are incorporated into the original route. You could see real estate listings that say ” X number of blocks from ciclavia route” etc. I think a lot of the eventual success of the bike plan was due to it finally adopting the simple to grasp concept of the Backbone Network. Percieved permanence should be the name of the game with complete streets.

  • graciela

    I didn’t see a lot of activity on the new route towards the African American Fire Fighter Museum. I think some people were confused by that round about on Spring. At the time that I got there going down 7th, there was a guy directing everyone to make a left so almost everyone did. Only 5 of us actually made the right towards the museum. So I’m not sure what happened. When I got to the museum it was pretty dead around 12:30 or so. 

    The area around Olvera was packed but I got the feeling people just go there every Sunday so maybe it wasn’t Ciclavia related.

  • Angelcilario

    I remember skating/thrashing/skateboarding EVERYWHERE back in the late 80’s thru late 90’s. All over LA to Venice, to Pasadena, to Montebello, to Bell, and we were seen as vagrants/vandals/etc cause we USED the infrastructures/concrete/storm washes/etc. Those were my days of traveling with no gas. Yet society’s call for fast pace living won for a little while. This is my call for the respect missing from decades of skateboarders. Grown ups look at you in disgust if you skateboard at 35 years old, ohh but not if youre on a bike. Why? Society prefers coordinated events, spandex uniforms, helmets, quieter wheels. WILD IN THE STREETS for me!

  • Davidagalvan

    The Ciclovia events close off a portion of streets normally dominated by cars, in order to introduce people to the feeling of “what it would be like” if there were no cars around, and they could more freely enjoy a cycling or pedestrian lifestyle.  As such, while they probably encourage people to dust of their bikes and get out more, they are seen as occasional events to supplement people’s lifestyles. . . not necessarily providing the actual means for people to change their lifestyles.

    One augmentation to the Ciclovia-style-event would be to integrate existing bicycle infrastructure into the events.  For example, a Ciclavia event in the SFV could integrate the Orange Line bike path for a portion of the route.  This would have the added benefit of raising people’s awareness about cycling/pedestrian transportation options to which they will continue to have access after the end of the Ciclavia festival day.

  • I have been thinking about the easiest way to create more car-free street events similar to CicLAvia but on a smaller scale and one thing keeps coming back to me. Pretty much every community in LA, large to small, has at least one parade event every year where they close streets to vehicle traffic. Since those streets are already closed to vehicles for a few hours to host the parade – why not keep them closed a few extra hours and let everyone play?! It would be a way to bring CicLAvia spirit to into every area and connect people in the local community. It would be so much easier for families with younger children that might be intimidated by the large-scale CiLAvia and commuting all the way downtown. It could also give a major boost to local businesses since a lot of the community parades are on Saturdays when small local businesses are more likely to be open than on Sundays.

  • BikeNow

    Since my people live east of LA in the areas bordered by Pasadena, S. Pasadena, Alhambra, Monterey Park, Montebello, we ought to consider expanding CicLAvia to one ore more of those cities. There will be less cars in the area immediately surrounding the main CicLAcia routes since people can ride from their home in the SGV or leave their cars outside of LA and ride in without fear of getting run over.

  • My family and I were riding to the Santa Monica Main St. farmers’ market on a Sunday morning a few months back. We forgot that the Festival of the Chariots parade (a Hare Krishna celebration) was that morning. The route for the parade runs from City Hall toward the north end of Main St. all the way down to the Venice boardwalk. We were riding down Main when we discovered that the street was closed to cars before the parade started…but not bikes. We (and a few others) discovered that we had our own unintentional ciclovia that morning before the parade started! 

    While I love that cicLAvia offers a long route, I think small and more frequent ciclavias should also be considered. Something like just a few miles along one street. I think that would get people out of the mentality that they have to make it a big event, and hopefully it would make it easier for pedestrians and bikes to co-exist–no need to rush to see everything. 

  • graciela

    I saw plenty of skateboarders on the Ciclavia path. 

    Besides, the non-spandex wearing cyclists are also considered vagrants/vandals/etc by society. We get little respect too.

  • Irwinc

    I would suggest a Westside event that starts at Venice/Robertson Expo station, going west all to the beach and north on Abbott Kinney/Main St to Santa Monica.

  • Anonymous

    The exact same thing happened to me (and nearly everyone else riding around me) because I was riding on old information and thought the route continued to Chinatown. The route was originally supposed to go up to College, but in the end it seems they had to cut it several blocks short at Olvera Street. I kept hearing about the “Chinatown Route” but it really stopped just short of Chinatown.

  • BC

    The Orange Line Bike Path could not handle
    the Ciclovia, but maybe the Orange Line busway lanes could.   The bike path is a bidirectional path with only 4 foot lanes,
    separated only by paint from a 4 foot pedestrian lane.  The bus could be re-routed
    along parallel roads – Chandler / Fulton / Oxnard / Victory / White Oak /
    Oxnard / Topham / Victory / Canoga.  The complete bus trip would lose
    the exclusive busway speed, but it’s only one mile longer (15.3 vs 14.5
    miles).  It could be just for part of the busway, ie east or west half
    for the first year, switching the following year. 

    From the Red Line into Burbank is a good idea (to get some other cities involved).  How about from the Red Line down Lankershim or Ventura.  Or connect to the Orange Line down Van Nuys, Reseda, Owensmouth, etc.  What streets have shade?  Sherman Way is shut down for parades and festivals, as are some of the other roads.  North or North East Valley – Devonshire, Chatsworth, or Van Nuys Blvds?