Open CicLAvia Thread…

Photo: ##https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151548130474004.1073741828.551114003&type=1##Marta Every/Facebook##. Check out her images for some great ones of the Mayoral Frontrunner having fun at CicLAvia.

Leave your thoughts about yesterday’s CicLAvia and links to your favorite social media in the comments section below. I’ll throw my thoughts in after I finish a little work and dropping Sammy off at pre-school.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with LA Observed- I was disappointed. There were too many people who left Union Station and pretended it was one-way, meaning oncoming riders were forced to single-file and to play chicken with them. Poor manners and awareness at intersections- perhaps when there’s a long queue for the light you shouldn’t decide to put your feet down and take a pic on your iPhone right when the light turns green.

    I’ve been on Ciclavias in the past, I’ve participated in 4 cities in 3 countries, but this was insane. I gave up and took “car roads” that paralleled the Ciclavia route to get home.

  • Anonymous

    Some thoughts:

    1. Its amazing how different the city feels just by swapping cars for bikes. I often complain about LA’s shabby, car-centric built environment – strip malls, too many curb cuts, an overabundance or parking structures, etc. While I think those complaints are valid, none of that stuff really bothered me yesterday. The lack of constant engine noise, fumes, and danger made a much bigger difference in how the streets feel than the other things I mentioned. In other words, “its the cars, stupid!”

    2. Every CicLAvia is an affirmation to me of how amazing the people of this city are. Their beauty, diversity, creativity, and zest for life. i seriously feel rejuvenated just for having spent the day outdoors with such amazing folks.

    3. It was really crowded yesterday. I’ve heard a few estimates on the headcount ranging from 150,000 to 500,000 people. Even at the low end, that’s just an insane number. It seems like no matter how much they lengthen the route, it just fills up again. We never need to worry about whether each CicLAvia will be successful. That’s just a given. We just need to ask “how large do we want CicLAvia to be?” Because the sky is the limit.

    4. Speaking of congestion, I know they need to account for cars being able to traverse the city, but they really ought to open up both sides of Venice Blvd. if the do this route again.

    5. That tall bike was REALLY tall. Like 20-25′. Crazy.

  • Urban Reason

    To be fair, this event was a bit confusing on Venice. Most people associate this event with an entire street being opened, but when Venice narrowed to one direction, I don’t think most of the eastbound people realized it for a while. It was unfortunate that the Western powers that be wouldn’t give up the whole street. If this has to be the same arrangement in the future, I wonder if Washington might not be a better through street.

  • Anonymous

    It was bad even before Venice. I mean, downtown is always crazy, 7th was bad, even Alvarado was bad.

  • Must have been far more people than at previous ones! Many of the intersections on the west side had so many cyclists that it took us several light cycles to get through. In previous times, I only saw that on a few of the busiest intersections on 7th or on Spring. I don’t know if the westbound lanes of Venice are wider or narrower than all of 7th or Spring downtown. At any rate, that means there was a comparable density, for a much larger distance, which suggests a lot more people (probably at least 50% more total, which would put it substantially above 200,000!)

  • John K.

    What a great day for a ride to the beach, but I would say that this one didn’t feel as open ended as previous iterations. Maybe because it seemed that all the movement was going from downtown to Venice that if felt like a course instead of the open streets festival I’m used to riding. I think a simple remedy would be to close ALL of Venice so as to loosen the bottlenecks at the crossing points and provide more space for spontaneous activities.

  • Urban Reason

    Yeah, the turn near McArthur Park was pretty bad. But I came from the West side right when the event started and I have to say – having been to all the Ciclavias so far – this was my best experience with downtown (with the exception of maybe the ciclavia 1). I don’t know if it was that the westbound crowd drained a bit of traffic, or if they were just managing the intersections better, but downtown felt a lot less congested and stop-and-go than previous ciclavias.

  • Anonymous

    Best of times. Worst of times. It was exhilarating. It was disheartening. The participation was incredible. The gridlock was incredible.

    Unfortunately not having the day to myself just to enjoy the entire route and instead having to be in Hawthorne at 1 p.m., I was forced to bail out after not making it across Arlington in the span of three green lights — this after it took me an hour to go from downtown to the Mid-City area.

    Let me repeat that: 60 minutes to go 5.5 miles. That’s what cars are for.

    My support for CicLAvia is unwavering. My adulation for its organizers borders on idol worship. But it has become an event whose magnitude dictates changes be made so future ones are encouraging rather than discouraging.

    While I’d like to see the routes closed off fully to any vehicular cross traffic, a compromise would be to train the traffic control officers at the various open intersections to keep the route open to bikes longer to better facilitate flow rather than stop-and-go.

  • Anonymous

    “Let me repeat that: 60 minutes to go 5.5 miles. That’s what cars are for.”

    Regular day in LA: Sitting in car, stuck in car traffic
    CicLAvia: Sitting on bike, stuck in bike traffic

  • calwatch

    My main concern is that Ciclavia is too long and showed the worst of the “bicycle freeway” complaints along the straightaways that I complain about, yet in some sections like through Culver City there were too many crossings. Since the hard core cyclists and folks that want to beat the heat bike in the morning, I’d extend it two or three hours in the AM direction. There is little traffic that would be affected and the road cyclists can get their head start.

    One issue with this Ciclavia is that there were a markedly reduced number of walkers. In past events you’d have some power walkers in the street and quite a few people strolling either on the street or in the sidewalk. Much less of that, perhaps of the length. A few more skateboarders and rollerbladers but just a lot of bikes. The Expo Line is also not a high capacity bicycle carrier, unlike the subway. So there were long backups on that end.

    Also there was a disregard of a lot of folks who cut on the left, on the other side of the cones, to jump the line. They get in the way of oncoming traffic and this is unsafe. It’s fine if you want to ride on the left to bypass traffic and get a jump start in the light but many people bypassed the queue and found themselves facing heavy bike traffic coming towards them. Fortunately there were no major issues I saw. The cyclists seemed to respect LAPD more than the poor volunteers yelling, but at the key locations there needs to be cops issuing tickets for bicyclists that jump the line on the other side of the cones.

    I think the mandatory dismount zones were a plus to force people to slow coming down the hill. Perhaps a compromise of dismount zones at the hubs and fewer road crossings… Every mile or two instead of almost every half mile (with designated pedestrian crossings spaced in between them) would be better. A lot of folks chose to ride eastbound on Venice in car traffic just to avoid the crush.

    The Wilshire route should be more conducive to walkers, skaters, etc since it is only 7 miles long. Long term the better Ciclavias are those in a cross formation with equal or nearly equal sized legs. That reduces the tendency to see it as a route that must be completed, rather than a linear park.

  • DJ

    I agree with the sentiments of disappointment. I saw a number of serious injuries yesterday resulting from bike-bike and bike-skateboard collisions. Closing half of Venice created a dangerous, congested environment. While most people had a safe and fun time, it’s still sad to see so many serious injuries at an event that was supposed to be about safe cycling for all ages.

  • John K.

    I felt the same about downtown. The traffic cops were letting a reasonable amount of bikes through each crossing point, not just following the traffic signals. Also, it seemed like less crossings on 7th. Downtown was great for me in the early part of the day. The crossings on Venice were tougher, usually taking trhee light cycles to get through.

  • Keith

    Yes, a number of good suggestions here. We left early from our Larchmont Village hub & it was a great, easy & speedy ride to Venice. Wandered around Venice for a bit & had lunch & then the trek back was totally jammed packed in places, both east & west bound bike lanes. And there were some long wait times at the busier intersections but the wait gave me a good excuse to chat with others bikers. Did notice more & more cyclists using the other side of Venice for the commute back to LA. Heard the Expo line stations were jam-packed too.

    Really enjoyed the event! 3 hours is beginning to feel like a real crunch on time, 20-30 min wait for food at the taco truck & tick tick before ya know it was going to be 3pm shortly. It’s really a successful event with some growing pains. Mayoral hopeful Garcetti was on the stump at a Venice street corner & promised monthly CicLAvias – perhaps we can remind him of that if he’s elected.

  • Only complaint was that the car-crossings created some huge bottlenecks, especially for westbound cyclists. This is a basic result of there being SO many cyclists, and not enough room.

    I think Ciclavia has reached a popularity level that it is worthy of some additional resources. This event really needed both directions of Venice Blvd to be made available to cyclists.

    We started at the Grand traffic circle in Venice, and went just beyond the Culver City Hub. We saw how awful the backup was for westbound cyclists when we were heading eastbound past Culver City. It was enough to convince us to leave the Ciclavia route when we were headed back westbound to avoid the pileups. (We diverted south to Washington Blvd and cycled amongst the cars until we got back to the Culver City Main St. Hub, when we returned to Venice Blvd.)

    Even so, in the early afternoon as we were headed back to the beach, there were several car crossings where we had to wait up to 3 light cycles before we were able to make it across and continue the ride.

    Don’t get me wrong, it was still wonderful to be outside amongst the other cyclists, but I think this event is mainstream enough now that we can no longer skimp on the roads: we need big boulevards, in both directions.

    I hear the next one is on Wilshire. Good. We need that much space.

  • Urban Reason

    Before I share my thoughts – which may include some constructive criticism, I first want to say that I love this event in every way. I’ve been to every one in LA, and every time I feel the same sense of hope about what kind of things we can accomplish.

    I was initially pretty concerned about the one way traffic on Venice. It wasn’t quite as bad as I’d feared it might be – but given what seemed like maybe the biggest turnout yet, it seemed almost dangerous. I noticed at least three major accidents where someone was laying flat on the ground, with another person holding them to presumably keep them stable, ambulances nearby.

    I don’t blame Ciclavia or the organizers for this, but I do think that so many people are coming out to these things now that we need to start considering routes that discourage the race mentality.

    The whole point of ciclavia has always been to get people out using the streets for whatever purposes they want other than driving. Games, yoga, music, bikes. But the number of people who clearly want to freely ride bikes in the street is so incredibly large in this city, that it ends up being all about bikes. I watch people trying to cross the street on foot, waiting for a break in “traffic” and I feel sad. Even the icons on the header for the website: Bikes, strollers, dogs. I would never walk my dog or a baby on the street during Ciclavia.

    As much as I love the idea of these routes from downtown to the ocean, and I can’t wait for the Wilshire route, I think maybe we need to start start envisioning these set up in a grid, and not a strip. Even if that means one long strip with lots of little grids spidering off.

    I love this event, I love what it symbolizes, I love the general sense of happiness and good-will that permeates the air. I think it’s pretty clear from yesterdays turnout the demand is there to do this a lot more frequently. Hopefully the greater frequency might lighten the load at each event.

  • calwatch

    In the morning most traffic was westbound. East bound traffic was a third to a half of westbound traffic, at least until I took my break in Mar Vista.

  • James C.

    Bike traffic is a good problem to have at Ciclavia. When Ciclavia sits down with the powers that be to plan future routes they can point to this Ciclavia as a reason why future Ciclavias new even more open streets (15 miles wasn’t enough) and/or fewer intersections where cars can cross.

    I enjoyed being out with friends, riding. I even enjoyed meeting and talking to and people while I was waiting at lights (something that would rarely happen fr inside a car). I enjoyed seeing hundreds of thousands smiling

  • Oh my Lord, a David Galvan comment. I feel like it’s 2009.

  • Anonymous

    A ton of fun, but that’s probably because we went from Venice to Downtown. Those traffic backups and the crowded lanes going west? Scary and crazy crowded. I hope we can get all of Venice next time, ’cause we need it.

    Saw one near-collision (fault on both sides: one person doing a U-turn from the far right of the lane without signaling, and the other just flying and weaving through the crowd), and the aftermath of another (heard the crowd saying the collider didn’t stop). Also saw a lot of snottiness when we tried to hold up traffic for pedestrians trying to cross; hey, gang, it’s not all about the bike.

    Other than that, great day.

  • I had something of a rough CicLAvia weekend. The bucket bike completely broke down on Friday, and Josef (hat tip http://flyingpigeon-la.com) actually converted it to a single speed bike for a short term fix because the long term one was going to take a lot of time. Then on the morning of, the back tire burst about 100 yards into the route, with baby girl sleeping in the front. If the Dan Rodman and the folks at Bikerowave weren’t geniuses the day would have involved a lot of pushing a bicycle. As it was, when we finished at the MV Farmer’s Market I was ready to roll at slow speed again. Dan called the burst tire a sign of freakishly bad luck. I never felt like more of a VIP in my life than these two titans of local advocacy giving up so much of their free time so I could do CicLAvia with my wife, mom and kids…both kids.

    Sincere thanks.

    Despite the smiles from WalkLAvia, it did seem to be more of a bike event than ever this time, with hundreds of cyclists pulling off into the hubs. I only visited two…slow speed bike, remember?, Mar Vista and Culver City. Both put on excellent shows.

    I agree with the comments that next time they should open all of Venice. I know the CicLAvia team would love to do that. We just need to get the city to agree.

    PS – I caught site of LADOT GM Jaime De La Vega taking a quick breather right next to Bikerowave, and I know he was at the presser downtown. That means someone at LADOT is well aware of the congestion issues on the north side of Venice Blvd.

  • Nancy

    I was in Downtown when the Ciclavia was shut down around 3:30. It was very funny to hear the cops on their loudspeakers saying, “Please return to your vehicles.” Riggggghhhhht. ‘Cause we all drove there, of course.

  • Anonymous

    I think downtown was better because it wasn’t the focal point with “arms” headed in several directions. On the other hand, bicyclists seemed very confused on what to do when the light turned green.

  • Anonymous

    That wasn’t my experience. I only rode from Union Station to Main and 4th and I had to turn off and ride on Spring Street because other riders crashed into me twice and I saw crashes happening all around me. Speeds were too slow and it was literally wheel-to-wheel traffic. I live downtown and have participated in nearly every Ciclavia and I decided to bow out of this one because it didn’t feel safe, especially because I was pulling my son in a trailer.

  • Urban Reason

    Interesting, thanks for sharing. I think the long route may have created a much different experience for each participant depending on where you came from and what time you hit a given point. Right away in the AM, there was a TON of westbound traffic those of us eastbound were riding against. I’m thinking at the time we hit downtown it may have reached its lightest load.

    I don’t blame you in the least for getting out of it this time. I wouldn’t have risked having a kid in it either.

  • Mike

    As we scientists say, here’s a “back-of-the-envelope” calculation for you.

    If you wanted to see how many people could fit along the Ciclavia route in cars.
    – estimate that the Ciclavia route was about 15 miles.
    – estimate that the route had an average of 3.7 lanes, cause it was often 4 lanes and sometimes 3 lanes
    – assume a car on the road takes 20 lane feet (16 feet for the car + 4 feet gap between cars)
    – assume each car holds 1.3 people
    Then the max capacity of the Ciclavia route was about 19,000 people if everyone drove.

    I don’t know what the final number are going to be for Ciclavia, but, I’m sure there were at least 4 times as many people on the route, which shows how cycling can be more efficient at moving people, depending on your definition of “efficient”.

    – 15 miles * 3.7 lanes = 55.5 lane miles = 293,000 lane feet.
    – 293,000 lane feet / 20 lane ft per car = 14,700 cars
    – 14,700 cars * 1.3 ppl per car = 19,000 people

  • i agree.

    Some requests for next time:

    1. Please over- rather than underestimate the number of participants: Part of the idea of CicLAvia is to get more people out on bikes and enjoy the City that way. This goal is much easier reached if riding during the event actually is enjoyable and not an exercise in stop-and-go traffic. We ended up getting off the route to make some time so we could still have lunch in the local business we had planned to visit and were never able to get all the way to Venice because of the congestion on the route.

    2. Open both directions of the road if CicLAvia uses this route again so the event is more enjoyable: The idea of a City-to-Sea route is unbelievably appealing. And aside from allowing people to see their City from the point of view of a cyclist, it would have been a great opportunity to show them that it is perfectly feasible to ride their bikes to their Sunday outings at the beach on a more regular basis. As it was it was too slow to convey the closeness of the beach and dangerous in many places because of the congestion. An event like this will attract a large number of the people who are not used to riding in traffic or don’t care much for those around them. Organizers need to provide enough room so that people can actually move. If too many of the riders swerve without first checking their surroundings when there is no room for others to avoid them tends to show people that cycling is dangerous rather then enjoyable.

    3. The LAPD really needs to better train their cops: The Mayor may be convinced of the benefits of cycling but the cops sure aren’t. I’ve seen before where DTLA cops tried to give motorists all the wiggleroom in the world and at the same time refused to enforce the rights of cyclists. They tried to do the same again yesterday at the end of the event. We were riding down Main toward Union Station when cops came driving down the wrong way on Main, blocked the bike lane (!) and tried to order cyclists off the street and onto the sidewalks. When asked they said that’s because there were still too many cyclists on the streets. Really? So when the event ends, all that changes is that the normal rules of the road apply again on the route with bicyclists staying on the bike lane to the extent possible and stopping for red lights. The end of the event does not mean that cars get handed superior, or even exclusive, rights to the street.

  • We had a great time and this CicLAvia (our family’s third) actually exceeded my expectations. We rode with a (somewhat varying) large group of parents with mostly elementary-age school children, between 10 and 20 people altogether, riding from the Mar Vista hub to Culver City at 11am and then returning from Culver City at about 1pm, going all the way to the Venice hub. Yes, it was crowded, and we would have loved to have had all of Venice open, but not having it did not dampen our fun by too much because we were riding at ‘family speeds’ anyway. We were particularly impressed at how well Culver City handled the turn-off traffic towards the CC hub. When we passed through mid-day crowd handling was very well organized and wayfinding was excellent as well. Also, the CCBC bike valet was invaluable for ensuring lunch time fun in the CC pedestrian area, so a huge compliment to Eric and the rest of the volunteers for working so hard there all day! Also, returning from the Venice Boardwalk to Mar Vista at around 4:30pm — still cycling with a large group of 6-10 year old kids — the critical mass of cyclists that were still returning that way made it comparatively safe for us as families to return via the regular Venice bike lane — although there were a handful of cyclists who rode aggressively and annoyed motorists by unnecessarily swerving across lanes etc. Special thanks to Metro Bus Drivers who were very patient when pulling into and out of bus bays along Venice, being very mindful of cyclists.

  • Sirinya Matute

    Thanks to everyone who has shared their experiences and thoughts about CicLAvia! It is so encouraging to read your comments and invite other readers to chime in.

    Juan and I rode from Santa Monica to the Culver City hub this time on our bikes. We have walked and used our Xootr Scooters at previous CicLAvias. It was a little stressful for me to be riding in such large platoons of bicycles because I had to be extremely vigilant of not stopping suddenly and of riding in a straight line (surprisingly difficult when you are going very slowly!). It was gratifying to see so many families and youth; it was also fascinating to see LA’s diverse populations integrated in a contained space, a departure from our racially and socioeconomically segregated landscape. We tried to make a point of stopping to businesses other than restaurants since they often do not make much money during CicLAvia. We did enjoy stopping by the Google Field Trip app booth.

    I look forward to seeing how the event evolves over time. The event so clearly exemplifies how much latent demand and interest our residents have in riding a bicycle. It makes events like Santa Monica’s Kidical Mass so important — our kids deserve multiple opportunities throughout the year to participate in social group rides too.

  • Dennis Hindman

    I’ve never ridden a complete CicLAvia route due to being busy volunteering all day at the first four events, but I decided to ride the entire length from downtown this time. I wanted to see how many riders there were at its peak, so I started riding from Union Station to Venice Beach at about 11:30 AM and there was a surprising abundance of riders downtown at the time.

    I was expecting it to thin out as I got away from downtown along Venice Blvd, but there were progressively more bicycles heading west the further along I rode. It was puzzling to those around me why we we had to walk several blocks until we reached the La Brea Blvd intersection. The intersections had gone beyond maximum capacity to handle the volume of bicycles on each green light phase and so the congestion grew until we reached the Venice Beach area. There were comparably few bicycles heading east, with much less congestion in that direction.

    I can’t see how opening up the east bound lanes on Venice Blvd would have helped unless it would enable traffic officers to have more control keeping bicycles flowing through the intersections. The volume of bicycles heading east wasn’t enough to justify the additional space of the eastbound lanes on this street. The hangup was the mass of riders that were heading west having to stop at the major intersections.

    I don’t understand how the LA marathon can close the cross streets along their route and yet CicLAvia has to make sure that the motorists are not inconvenienced.

    The number of city employees would probably be much less if the cross streets were closed for CicLAvia. This would reduce the need for police or traffic officers to be stationed at intersections along the route.

  • Anonymous

    Shawn Zeke tweets that hizzoner was “loudly complaining” about not having eastbound Venice:

    https://twitter.com/decoder303/status/326395236978946048

  • :) Heh, yes I’ve had less free time the past few years for my “hobby” of following civic transportation issues. (Son was born in 2010, Daughter was born in 2012, and major job-change last year.) But I still “lurk” every now and then!

  • Dennis Hindman

    The Netherlands started a large increase in building bicycle paths in their cities after a decade of protests that started with the motor fuel shortages in 1974.

    Its unlikely that there could be a large sustained amount of protests in favor of bicycling in Los Angeles in the near future. But, CicLAvia does give a counter argument to ‘LA is different than other cities, people will not ride bicycles for transportation here.’ Or, ‘I never see any bicycles.’ Bringing a mass of bicycles to areas of the city that insist that every inch of road space has to be open to automobiles could be a game changer in terms of political support. I like to call it the meat tenderizer to soften up the tough resistance to installing bikeways.

    CicLAvia not only enables people in Los Angeles to see bicycle riding in large numbers like there is in the Netherlands, but it also gives them the opportunity and perhaps inspiration to try riding a bicycle on the street. The more people participate in CicLAvia, the greater the quantity of drivers there will be who have ridden a bicycle on the street. This will give more support for taking away space from motorists to install bicycle infrastructure.

    There is still a large segment of people who bicycle in Los Angeles that have never heard of CicLAvia. I always try to talk to people in the San Fernando Valley who I meet bicycling when the event draws near and the overwhelming majority of them have never heard of it. Imagine how much larger the number of bicycles will become at CicLAvia as the event becomes more widely known in Southern California.

  • Patrick S

    I love this event and tout it to everyone I know. But this was my first CicLAvia disappointment where I had to abandon the run.

    The first few hours were great, heading East from La Cienega and Venice to downtown was smooth, except for some westbound cyclists who thought it was a one-way street. Downtown seemed less congested than previous events. My buddy on a SoloWheel shot some footage of us.

    But then when I heading west along Venice (~12:45) starting before LaBrea it became a mass of fully stopped or very very slow moving bikes. I just couldn’t hang in that stop-n-slow fashion all the way to the beach. I would rather cut over Washington and take a free flowing route in traffic (which spoils the whole point). Instead I turned right at La Cienega and headed home.

    I’m not sure what the congestion solution is. Maybe CicLAvia is just a victim of its own success. But widening Venice to the East lane and reducing the number of crossing points sounds like a good start.

  • Alex Vickers

    Echoing many of the concerns of many commenters… It was SO CROWDED. I wouldn’t want it any other way, but it needs to be planned in a way to make it less dangerous. Especially at the car crossing intersections. I went from MacArthur Park to Mid City and back (I volunteered so they had me running errands) in the time it took to go from Mid City to Culver City. Especially around Culver, there were so many crossings in a short distance that it took forever… Some lights took three turns before I made it through which isn’t what CicLAvia is meant to be about. I know the West Side probably clamored for all these crossings, but it made the situation worse for all parties, drivers and participants alike. Combine the crowds with the Burning Man types riding their novelty tall bikes that are unwieldy and difficult to maneuver with the 3 year olds with training wheels/parents and you have a recipe for serious injuries.

  • calwatch

    How do you allow pedestrians to cross? With the marathon after the initial wave, there are gaps in traffic and people can maneuver around other people. The gaps are much smaller when you have someone in their road cycle whizzing away at 20 mph in both directions.

  • ubrayj02

    I want to reiterate my idea for the next CicLAvia on this route: East vs. West dance off at mid-city. Capture it or livestream it and have a voting to determine which side of the city wins.

    About the bike pile-ups: this actually made it super safe for those of us with kids and a few long stops on Venice and in DTLA are okay. However, waiting through 4 or 5 light cycles with nothing to do but look at the people stuck around you is really not that fun.

    There is a lot that could have been done (with a bigger budget, I am sure) at the choke points.

    I really think walking the route is the next big thing. Bikes are okay, but in these numbers and with this sort of silly forced waiting thing going on I think more needs to be done to get us all walking or jogging the route.

  • ubrayj02

    I don’t understand “bad” here – what was “bad”? Was it waiting at lights? Where did you have to go so fast? If you left the route and rode on normal streets you could have gone much faster. I just don’t see how it was “bad”.

  • Anonymous

    It’s certainly not about speed. This is a pedestrian event with bicycles, not a bicycling event. But there was a new level of gridlock and wrong-way bicycling. That’s what I was describing as “bad”.

  • Wanderer

    I saw Ciclavia in the downtown. it seemed very friendly, orderly, mellow. Pedestrians could really only safely cross when police stopped traffic for crossing vehicles, that’s probably an inevitable condition. To me it worked because the masses of bicyclists stopped at the crossing streets. Metro lost a huge amount of time on the buses. If there’s another situation that concentrates all of Downtown’s northbound buses on Broadway like Ciclavia did, then Broadway should be closed to cars (they could cross on other streets). Sending Ciclavia into new parts of town would be a good thing. Next time I’ll ride.

  • M

    This was a little frustrating to me as well. We spent a couple hours just trying to bike out to Venice from downtown, got to Culver City and realized there was no way we were making it out to Venice and back in the remaining time and congestion. We ate lunch in CC and headed back towards downtown around 2:30 with a decent sized group of random ppl. As we got close to downtown, the police were driving down Venice going westward with a car and group of motorcycles, blocking a good 3/4 of the total street (including all the west bound lanes and part of the eastbound lanes) saying the event was over. I get it was over, but it wasn’t as if everyone trying to bike back towards downtown was just going to *poof* disappear because it was over- many of us were trying to get back to downtown to get to the Metro station. A couple of cars ended up on Venice mixed in with the bikes once the streets reopened and I think they were rather confused about what to do with such a mob of cyclists surrounding them. I’m not sure what the best was to deal with the end of the event is, but it seems somewhat awkward with the current design.

  • Anonymous

    I had to be in the Crenshaw District between 1 and 2:30pm, so I knew I couldn’t enjoy the entire CicLAvia route.

    I was able to get onto the course at around 10:30am, taking the Red Line to MacArthur Park, and jumping onto the line there. I wanted to start from El Pueblo, but at that point, there was no way I’d make it to Venice if I started from there, and besides, everything east of Alvarado was “been there, done that” as far as I was concerned.

    This was the longest CicLAvia route, and like many others, heading out to the sea was the big goal. I didn’t rush it going west, in fact, I was surprised I reached Culver City so fast at such a relaxed pace.

    I didn’t get to enjoy any of the hubs save for a brief stopover at Cadillac to say “hi” to Jonathan Parfrey and at Venice. The Culver City hub looked pretty awesome, but I know I wouldn’t have the time to enjoy it.

    My sentiments exactly about the eastbound lanes issue. I’m sure this route will be done again with the bugs ironed out.

    I like ending at Venice, but I totally avoided the boardwalk since it looked too congested (as if it wasn’t already on a normal weekend day). I think it should fork off into different routes: the one used on Sunday going through Grand and onto Windward, but also one going straight down Venice, one going up Abbot Kinney and one crossing the canals down to the pier area.

    I did sort of have to race back heading eastbound, the bottlenecks drove me nuts. The worst was at Lincoln, so I “cheated” by crossing on the south side of the street, where there were only half a dozen bikes crossing, as opposed to a hundred. Was able to hop on the Expo Line in time.

    I also would like a longer event, especially for one for this length. That would definitely get people to experience hubs, businesses and the event in general more, and make it much safer with less racing/rushing. Time flies when you’re having fun, and during CicLAvia, it flies at warp speed.

    Five hours after the end of CicLAvia, I hopped back on the Expo Line near USC to head home, and the trains were STILL full of bikes!

    I also found out about San Diego’s “CicloSDias” ciclovia coming on August 11. A number of San Diegans came up here to both enjoy and promote. I like the fact that they look up to us as a model.

  • Yes, agreed! I got through and out of DTLA right at 10am and that made all the difference.

  • calwatch

    I left downtown at 10:20 on a bike (the first time I’ve biked the route; usually I walk) and already there was traffic and line passers on the left. That was fine for a while but towards Mid City you started to get significant eastbound traffic.

  • BC

    We loved downtown because the skyscrapers provided shade (my little one still got sunburned arms and hands), and lots of restaurants to choose from, plus the Plaza/Olvera Street.

    I can’t imagine doing it in June unless it opens up much earlier in the morning or opens at night.

    How about a zig zag route, or a figure eight.

  • BC

    Then again, June Gloom might be ideal.

  • BC

    Imagine if there was a Ciclavia every weekend in Spring and Fall, in a different part of town each time.

  • Rode with a friend from CC to downtown and *really* glad we went that way — looked like it was so crowded headed west from downtown in the AM that it wasn’t even fun for those going in the other direction. Borderline dangerous in the early afternoon when we came face to face with the same mob on their return — there really needs to be lane markings (cones? tape?) to control two-way bike traffic and avoid head-on collisions. Would love to see a few of the out of control racers/weavers get ticketed for moving violation. But instead of just complaining I will try to volunteer during the next one because I (heart) cicLAvia!

  • Commuter jay

    Great post. My experience as a everyday bike commuter (Hollywood to Santa Monica) mirrors yours in that the majority of people out riding day-to-day don’t have any clue about Ciclavia when I ask whether they’re going.

    I almost didn’t go because I bike to the sea every day but I’m glad I did. It was as fun and engaging as ever.

  • Sirinya Matute

    awesome! welcome back, david.

  • Sirinya Matute

    Love it!

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