Open Thread: CicLAvia

Photo: Gary Kavanagh

So what did you think of CicLAvia VII: Historic Wilshire Corridor? Leave your thoughts about yesterday’s CicLAvia and links to your favorite social media in the comments section below. I’ll add my comments early this afternoon, I want to give you all a chance to sounds off with your praise, suggestions, and criticism.

Also, we only have two winners in our CicLAvia scavenger hunt: a picture of a small child on a bike and another of DJ Chicken Leather. That leaves eight categories left, although I’m told you’d have to be in Belize to get a picture of Eric Garcetti. Tweet @streetsblogla or leave a link in the comments section. A reminder, the categories are (bold means a winner has already been named.)

1) Someone walking their dog while riding a bicycle, skateboard, or other wheeled device
2) The CicloSDia logo
3)  The old “bring CicLAvia to South L.A.” logo
4) Antonio Villaraigosa
5) Eric Garcetti
6) Any part of the L.A. Walks Parade
7) A member of the Ovarian Psycos Bicycle Brigade
8) A cargo bicycle, that doesn’t have the Streetsblog L.A. logo
9) Someone under the age of five on their own bicycle
10) DJ Chicken Leather

25 thoughts on Open Thread: CicLAvia

  1. I went to the first CicLAvia as a pedestrian and loved it. Hadn’t been to any of the others after moving away from DTLA. Got back from Europe on Friday, where we spent a lot of time biking in Amsterdam and also in Berlin. It totally inspired us to visit Flying Pigeon, and we eventually got bikes just in time for CicLAvia from Coco’s Variety Store.

    I felt like this was a hugely successful event that really showcased how friendly Angelenos can be once you take them out of their cars. Perfect weather. Great organization (taking the whole street – good idea). Hated leaving the route and going into mixed traffic again, but I knew I’d have to do it eventually. Also digging my CicLAvia-branded TAP card.

  2. Also! I wonder how many more people discover how great it can be to bike in LA and start using their bikes more often for errands, work, and fun.

  3. -Longer Hours = awesome! However long it is, it’s never enough, but 2 more hours helps.

    -Turnstiles = really annoying. We exited the Red line at Wilshire and Vermont, which I’ve only used a couple times. Turns out we selected an entrance without any handicapped turnstiles. I’m short, have a step through frame and my bike is a little heavier. I tried and couldn’t lift my bike over the turnstile. The people I was with exited the station and took off. My boyfriend turned around and noticed I wasn’t with them and tried to take my bike from my hands, but I couldn’t get it up high enough. There was a metro employee sitting on a seat outside of the station who didn’t say anything this whole time. Boyfriend asked her what we could do and she then mentioned that you can use the emergency exit for today only. This is another reason why I don’t think the people that made decisions about the turnstiles ever plan on using the train or else this would be considered a larger problem.

    -Fewer car crossings = awesome

    -Pedestrian crossings = much preferred over car crossings, even though I wasn’t walking most of the time

    -Having the whole street = awesome. Having half the street still filled with cars like the last Ciclavia definitely detracted from the experience.

    -Wilshire = good & bad; The ending near the Museums was awesome. We spent a great deal of time wandering, there was ample bike parking when the fenced around the tar pits was utilized, many fun things going on. I don’t spent much time on Wilshire and I think the hills were a little unexpected.

  4. I thought this one worked much better than Venice. The pedestrian crossings were good, but, it is a bit sad that they were necessary.

    In effect, the non-restaurant stores away from the pedestrian areas were kind of SOL. Few people stopped at the stalls in the more boring parts of the route.

    The pedestrian zones were really a great idea, and on the west side, they were generally respected.

    It was probably the smoothest running of them, as far as I could tell.

    I did see ubray’s cargo bike, but, forgot to snap a picture.

    When they do the “classic” route again, they should consider making one of the LA River bridges a pedestrian zone. That’d be rad.

  5. I walked the entire route, and it was my favorite CicLAvia by far. To paraphrase the usual bike>car argument, traveling by foot rather than at bike-speed allowed me to notice and appreciate more along Wilshire. I’m glad the organizers are increasing the focus on pedestrian safety and convenience.

    One very annoying thing happened near the end of the ‘Via: a bicycle-mounted LAPD officer very aggressively “pulled me over” with siren and flashing lights for walking in the left lane of eastbound Wilshire and shouted at me to get on the sidewalk. When I asked why, he said I was impeding the speed of bicyclists. I don’t believe the intention of CicLAvia is to provide a bike freeway.

    Also, catching a 720 bus back to MacArthur Park from 6th & LaBrea was pretty terrible. The bus that finally arrived after 20 minutes was filled to the brim. In addition to providing longer and more frequent trains, Metro should increase bus service during CicLAvias.

  6. I had a great time yesterday and it made me miss biking as an everyday way to get around (I used to live in Boston where I rode very often). Sadly, I just don’t feel safe enough on the roads here for it to be a daily reality.

  7. This CicLAvia was one of the worst planned ride I’ve been to yet. I started downtown around noon and was on my way back and decided to stop at the Starbucks* at Union and Wilshire on my way back. I was there for about 15-20 minutes and was noticing in the peds crossing Wilshire. Felt sorry for them cause some had kids and there were some that were elderly. There was no one there to help them across and I’d argue that this was the first major intersection heading west that could have used some kind of monitor at. There’s a Home Depot, Food 4 Less and a Rite Aid there, and quite a few smaller establishments. I even heard the tail end of a collision between a girl (~14) with her mom and a kid (~16) on his bike. I looked when the girl was down on the street, so I couldn’t tell how exactly it happened. Still, after watching this for only about 20 minutes I could tell we weren’t making any friends in the area.

    Another point in making in regards to poor planning was the peds area on the east end. It really looked stupid having all the venders on one side of the street and the other side COMPLETELY absent of any venders. Maybe someone can explain why it was laid out this way? All the venders were packed bumper to bumper on the eastward side of Wilshire. How bout spreading them out a little next time?

    Third point was making this ~6 miles long. It really doesn’t work if you’re on a bike. I tried walking the length but there was alot of nothing in between something.

    A little note I’d like to comment on. I was watching the ch 7 news last night and they reported around 150,000 people at the CicLAvia…….. WHAT!?!?!?!? No way was there that many. It was less than the Venice Blvd one and that one seems to have people reporting 100,000 on.

    (* no, I’m not a patron of these shops. I just really needed internet access on my laptop.)

  8. There were two extra hours on this event and bikes could take the whole street this time, not just half.

  9. I also walked in the middle of Wilshire, though I didn’t have any officers pull me over. Got several rude stares from people who thought I should be ‘keeping up with the speed of traffic’ and one guy just said “sidewalk…”

    I thought it was all pretty rich coming from bicyclists.

  10. You weren’t there to help them across? It’s not a “ride,” but an open streets event. What I like it is that it challenges us to rethink what we expect from the city and the transportation system. Maybe we shouldn’t always rely on city officials or their designees to help others cross the street.

  11. After talking about getting a bike for like a year, this event was enough motivation to finally do it, and it was a blast. Nuff said.

  12. Actually estimates for the Venice ride was over 200K. But you do your armchair quarterbacking, Mister “Why-wasn’t-there-anyone-to-pedal-for-me?”…

  13. I had a great time walking with friends. By and large, this was wonderful –I loved the hubs and how there was a mix of active activities (yoga, crossfit) and passive activities (arts, crafts, museums, and napLAvia). An event venue on Wilshire in Koreatown ran an open house and had staff stand on the curb with brochures and to recruit participants to come on in. We didn’t go in but thought about it, as we had been interested in a transit-accessible wedding venue in the past– so savvy of them to try to market to people who might self-select into similar attributes.

    There were some transit hiccups — a 20 was supposed to stop at Fairfax and 6th but blasted through its temporary stop sign, leaving friends to wait awhile for another bus. That part was annoying. The 720 was on 20 minute headways, too — I wish that it had been running more frequently. Somebody on a bike hollered at me and my friends to get on the sidewalk; seems to be that person has missed the point of the open-streets aspect of the event. BUT we also saw Stephen Tu of Metro at the Wilshire/Western station (he does some of the tweeting for Metro) dishing out advice on bus lines to passerbys, giving out marching orders, and talking transit geek stuff with Juan and Gary.

  14. My take: This was an awesome event, dare I say the best of the CicLAvias I’ve been too. Not just the pedestrian areas, but the areas where there volunteers used horns, signs, and police tape to escort people across the street was awesome. It was also the most involved I saw the community itself with businesses, churches, and even tenants associations set up on the sidewalk to give away water and hawk their wares. I thought they CicLAvia team really built on past experiences and of course all the yoga you could stretch a stick at. Good work all around.

  15. I was delighted at how pedestrian the event was. Pedestrian in that people were actually out walking it due to the shorter walkable distance and that it went right through ped-heavy neighborhoods rather than the freeway-like middle of Venice. At 9 AM there were probably more runners in the street than bicyclists and that was awesome.

    But also pedestrian in terms of mellowness. This is the type of event that had just enough energy to be special, but not the once-in-a-lifetime-must-complete-the-whole-route intensity of previous ones. I think we’re growing into what a more regular event can and should feel like.

    The crew did such an amazing job and have really prioritized filling in what (little) was lacking in previous ones. The city has grown along with the event. Can’t wait to return to the “traditional” route in October!

  16. This was one of the first CicLAvias I looked forward to, not for the bike riding, but for the architecture. Pacific Standard Time’s spin on CicLAvia was awesome because Wilshire is truly iconic (loved the Modernist Guide to Iconic Wilshire Blvd). With past events, I felt rushed to make it through the whole route and still have enough time to get home before the cars take over. The shorter route gave me the opportunity to get off my bike and admire the neighborhoods and buildings. PST’s intentions were a success in my eyes.

    However, I do agree with the criticism that there should have been pedestrian crossings near the Westlake/McArthur Park area. I only saw volunteers in K-town. I also don’t know how organizers can get the word out to riders that peds are welcomed in the street and that it is not a crash course to race (heard so many “get out of the way” comments to both peds and slow riders). Maybe people know and they’re just jerks? But those minor issues aside, everyone else was pretty nice and happy!

    I hope it helped out the local economies. I made a point to support both brick and mortar shops as well as the food trucks. I know UCLA was doing a study on the economic impact of CicLAvia but I don’t know when it will be published.

  17. It’s surprising how many people still don’t understand what a CicLAvia is. It bothers me that people are still making these kinds of “sidewalk” comments to pedestrians.

  18. I’ll ask Maddie (the researcher at UCLA conducting the study) to post it on Streetsblog when it is published.

  19. I guess Damien gave up on this scavenger hunt like he gave up on spelling a long time ago.

  20. I would have if I could have and I was there in the streets. Kinda hard when you hear the collision and look up to see what happened. Next time I’ll bring my time machine :-))

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