CicLAvia announced the 2014 schedule of Open Streets events earlier this morning. The 2014 schedule features three events on three different routes. On April 6, the “Iconic Wilshire Boulevard” route returns, coinciding with the conclusion of the international Open Streets Conference in Los Angeles. Then after a six month wait, the “Heart of L.A.” route returns on October 5. The year will end with an entirely new route through South L.A. on December 7.
All three events will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“CicLAvia’s mission is to transform people’s relationship to the communities we live in, work in, and, yes, drive through. The 2014 routes do just that, by taking participants to new areas, encouraging them to interact with people and neighborhoods they might not otherwise have the opportunity to,” said CicLAvia Executive Director Aaron Paley. “These routes are just a preview for our vision in the coming years.”
Some might be dissapointed in the announcement, as there was speculation that 2014 would see an expansion in the number of CicLAvias. However, the CicLAvia team is working on new routes for 2015 which includes a new “CicLAvia to the Sea” route after overcrowding of Venice Boulevard dominated the discussion after last spring’s effort. The non-profit is also planning a new route into the San Fernando Valley for “early 2015.”
But for now, let’s look at the routes planned for 2014.
On April 6, Iconic Wilshire Boulevard returns. Last year, this route was the first to truly emphasize the pedestrian experience with audio tours, pedestrian zones and guided walks such as the regularly programmed WalkLAvia.
Once again two pedestrian zones will anchor the route – the Active Zone in downtown and the Miracle Mile zone, the latter featuring exciting activities from the cultural institutions along Museum Row.
This will be the last Iconic Wilshire Boulevard route until the completion of major street level construction of the Metro Purple Line subway extension through the Miracle Mile.
On October 5, CicLAvia will return to the Heart of LA in downtown Los Angeles. The 2014 version of the original CicLAvia route will expand into new areas including Echo Park and East Los Angeles. The route will also go to Grand Park and will run the length of Broadway from 9th St. to Chinatown.
Finally, December 7 will see a completely new route as CicLAvia goes into South Los Angeles for the first time, linking the culturally rich Leimert Park area to the historic Central Avenue corridor.
The South Los Angeles route is a major accomplishment for the CicLAvia organization. At CicLAvia II, which ran on what is now called the Heart of LA route, there was a major push to hold CicLAvia events by the steering committee and staff. Fundraisers, t-shirts, and even a uniquely branded logo were part of the effort in early 2011.
By the time the South L.A. event opens, it will be nearly three and a half years since CicLAvia II and I can’t wait to see how the advocates that have worked so hard to make this event happen show off their community to the rest of the city.