CicLAvia XIX ‘Heart of Los Angeles’ – Open Thread

Yesterday's Heart of Los Angeles CicLAvia on the 4th Street Bridge over the L.A. River. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
Yesterday’s Heart of Los Angeles CicLAvia on the 4th Street Bridge over the L.A. River. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

The 19th iteration of L.A.’s popular open streets festival, CicLAvia, touched down yesterday in central Los Angeles. The “Heart of Los Angeles” route included Boyle Heights, the downtown Arts District, Little Tokyo, Civic Center, Chinatown, historic Broadway, Central City West, and MacArthur Park. The weather was perfect for bicycling and walking: cool and cloudy, with no rain.

As usual there were tens of thousands of participants, of every size, shape, race, age and ability. People got around on foot, bike, skates, and wheelchairs. Local eateries and food trucks were mobbed. Smiles were all over.

CicLAvia on Broadway yesterday
CicLAvia on Broadway yesterday

Do CicLAvias ever get ho-hum? Nah. There were not a lot of firsts, as far as I could tell. I think it was my first time riding CicLAvia along the beautiful historic architecture on Broadway. But CicLAvia was there in 2015. The L.A. Times reported that it was the first time CicLAvia “overlapped with Metro Los Angeles’ $11-million bike-share system.” But CicLAvia already did that on Wilshire in August. (There were a lot more bike-share bikes out there yesterday compared to August, and kudos to the Times for continuing to cover CicLAvia fairly positively.) Even the recurring White People for Black Lives protest marches are becoming familiar. For me it feels new as my 3-year-old daughter grows older and my family experiences the event in different ways.

White people for Black Lives Matter march rallies at LAPD headquarters during CicLAvia yesterday
White people for Black Lives march rallies at LAPD headquarters during CicLAvia yesterday

Some things have changed, though mostly off of the CicLAvia route. Yesterday’s 16-10-16 CicLAvia came just a few days after the sixth anniversary of the initial 10-10-10 event. A lot has changed since October 10, 2010. At that time, L.A. had no protected bike lanes, no bike-share, no Vision Zero initiative, no leading pedestrian intervals, no bike lanes in downtown L.A. or Hollywood. The City of Angels still has a long long way to go, but CicLAvia has been a bright spot. The festival shows skeptics – from elected officials to media to business owners to dyed-in-the-wool drivers – that L.A. can be safe, quiet, happy, fabulous, and even magical. Even if it is just now and then when we allow people, instead of cars, to dominate our streets.

A pink section of CicLAvia under cloudy Chinatown skies yesterday morning
A pink section of CicLAvia under cloudy Chinatown skies yesterday morning

How was your CicLAvia yesterday?

  • Mike

    It was a good day. There were five of us. I’d never before seen the amazing view toward Downtown from Mariachi Plaza, or the 1910s Victorian-like houses in Boyle Heights. And we tried a new taco joint off Broadway. All good.

  • Joe Linton

    After lunch (and desert) in Little Tokyo my 3-year-old daughter decided that she didn’t want to get right back on her seat on the back of my bike, she wanted to walk and run instead! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7Kbl5iHKWI

  • D G Spencer Ludgate

    I think she is almost ready for a child’s tandem. Got to get that energy pedaling.

  • Sirinya Matute

    I did not make it this time. However, my best friend did with her boyfriend. She proudly rode her kickscooter 10 miles. I know her from outside of my transpo world. I will say this: CicLAvia is transforming how many people think about our streets, including those outside of this readership. I am appreciative.

  • bikecar101.com

    CicLAvia was awesome! Great weather, free coffee, meeting up with fellow bicycle educators and transit advocates. We would love to have more open street events. To us, it never gets old. https://youtu.be/u6h2BJVJkBU

    We didn’t make it to the 4th street bridge, because we had to get home early on Metrolink, so thanks for posting this article with photos. We saw many people taking advantage of Metro bikeshare.

    Each CicLAvia offers an opportunity to explore new ways of getting to the event. We always meet someone new that shares our passion for cycling in Los Angeles and, like us, enjoys using LA’s far-reaching public transportation network.