626 Golden Streets Open Thread

Some afternoon rain did not prevent huge crowds from enjoying yesterday's 17+mile long 626 Golden Streets event. All photos: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
Some afternoon rain did not prevent huge crowds from enjoying yesterday's 17+mile long 626 Golden Streets event. All photos: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Yesterday’s 17+ mile 626 Golden Streets open streets festival was the longest route in L.A. County history, and possibly in the United States. Tens of thousands of people enjoyed walking, running, bicycling, dancing, skating and more.

Gray cloudy morning skies at 626 Golden Streets in San Marino
Gray cloudy morning skies at 626 Golden Streets in San Marino

It was only the second L.A. County open streets event to see some rain. Scattered showers dampened the beginning of the October 2015 Heart of L.A. CicLAvia, too. Yesterday in the San Gabriel Valley, it started off at a cold and cloudy 9 a.m. Around 12:30 p.m. scattered drops of rain began. These built into a serious, but not massive, rain storm within an hour. A lot of participants cleared out at that time. Folks who stayed long enough saw the storm pass over and the sun poke out around 2:30 p.m. just in time for the last half hour of Golden Streets.

Despite the elements (including a delay due to fires last summer), all in all the event was well attended and enjoyed by large crowds.

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There were lots of great Star Wars cosplayers on the Golden Streets route
Zumba at Golden Streets in South Pasadena
Zumba at Golden Streets in South Pasadena
Tall bike on Huntington Drive at 626 Golden Streets
Tall bike on Huntington Drive at 626 Golden Streets
626 Golden Streets on the pleasant tree-lined Garfield Avenue in South Pasadena
626 Golden Streets on the pleasant tree-lined Garfield Avenue in South Pasadena
GoldenStreetsHuntington
Cyclists of all ages enjoying 626 Golden Streets
Riders started thinning as overcast skies turned to rain at 626 Golden Streets
Riders started thinning as overcast skies turned to rain at 626 Golden Streets

Readers – how was your 626 Golden Streets experience? Share in the comments below.

Streetsblog’s San Gabriel Valley coverage is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

8 thoughts on 626 Golden Streets Open Thread

  1. I was on my way to the Other Valley (musical event in Reseda) but stopped to get some “today photos” in Arcadia. The Santa Clara Ave segment, which blends into Chestnut Ave. in Monrovia, was once the right of way for the long-gone Southern Pacific Duarte Branch, which was dealt off to Pacific Electric around 1942. PE ran it with diesel power (this branch never was electrified) until 1961. After the track was lifted, the route was regraded and paved over to become a street. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/880926468f984f5a09f263b10c81f9f867d356abd94c04361109319d45da25a9.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b17994df742f25b9ea14a52da908f48621418b8ba89f2bf10018954a887b3799.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c146a7ddd9122b2bdceba289d2928acf3a7c2b3ffb686799c7487e76a2c34159.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e267a1351c2614d9ba15acc5dc822106296878b6802e6b9849663e197d6cdd57.jpg

  2. One of the issues with this Golden Streets event is that it avoided commercial areas for much of the routes. I suppose the businesses along the major streets get most of their business via car, especially in a suburban area, but it was still odd to walk down back streets in Duarte, Monrovia, and Arcadia. They could have pursued the solution used in Azusa to give up half the street, which made more sense here in the San Gabriel Valley than it did in that disastrous Ciclavia a few years ago when they only took up half of Venice Boulevard.

  3. Like all open streets / ciclovia events, this one reminds us of the wonderful freedom we can enjoy when we provide car-free streets for people. This was the first open streets event for many of these foothill communities and ran fairly close to my house, so I was concerned that the weather would keep people away. Fortunately, the crowds were pretty big and I suspect they would have been even bigger if the skies hadn’t been so threatening. I ride many of these streets regularly, usually choked with cars, so it was particularly inspiring to see them filled with so many diverse people on foot and on bikes. From the smiles on the faces of people along the route to the conversations I had with people at the hubs (I visited Arcadia, Monrovia, and Duarte hubs), it strikes me that there is a nascent bike culture waiting to blossom in these suburbs once this area gets more bike-friendly streets. I caught glimpses of it emerging despite the chilly rain on Sunday. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dd7241c6106a20e4533a5d8fe2061a39819c1d75ae133e7a376d79fd6c4f5ac5.jpg

  4. Many of the businesses did not even know what CicLAvia was and so it was hard to convince them that it was okay for their street to be shut down. Preliminary survey results look promising though. :)

  5. I would have liked a more commercial route, but, as someone who did a lot of door-to-door outreach before the first CicLAVia, I recognize that it’s difficult before the first one… but it gets easier! Some of the same restaurants who resisted the first one were excited about the second one. (In SF, Fisherman’s Wharf threatened a lawsuit before their first event, and then sponsored the second one.)

  6. BikeSGV and partners would have loved to run the event down Myrtle Ave and other more business focused streets, as well as connect to Gold Line stations, however each City had the final say as to which streets they would allow us to use. We needed a contiguous route, so cities that were open to having the event run through commercial areas saw more economic benefit. E.g., the manager at the Target store in Azusa said they had a 6% bump in sales that day, despite the event being essentially abbreviated by the heavy showers midday. Congregation Ale House in Azusa saw an even greater increase, close to 50%. Quantitative and qualitative econ and participant data is still being collected and will be shared with all the participating cities within a month or two. We will also be summarizing the results for the general public. Stay tuned.

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