Lakers Parade Shows Us L.A. Can Have Ciclovia

6_18_09_empty.jpgI would have preferred more people, but they were crowded at the end of the block.

For anyone that’s so interested in the Livable Streets Movement that they missed the results of the NBA Finals, the Lakers beat the Magic on Sunday and yesterday the city celebrated with a mostly privately funded victory parade and rally.  The Times estimated that a quarter of a million people attended the party, but what was far more exciting to me was the precedent such parades have for the city.  You see, yesterday proved that you can open streets to people by shutting them down to cars and the world doesn’t end.

In other parts of the country, it doesn’t take a victory parade for governments to open streets to people.  After Bogota showed the world how it’s done with their weekly Ciclovia’s, city’s such as New York and San Francisco put their best feet forward with car-free parties on Sundays.  Caltrans officials still gripe about car traffic "problems" created by Arroyofest six years ago, when parts of the I-10 were opened to pedestrians and cyclists, but yesterday Figueroa street and the feeder streets feeding into it was shut down for two miles in the middle of the work day and there were no reports of road rage, no reports of violence.  Heck, shutting down streets to car traffic was more orderly and safe than trying to leave a Dodgers game any day of the week.

So here you go, L.A.  We proved we can "survive" some temporary car-free corridors and even have a pretty good time while doing it.  Given that other cities hold their car-free parties on Sundays, our CicLAvia would be even more painless than yesterday.

  • Chesley Sullenburger

    Can someone talk to Eric Garcetti, President of the LA City Council, and illustrious supporter of a livable Los Angeles, to ask him to talk to the Mayor about making an announcement –

    “We hereby and forthwith declare that Los Angeles’ Ciclovia / Sunday Streets/Parkways event will be second to none,

    that New York, Bogota, Chicago, Mexico City, San Francisco, and, yes, even Portland, will be drooling with envy when they see what we have planned;

    that Los Angeles has always been on the cutting edge (stop snickering!) and, damn it, we’re not going to let those other second rate cities lap us.

    Because LA is going to have not one, not two, but FIVE Simultaneous Sunday Streets events in the Five corners of the city, and forget about the Summer, they will run throughout the Spring, Fall, and Winter.

    Heck, forget Eric Garcetti, who’s got Dennis Zine’s number. Come on. Someone, just get Rosendahl, or Ed or Janice, or whoever to talk to the Mayor to make the commitment. It is such a no-brainer.

    Or maybe I should just start planning to move to some other city, and take my medium sized business with me, along with the 300 jobs and tons of retail spending with us. Probably New York, or maybe Boulder, heck I’ll even go to Portland, but i do not want to live in a city where my kids can’t even ride their bikes one time without the serious threat of getting killed. And neither do any of the super high powered executive types that I know.

    Come on dudes, why can’t we have this in out city? Even Long Beach is ahead of us. All you city council peoples, come on. What, are you waiting for Palmdale to make a move? I’ll bet Lancaster is already there.


  • I hear ya, Ches.

    Unfortunately, Eric is doomed to follow his father into a comfortable obscurity—but not before he wrecks his constituency. If only Eric would have a gander of the intersection beneath his Hollywood Blvd./Western Ave. station… but then again, what does he care? There are always poor people in other nations that he can photograph for coffee table books (to the dwindling market north of Los Feliz Blvd., natch) as a retirement plan—just like daddy Gil.


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