CicLAvia XIX ‘Heart of Los Angeles’ – Open Thread
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.
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.
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.
How was your CicLAvia yesterday?