CicLAvia XVII – Wilmington to San Pedro – Open Thread

CicLAvia yesterday along San Pedro's waterfront. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
CicLAvia yesterday along San Pedro's waterfront. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Yesterday, CicLAvia touched down for the first time in the L.A. harbor communities of Wilmington and San Pedro. This was the 17th iteration of the popular open streets festival, sponsored by Metro’s open streets grants program, as usual. L.A.’s hot August sun was tempered by cooling waterfront breezes.

The 7-mile route was a bit of a barbell: plenty of visual interest and activities in the neighborhoods at the northern Wilmington end and the southern San Pedro end, connected by about three miles of an unremarkable industrial landscape along John S. Gibson Boulevard in the middle. At each end –  San Pedro’s Pacific Avenue and Wilmington’s Avalon Boulevard – the route included pleasant historic main street character. Especially in Wilmington, plenty of businesses expanded to the street edge to greet CicLAvia-goers with music, art, sales, parties, water, and smiles.

The route was not particularly well-connected to transit, with the nearest rail station about four miles away in Long Beach and only relatively infrequent weekend bus service. Nonetheless attendance was very good. CicLAvia San Pedro Meets Wilmington was not as wonderfully crowded as downtown L.A. open streets events, but certainly tens of thousands of cyclists, skaters, walkers, runners, and wheelchair users enjoyed the day.

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CicLAvia is not all about bicycling, of course. Two rollerbladers enjoy a stretch of John S. Gibson Boulevard.
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CicLAvia riders along San Pedro’s Gateway Plaza Fanfare Fountains
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CicLAvia cyclists on Avalon Boulevard in Wilmington
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Riders making their way from San Pedro to Wilmington via John S. Gibson Boulevard
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A few stretches along Gibson featured barricades
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A handful of rail crossings made for brief mandatory dismount zones – to prevent bike tires from getting caught in the gaps
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More riders on Avalon Boulevard in Wilmington

Readers – how was your CicLAvia this past weekend?

  • calwatch

    For walkers, it definitely seemed like two separate events with a lot of nothing in between. As I usually do, I walked the entire route, all seven miles. This was probably the most lightly Ciclavia I’ve attended (although I didn’t attend the one in the Valley) but was more attended than the unbranded open streets events like the Downey, South El Monte, or SGV ones, which says a lot about the Ciclavia “brand” and organizational outreach compared to some of the smaller groups that run their own.

    You can tell that organizations were expected more turnout when they start packing up at 3:30 pm, as what happened at the Wilmington end. It also did not seem to attract as much business as past events, as places like Santa Fe Seconds and the Mexican restaurant I stopped at on Avalon were noticeably empty. The route through the Wilmington waterfront park was a nice way to showcase the new improvements made in the last few years, though.

    With regard to Metro Bike Share, I saw decent usage in Wilmington and almost no usage in San Pedro. This definitely was a locals event, even though there were many parked on PCH with their bike racks.

  • Joe Linton

    That’s a good point – compared to actual CicLAvias the attendance was rather light… though attendance was pretty good compared to non-CicLAvia open streets – like in Whittier and El Monte. I think the event works best when it’s on a rail line, so cyclists can easily attend without driving.

  • Warren Meech Wells

    As far as the connection to rail in Long Beach, we biked there afterwards and that is a *hairy* ride. All three of the bridges on Anaheim range from unpleasant to dangerous to ride on.

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