CicLAvia Opens Streets in Pacoima, Arleta, and Panorama City
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Yesterday, Southern California’s popular open streets festival touched down in the city of Los Angeles San Fernando Valley communities of Panorama City, Arleta and Pacoima. Thousands of participants walked, biked, skated and played along four miles of Van Nuys Boulevard that were closed to cars.
L.A. City Councilmembers Nury Martinez and Monica Rodriguez kicked off the day, welcoming Los Angeles to enjoy their north valley districts.
The event saw a lot of participation from folks along Van Nuys Boulevard. Groups of people emerged to sit and watch CicLAvia amble past on the boulevard. Kids circled on scooters, trikes, and training-wheeled bikes. Residents and businesses hosted impromptu outside dining. Sidewalk vendors sold aguas frescas, raspados, water, and Gatorade to passersby. Music coming from gatherings on steps, stoops, and curbs was answered by portable sound systems carried by bicyclists.
Compared to central Los Angeles CicLAvias, the “CicLAvia the Valley” crowds were a little thinner. It was certainly not empty; definitely there were plenty of people out enjoying public space, but it never quite got crowded. There are a few factors that might have contributed: the over-wide boulevard, the lack of easy Metro rail access, perhaps competition with World Cup soccer. Though most CicLAvia events tend to get more populous toward the late afternoon, yesterday’s CicLAvia appeared to get a little thinner as the Valley’s afternoon heat pushed participants to seek shade and air conditioning.
Readers – how was your CicLAvia the Valley experience?
CicLAvia will return on Sunday, September 30 with a new route celebrating the L.A. Philharmonic’s 100th birthday. That route will extend from downtown L.A.’s Disney Hall to the Hollywood Bowl.