626 Golden Streets – SGV Streets & Treats – Open Thread

Riders at last Saturday's 626 Golden Streets - photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
Riders at last Saturday's 626 Golden Streets - photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

The San Gabriel Valley hasn’t had good luck with open streets events. The massive first 626 Golden Streets was postponed due to wildfires in 2016, and then took place in the rain in 2017. VivaSGV in 2016 was among the least attended open streets festivals ever in L.A. County. Earlier this year, 626 Golden Streets Mission to Mission saw some early rain too, though was well attended.

Last Saturday’s 626 Golden Streets took place in the cities of El Monte and South El Monte, on a route that included much of the same streets as the earlier VivaSGV event. This iteration was a treat for thousands of participants who biked, walked, skated, and scootered on about four miles of car-free streets.

There were certainly a lot of people, but attendance was somewhat low, due to several factors. The weather felt blazing hot, with a cloudless sky and peak temperatures in the low 90s. Though the route has connections to both Metrolink and Silver Line/Silver Streak busway El Monte Station, it lacked a convenient Metro rail transit connection. The event took place on Saturday, which tends to see somewhat fewer open streets participants than Sundays.

Along the route, groups of participants here and there enjoyed themselves. At the ends of the route, activity hubs were busy, though not quite crowded.

Many participants dressed in Halloween costumes. Many booths and establishments played up the Halloween and Día de los Muertos themes, with trick-or-treating, pumpkin-decorating, altars, face-painting, and more.

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Halloween decor at 626 Golden Streets
Families bicycling on car-free streets at 626 Golden Streets
Family bicycling on car-free streets at 626 Golden Streets
Musical performance at 626 Golden Streets
Musical performance next to parklet at 626 Golden Streets
Cyclists enjoying San Gabriel Valley car-free streets
Cyclists and pedestrians enjoying San Gabriel Valley car-free streets

Readers – how was your experience at last Saturday’s 626 Golden Streets?

(Add it to your calendar now: one more L.A. County open streets event this year with CicLAvia – The Valley [that’s another big L.A. valley – the San Fernando Valley] coming to Canoga Park, Winnetka, and Reseda on December 8.)

SBLA 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.”

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#DamienTalksSGV 10 – David Diaz and Viva SGV

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This week, #DamienTalks with David Diaz (again), the Programs Director for Bike SGV about this weekend’s two-city open streets event, Viva SGV! The cities of El Monte and South El Monte have worked together to program a 5-mile open streets event that will run this Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. While the event […]