Lots of 2023 Open Streets Events Coming Up: CicLAvia, 626 Golden Streets, and More
Who’s up for some open streets events? For the uninitiated, these are free, fun, family-friendly festivals where cities close streets to driving, opening them for bicycling, walking, skating, skateboarding, scootering, etc. These events are not a race; start wherever you want and walk/bike/skate as much or as little as you like. And that’s not all! Along the route there are activity hubs with booths, food trucks, music, activities, and more. Think lots of people of all shapes and sizes and ages smiling as they move along stress-free Southern California Streets. And did we mention that these events are free?
The main funding source for L.A. County open streets festivals is Metro’s Open Streets Grant Program. In December 2021, the Metro board approved $7 million in open streets grants [staff report]. The program was so popular that the board approved a motion to supplement staff recommendations with an additional $2 million. That funding cycle covers events from July 2022 through June 2024 – including several grants for new events in cities that have not previously hosted them: Commerce, Hawaiian Gardens, Lancaster, and Walnut Park [see Metro’s ranked grant list].
CicLAvia is the main community group that works with L.A. County cities to produce open streets events, but there are more organizations collaboratively hosting these events.
Let’s start with ActiveSGV, the group behind many great 626 Golden Streets events and a whole lot more in the way of great programs and plans for the San Gabriel Valley. Last week, ActiveSGV announced a 6.5-mile Sunday, April 23, Heart of the Foothills event that will span the cities of San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, and Claremont.
For more information on the April event, see the 626 Golden Streets website.
ActiveSGV is also working with Caltrans, Los Angeles and South Pasadena to host an ArroyoFest event on the 110 Freeway, tentatively on October 29, 2023. The event would commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the June 2003 ArroyoFest freeway bike/walk event that was a forerunner of today’s open streets festivals. L.A. City Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez recently introduced a motion (council file 23-0030) in support of a 2023 ArroyoFest.
Earlier last week, CicLAvia announced eight (!) events taking place in 2023.
- February 26: CicLAvia—The Valley
- April 16: CicLAvia—Mid City meets Pico Union
- May 21: CicLAmini—Watts
- June 18: CicLAvia—South L.A. (Vermont Ave)
- August 20: CicLAvia—Koreatown meets Hollywood
- September 17: CicLAmini—North Hollywood
- October 15: CicLAvia—Heart of L.A.
- December 3: CicLAvia—South L.A. (Leimert Park meets Historic South Central)
Two of the CicLAvia events are a new “CicLAmini” format, which the group explains are 1-2-mile-long compact neighborhood routes offering a more pedestrian-oriented experience and featuring activities sprinkled along the entire route.
Coming up next month, CicLAvia will kick off 2023 with CicLAvia – The Valley: a 5-mile West San Fernando Valley route through Reseda, Winnetka, and Canoga Park. The Sherman Way route is similar to a 2019 event.
There are several additional (non-CicLAvia, non-626 Golden Streets) open streets events planned for 2023. Note that the following dates are from 2021 grant applications, and these dates often change based on numerous scheduling factors. Streetsblog is checking in with host cities/organizations to confirm these events; this post will be updated if more information is provided.
- Saturday, May 13, 2023: Northeast Valley Community Street Festival – city of San Fernando
- Saturday, May 20, 2023: Beach Streets Downtown Long Beach – city of Long Beach
- Sunday, September 17, 2023: Eastside Open Street Event – city of Commerce
- September, 2023: Walk & Roll Fest in conjunction with Slow Streets September – city of Lancaster