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CicLAvia South L.A. December 2023 Open Thread

The six-mile route included mostly Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, plus parts of Central Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard

CicLAvia participants on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in South Los Angeles. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog

Yesterday, Southern California's premiere open streets event CicLAvia returned to South Los Angeles.

The six-mile route connected Central Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard, the city's two historically Black corridors, via Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The King and Central stretches of the route (and several other South L.A. corridors) have hosted past CicLAvia South L.A. events, but this was the first to incorporate Crenshaw Avenue between MLK and Leimert Park. Metro K Line construction had effectively precluded open streets events there for many years. The K Line finally opened just over a year ago, and many participants rode it to get to and from the route.

As usual, thousands of people showed up to enjoy car-free streets. Families walked, biked and scooted the route, mostly in the shadows of the Canary Island Pine trees that mark a living memorial to Dr. King.

Skate-dance performance at the MLK hub

Four hubs featured activities, booths, performances, food trucks, and more. Along the route, restaurants and other eats, from the 27th Street Bakery to street vendors, were packed with walkers and cyclists taking short breaks to recharge.

The weather was cool and sunny, perfect for a taking a walk or ride.

Overall attendance appeared slightly less than the massive crowds that CicLAvia events often draw. It was somewhat less convenient to take Metro rail to the event, as Metro had planned partial closures (for maintenance/construction) on its K and C Lines, as well as an unplanned B/D Line subway closure due to a significant electrical issue at Union Station.

L.A. Real Rydaz make their way down King Boulevard at yesterday's CicLAvia
A pair of cyclists cruising the middle of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
Residents along the historic Crenshaw corridor are grappling with the accelerated pace of gentrification spurred by the arrival of the K Line. This under construction housing development includes some affordable units under the city's Transit Oriented Communities program, but the majority of the new units along the boulevard will be market rate.
CicLAvia participants at Central Avenue's 1927 Lincoln Theater. A new partnership between CicLAvia and the Los Angeles Conservancy produced a scavenger hunt highlighting historic sites along the route. According to the brochure, "Lincoln Theater is considered to be one of the last standing theaters which primarily catered to Black communities" and is currently "home to Iglesia de Jesucristo Ministerios Judá, a Spanish-speaking congregation."
CicLAvia along BMO soccer stadium
CicLAvia participants enjoying Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard

Readers, how was your experience at yesterday's CicLAvia South L.A.?

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