CicLAvia, Let’s Go!
For Angelenos, Sunday was a day that we’ll never forget. Our first Open Streets party was an unparalleled success. So much so that even the critics of the concept grudgingly came on board when it was obvious that they missed the boat on supporting and experiencing a groundbreaking day.
The Los Angeles Times estimates that 100,000 people took to the streets to celebrate CicLAvia. Of course, that number doesn’t count all the of residents that sat on their porches or balconies and enjoyed the car-free festival environment that permeated the air.
But perhaps the image that will remain after these festivals become the norm, instead of the exception, will be L.A.’s suddenly bike-friendly Mayor acting like a kid with a new toy as he hopped on a bike and pedaled away from Hollenbeck Park at the start of the festival with a smile on his face and a shout of joy coming from his heart.
“Let’s Go!” he shouts as he takes off to celebrate the day. Hopefully Sunday was the turning point for Los Angeles as we all “go” into our clean transportation future.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: [00:21] We can take a canvas, an empty street that’s usually filled with cars and congestion blowing out pollution all around, and clear every car from that street and create a canvas of what a community can look like when you get cars off the streets and let people enjoy them in the way that we are today.
Adonia Lugo: [00:46] We started talking to people, we started organising and here we are two years later, with the support of the city, with the support of the Mayor, we’re very, very excited to be here. We’re very excited to see so many people out here, and I hope everybody gets out on the route, takes a look at what’s going on. I’m thrilled to just see what people do with the street.
Jaime Ortiz: [01:03] I just want to congratulate you, your administration and the citizens of Los Angeles for starting this new process.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: [01:11] Let’s go baby.
Joel Epstema: [01:43] My name’s Joel Epstema, I’m a blogger for the Huntington Post and I am really excited to be here today, it’s just kind of like a dream come true seeing LA make this happen.
Craig Valour: [01:52] My name’s Craig Valour, I’m from Eagle Rock Yacht Club, we’re a dodgeball league. We’re with Michael Costanza who’s the World Dodgeball Society. We’re just two dodge ball people come together to, you know, participate in CicLAvia bike riding event thing.
Joe Linton: [02:10] So the route starts at Hollenbeck, one of our nice old parks in Boyle Heights, a very Latino neighbourhood, comes down across the LA River on a grade short bridge into Little Tokyo, and then through Downtown Los Angeles, through Spring Street, one of a really tall historic building corridor, it goes out Seven Street, rises up into the West Lake section of town, the densest part of Los Angeles with hardly any parks, and then it snakes its way up through Korea Town and into East Hollywood, where we call… we have a section we call the Bicycle District.
Speaker: [02:46] I love it. I feel like my city’s, you know, finally growing up. I ride my bike everyday. I feel like it should be a paradise here for us on bikes, but it’s really not. So…
Speaker: [02:55] Today seven miles of Los Angeles, from East Hollywood, where we are now, all the way to just East of Downtown, Boyle Heights, was converted to non motorised vehicles. There were bicycles, roller-skates, pedestrians, strollers, skateboards on the road today, and I think it was a raging success.
Speaker: [03:15] I think this is a really good thing for the community, you know. It’s getting people that wouldn’t normally be comfortable riding their bike on the streets out there riding their bikes.
Joe Linton: [03:25] It just shows that, you know, we make our streets safe and convenient for bicycling, bicyclists will be out here. Your kids will ride, families will ride, you know, everybody.
Speaker: [03:35] And I couldn’t be happier with this event, and I hope the City of LA does it every year. I think it’s an awesome event. There’s a lot of people showed up, there’s a lot of support and I just love it.
Jenn Su: [03:45] It’s very exciting to see so many people out here and the number one question I got today was, when is this going to happen again? So hopefully we can have many more CicLAvias in Los Angeles.
Speaker: [03:56] With this type of momentum I’m hoping that this will be a reoccurring thing, you know, something that they can do once a year, if not more often, you know, maybe even once a season, you know.
Speaker: [04:07] Like they should have this more in LA.
Craig Valour: [04:08] I think this is amazing, this could happen like once a month, like once every six months, whatever.
Speaker: [04:12] I think like every month, I think, every month.
Speaker: [04:17] Everyday.
Speaker: [04:18] Really it’s the people, like you, that are going to make a difference if CicLAvia succeeds or not. And today I think CicLAvia did succeed.
Jose Huizar: [04:25]
This is a historical day, but we got to do more of it. The City
of LA has got to do a whole lot more to support bicycles, skates and
everything else that promotes more pedestrians on the sidewalks and
streets. Thank you very much.