CicLAvia draws Angelenos to downtown streets
By Leanne Suter, June 23, 2013
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Southlanders grabbed their bikes and took to the streets of Los Angeles Sunday for the seventh edition of CicLAvia.
Six miles of streets in and around downtown were closed to vehicles and open to bicyclists, skateboarders, roller skaters and pedestrians.
The event began on Wilshire Boulevard from Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles to Fairfax Avenue in Hollywood.
The event's mission is to promote exercising and healthy living for all.
CicLAvia co-founder Aaron Paley said around 200,000 took part in the car-free event.
"This is a once in a lifetime thing, you can't just come down to these streets. There's so many cars and so much traffic, this is a great time to come down here, ride your bike and enjoy," said Phillip Batiste of Placentia.
A cyclist was hit by a car near the 4200 block of Wilshire Boulevard during Sunday's ride.
Firefighters say a driver plowed through cones blocking off the street.
The rider complained of some aches but declined medical care.
If you missed your chance to bike through the streets without any traffic, CycLAvia will run again on Oct. 6.
CicLAvia: A more relaxed vibe as more people walked
By Joe Mozingo, June 23, 2013
Sunday's CicLAvia was a bit more slow-paced and relaxed than past events as people took to their feet to explore Wilshire Boulevard's unique architecture, organizers said.
A pedestrian zone at each end of the route -- downtown L.A. and the Miracle Mile -- enabled people to saunter without fear of being run over by hordes of cyclists.
"Both of those spots and our hub in Koreatown were like mini festivals unto themselves," CicLAvia spokesman Robert Gard said.
He said April's CicLAvia event, a 30-mile round trip from downtown L.A. to Venice Beach, was more frenetic, drawing more than 200,000 people. He estimated that this CicLAvia drew about 150,000.
"A lot of people were excited just to explore the neighborhoods and look at the architecture at a leisurely pace, as opposed to to April, when they felt like they had to get to the beach and back," he said.
CicLAvia dubbed a success with no major emergencies or arrests
By Jack Leonard and Joe Mozingo, June 23, 2013
One cyclist was reportedly struck by a vehicle about 2:15 p.m. along Wilshire Boulevard near Lorraine Boulevard in the city's Mid-Wilshire neighborhood but was adamant that he did not require medical attention, despite an initial complaint of back discomfort, city fire spokesman Brian Humphrey said.
Specially trained paramedics mostly dealt with minor injuries and cyclists wanting to high-five officials, he said.
“I would describe it, from our perspective, as a very successful and enjoyable event,” Humphrey said. “We were blessed by mild weather, people in good spirits and the experience of having six previous CicLAvias.”
Thousands joined in the event, in which a 6.3-mile section of Wilshire Boulevard from downtown L.A. to Fairfax Avenue was closed to vehicles until 4 p.m. to allow for bicyclists, roller skaters, in-line skaters, skateboarders and pedestrians to take over the big boulevard.
The event's organizers have called the route the most pedestrian-friendly of any CicLAvia. For the first time, there were pedestrian-only zones at the beginning and end of the route. Those areas featured activities including Pilates, belly-dance classes and bicycle helmet decoration.
Previous events drew as many as 100,000 cyclists and pedestrians. The $350,000 cost to stage each event is picked up by a nonprofit, CicLAvia, and the city, which uses state and federal money. The goal of the nonprofit is to encourage public health, mass transit and vibrant use of public space through car-free street events.
Ciclovías started in Bogotá, Colombia, more than 30 years ago as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets. Now they are staged throughout Latin America and the United States.