Sunday, April 15, 2012

Colombian export

The president was in Cartegena, Colombia today, a country to which we in Los Angeles also paid tribute today by holding our fourth CicLAvia. The event is modeled on the Ciclovia started in Bogota, where every Sunday, the city closes about 100 miles of streets to cars, opening them to cyclists and other uses. In LA we only hold the event twice a year so far, and only close 10 miles of streets.

Nevertheless, it is a truly transformational idea, because it allows people to experience the city in entirely new ways, and to imagine what our public spaces could be like if they were not constantly choked with cars. I don't have the statistics yet, but it seemed like the biggest CicLAvia yet. Some areas were so packed with cyclists we were causing a new form of traffic jam, proving that CicLAvia needs to be extended and expanded.

(my photos)


  1. Closing city streets once in awhile in awhile can be a lot of fun. I have quite a bit of experience with this over the last 13 years from Canada, to New Zealand, all over California, New York, Idaho, Wisconsin, Texas, Florida, Louisville, Hawaii and Australia, all over Europe and in Asia. You can imagine how many roads and waterways have to be closed to traffic to put on an Ironman triathlon that consists of 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run for thousands of people at a time. Plus their families and others interested in watching. Each event brings millions of dollars of income to the locals business. Marathons do the same thing. In fact, Boston is closed down today on Patriots Day for the marathon. It is a liberating feeling to run and ride on streets without cars!

  2. Marathons and parades and such are great, but CicLAvia has even more potential, because it is open to everyone, and encourages people to think differently about how we use the public streets.

  3. Parade? Open to everyone? When the roads are closed for events -- especially events that promote health, everyone benefits. I no longer race but take my bike to events and can ride or walk or run or shop or eat or visit on the courses closed to cars. Think outside the political box for a moment! It will be healthy for you.

  4. << CicLAvia has even more potential, because it is open to everyone, and encourages people to think differently about how we use the public streets. >>

    Dang, I was sharing the same thoughts. You are as stubborn as all get out.

  5. Over the years I have noticed that ideologues on the far left and far right lose the ability to carry a message and chop wood. They only carry water.

  6. I said marathons are great. I like watching the marathon. Street fairs are great too. Anything that closes the street is great. But I think CicLAvia might, just might, have the potential to change people's ideas about experiencing the city a little bit more than such events can. That makes me an ideologue?

    Of course I could be wrong and CicLAvia is just another big block party. Time will tell.