Posts tagged ‘Walking’
The countdown has begun — Los Angeles’ first CicLAvia is less than a week away. On 10-10-10, we are inviting all of Los Angeles to come out and play! Please help us spread the word about CicLAvia this week by sharing this video with your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and the rest of your social network!
A huge thank you to filmmaker Carlos Marques Marcet and his talented team for putting this together for us.
Our friends over at deLaB, GOOD, and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition are hosting a party to celebrate Alternative Transportation in L.A. The event is called “Moving Beyond Cars” and will be taking place at the LA Beyond Cars: A Global Perspective on Rail and Space exhibition in Downtown Los Angeles. CicLAvia will be hanging out at the event to let you know how you can help us make our first event on 10-10-10 a huge success. Rumor has it that we’ll also be helping with handing out prizes to those who come to the event in the most creative non-car fashion.
Come and say hi!
Moving Beyond Cars
L.A.’s Alternative Transportation Celebration
Wednesday, August 18
7 to 10 p.m.
The Jewel Box / City National Plaza
525 S. Flower Street, Downtown Los Angeles
Free, cash bar
More information can be found here.
Picture this: The streets are teeming with a diverse cross section of society. An intimate and lively streetscape is filled with shops and restaurants overflowing with al fresco diners. A vintage trolley chugs by in the place of cars. Is this pedestrian wonderland a scene from San Francisco or Oslo? No, actually, this is Los Angeles!
Unfortunately, it is not a real neighborhood or district of the city but a “lifestyle center,” a privatized simulacrum of Los Angeles called the Grove at the Farmers Market. Walk outside this shopping center, past the massive parking garages looming overhead, and this idyllic scene dissolves into the congested multi-lined arterials, surface parking lots, and narrow trash-strewn sidewalks of the real Los Angeles.
The Grove is one of the most popular destinations in Southern California, attracting thousands of tourists and locals every weekend. It has proven so popular that the concept has been replicated across the metropolis as if the Santa Anas lifted up its gilded statues and planted them in Glendale, Calabasas, and Arcadia. The appetite amongst consumers for faux urban streetscape shopping experiences has proven to be insatiable. But why do we settle for tiny Potemkin outposts of these consumer Xanadus and allow our actual streets to resemble post-apocalyptic cannonball runs? Why can’t the whole city be like the Grove?
We are not advocating for filling Sepulveda or Silver Lake with American Girl stores. The feature that should be borrowed from the private realm of the Grove and taken to the public realm of our streets is its car-free, pedestrian-oriented nature. Why should a family be forced to drive across the city to the Grove or Americana at Brand when they could conceivably have a similar experience on their local main street?
Angelinos will be able to fleetingly experience what this could be like this summer when cicLAvia closes select Los Angeles streets to cars and opens them to cyclists and pedestrians. By shutting down the road to cars, citizens will be able to interact with their neighborhoods in a brand new way. Not at 30 miles per hour, but at the speed of a leisurely bike ride or stroll. Hopefully, this experience will make people realize that a vibrant, pedestrian zoned streetscape does not have to be made of decorated stucco edifices, but the actual stucco buildings that define our everyday urban environments. With simple steps like calming traffic, widening and landscaping sidewalks, our traffic clogged streets, can easily be transformed into the vibrant corridors of The Grove. These streets will not be replicas, but authentic places imbued with the true diversity of Los Angeles.
In addition to providing you with all the latest updates on planning cicLAvia, we will use this blog to present perspectives and ideas on public space, urban streets, walking, bicycling and other ciclovia-related themes –culled from Los Angeles and beyond in hopes of building excitement and support for our city’s first cicLAvia event.