CicLAvia in the L.A. Times

November 4, 2009 at 8:57 pm 16 comments

Ciclovia on Sunset

Imagine what a ciclovia on Sunset Boulevard might look like!

Today’s Los Angeles Times features an article about bringing ciclovia to Los Angeles! It’s by Matthew Fleischer and it’s titled Imagine: L.A. bicyclists in the driver’s seat, one day a week.

Below are two brief excerpts, click here for the full article:

Imagine Los Angeles without cars. A town where people ride their bikes and walk in the streets and the smells of tacos and veggie burgers drift through the air instead of exhaust.

Sound like a pipe dream? Not if a group called cicLAvia is successful. A volunteer coalition of bicycle advocates, transportation experts, artists and academics, cicLAvia wants to make Sundays in Los Angeles virtually car-free — transforming the city’s streets into giant bike lanes and creating a public space that connects every neighborhood in the city.


“We’re excited by the [ciclovia] idea and we’re looking for ways to support it,” says Romel Pascual, L.A.’s associate director of energy and the environment. “Making events like this happen is always in the details — what neighborhoods to start with, the routes involved. But it’s definitely something we’re looking to explore in 2010.”

Read the rest here. For more images of what an L.A. Ciclovia might look like go here.

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16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gary  |  November 4, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Can you stop doing this shit.


    Its not a SF, don’t San Francisco-ize Los Angeles.

    Last time there was a big bicyclist meet up at the RiteAid of Hollywood and Vermont, that big parking lot there, the hundreds of “bicyclists” that met up there left a humongous mess.

    Trash left everywhere, alcohol bottles of almost every kind, beer bottles, hard liquor, trash, crap all over.

    Me, in my wonderful CAR, drove in slowly thinking what the fuck happened here?… then I heard glass shattering, it was fucking ridiculous.

    I’ve biked ALL OVER L.A. when I was in college, way before it became a soc.ial or trendy …HIP thing to do, in the 90’s, and I realized that Los Angeles is NOT a city for bicycling around to get things done, nor is it a great city to bike around. Its an automotive city. Cars RULE.

    Sure, I enjoyed my long trek through Wiltshire from McArthur through Fairfax. But other parts suck.

    I dont know what you’re motive is, but closing streets ANY time of the day when people have got shit to do EVEN ON SUNDAYS is fucking ridiculous.

    Born and raised L.A. – stop the out of towner hipsters and dumb latino rocker wanna-be hipsters from invading our streets.

    Bunch of morons.

    • 2. Bobby  |  November 6, 2009 at 7:17 pm

      As you can see in this post from a few months ago,

      street closures are actually a common thing in LA, even if it is a “car city” right now. The cool thing about a ciclovia is that it is actually less disruptive to people who “have” to drive, because drivers can cross signalized intersections of the ciclovia. WIth the LA marathon or a parade, the street is truly closed off to cars for hours.

      Just to clarify, we aren’t associated with the Midnight Ridazz stuff, and I really don’t think the hard-drinkin’ types will show up to a early sunday morning ciclovia. The ciclovia is more oriented towards families who just want to walk or bike without worrying about car traffic.

      Also, the cicLAvia committee includes many “born and raised LA” as well, I’ll have you know. Have a good day!

  • 3. Aethulwulf  |  November 4, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    As a non-biker, I’m somewhat ambivalent about this. However, how would large families travel? Do I load up my infant, toddler, grandma, and ride a bike 15 miles to the valley to go to church? If they do it in Columbia, they must have found a solution.

    And by the way, I respect cyclists and the bike lane, and I understand that drivers of cars sometimes makes it dangerous for cyclists. But then there are some idiotic cyclists that gives cyclists a bad name too. Running red lights, zooming to the front of a line of waiting cars and cutting off a car trying to make a *left* turn, whizzing by stop signs… I mean come on.

    • 4. Joe Linton  |  November 5, 2009 at 5:23 am


      A ciclovia would be like a big park – your family could be on bikes, or walking or just hanging out watching people go by. In many places in Latin America and in Europe, families ride safely together on streets or paths. For a 15 mile trip, some folks probably would drive, but others could combine transit with bike to go that distance.

      The organization I work for – C.I.C.L.E. – is working on programs to help families ride together. We do workshops, classes, events. You can read about our “FAB” Families and Bikes program here:

      A lot of road users, cyclists and drivers, are reckless and engage in dangerous behavior. We’re all out there together, so I think we need to make peace and share.

  • 5. marcus  |  November 5, 2009 at 12:32 am

    What happens if someone needs to go the the hospital? Some of los angeles residents work all week and have to run erands on the weekend. And what if i have to work on sunday across town… this is not smart… go to south america if you want to live like this… I am in shape and don’t need to bicycle. Go live on a hippie commune away from here like the manson family.

    • 6. Joe Linton  |  November 5, 2009 at 5:30 am

      @marcus – if someone needs to go to the hospital, then an ambulance can take them to the hospital – the ambulance can just turn on its siren and drive through the ciclovia. No problem. Hopefully in a ciclovia space, with fewer fast-moving vehicles colliding, there would be less collision injuries sending people to go to the hospital.

      If you have to get to work during the ciclovia event, you might ride your bike, take transit, or drive around the event. Unlike a marathon where the street is completely closed to cross traffic, ciclovias can allow cars to go across. Bicycling is great for errands because you can get exercise while getting your errands done.

  • 7. simone  |  November 5, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Wow–I’m really surprised at how hostile people feel towards this idea. Go see the movie of how they do it in Bogata Columbia where they actually close 70 miles of road:

    Big cities do this: Mexico City, Guadalajara, NYC, Chicago, Paris. You don’t have to participate if you don’t want to. There will still be roads for you to drive on if you want to. Part of the point it to have fun, spend time outside with friends, family, neighbors and just enjoy the city you live in.

  • 8. Carlos Morales  |  November 5, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    The Eastside Bike Club is a community bike club and has riders as young as 6 years old and as old as 76 years old. We ride twice a week on Tuesday NIGHTS and Saturday MORNINGS and travel all around Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley.

    Discovering our City from a view of a bike seat is a wonderful experience. My thoughts on the CicLAvia experiment in Boyle Heights is that it will be an attraction that every community in Los Angeles will want. It will unite communities; create economy opportunities to local businesses in the area.

    Residents in the area will see what is going on in their back yards and may stimulate families to try it. It can be a kickstart for a healthier lifestyle and break the chain of kids who play video games all day.

    When I started riding a bike again, taking a bike ride a mile away to run an errand was too long of a trip, today, a year and a half later, a twenty, thirty, even forty mile trek doesn’t seem difficult at all.

    Everyone has been complaining about traffic congestion, gas prices, and parking spaces /parking rates. I say to you all “CHANGE THE BEHAVIOR TO CHANGE THE RESULTS”
    This is a start of something that will REVOLUTIONIZE our communities, stir commerce save our communities health. It will change the way we think of about transportation in our “World Class City” – with our antiquated transportation system.

    This is the start of a movement! A movement that is un-stoppable!

    We are not “hipsters” we just enjoy a simple pleasure of a bike ride in our city!

    Visit our website
    Follow us on
    Contact us at

    Carlos Morales

  • 9. Joe Linton  |  November 5, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    The thing that bugs me about this article is the title: as a bicyclist, I don’t want to be in the “driver’s seat” – it’s not about sitting or about driving!

    • 10. bgadda  |  November 6, 2009 at 3:58 pm

      Yeah it’s funny how pervasive car metaphors are, he couldn’t even avoid using them in this article about a car-free event!

      • 11. Joe Linton  |  November 6, 2009 at 4:37 pm

        In tha title! it was jarring…

  • 12. michelle  |  November 6, 2009 at 7:51 am

    I was really happy to see the article in the L.A. Times. Ever since I heard about Ciclovia in Bogota, I was very interested in the idea. It reminded me of the time the Pasadena freeway was closed from Arroyo Parkway all the way to downtown so that walkers and cyclists could rule it for the morning. My mother and I started in Highland Park and with others walked on the freeway to a park a few miles down. I think it happened only twice, and I wish they did that at least once a year. If CicLAvia can be made a reality, I’d be pretty pleased. I’m sure some people would be pissed off, but I think business owners on the paths would get more business – it brings people away from the boring shopping malls and on to the local businesses on the street.

  • 13. Tim  |  November 6, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    I am an avid cyclist, and have been for more than 20 years. I race both mountain and road bikes, and occasionally commute. However, I am OPPOSED to any program that would segregate cyclists and drivers. It only creates an atmosphere of us/them. Ultimately, cyclists and drivers are going to have to coexist because neither is going away. Cyclists need to be educated on riding safely in traffic while respecting drivers, and drivers need to accept and respect that cyclists are going to be there. Oh yes, and drivers need to be educated on traffic safety. Let’s not forget how many traffic accidents occur in a day, where no cyclist exist at all.
    Once again, let’s share the streets. Let’s not widen the divide between these two groups.

    • 14. bgadda  |  November 6, 2009 at 4:03 pm

      This article kind of overemphasized the bike aspect of the ciclovia. A ciclovia isn’t just a big bike ride, it is a temporary public park space where people can walk, skate, rollerblade, walk dogs, as well as ride a bike. Most of these activities are not possible (or legal!) on a street that is shared with cars. A ciclovia is more about just giving people an opportunity to do something not in a car, not necessarily on a bike.

      • 15. Chris  |  November 9, 2009 at 7:43 pm

        This is what appeals to me about the ciclovia. It seems like it would create the same sense of community (and similar hassles!) as farmers’ markets, and those are a wonderful addition to LA culture, traffic closures or not.

  • 16. CicLAvia articles at Brand X and L.A. Streetsblog « cicLAvia  |  November 20, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    […] cars the weekend off in Los Angeles.  It’s pretty much the same article that we excerpted here. (Joe’s editorial note to the L.A. Times family of publications: please don’t feel that […]


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