TEN Reasons for CicLAvia
In honor of our 10-10-10 first ever city of Los Angeles CicLAvia date, for TEN days CicLAvia is running top TEN listings! (drum roll please!) Below are TEN great reasons for CicLAvia! Coming soon – 10 great places to eat on the route, 10 public artworks, 10 historic architectural landmarks, 10 problems CicLAvia solves, 10 ways to get to CicLAvia, and much more! We’re asking you, dear reader, to help us out on these lists! If you have ideas for fun top TEN lists, tell us in the comments or email info [at] ciclavia [dot] org!
TEN REASONS FOR CICLAVIA
CicLAvia isn’t some high-falutin’ cultural extravaganza that’s “good for you.” Nor some grueling race you need to (huff! puff!) finish. Nor a way to educate or, ahem, lecture people. It’s about having FUN! Together. In our streets. Have a great time hanging out in the public spaces we pass through daily. We’re looking forward to having a great time on 10/10/10.
By getting folks out walking and running and bicycling, CicLAvia helps people get the physical activity we need to get healthy and keep healthy. When was the last time you got to the gym? (I’m not gonna answer that one.) Just 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity (don’t call it exercise, ’cause then it sounds like a lot of work, no?) is recommended by the Surgeon General to reduce risk of obesity and all sorts of nasty chronic diseases. And if you’re having fun (see #1 above) walking or bicycling around, then you don’t even realize you’re getting mucho healthier. Sneaky, huh?
CicLAvia means lots of foot traffic, which is great for local businesses! The first year San Francisco did their Sunday Streets [every ciclovía has to make up its own name – it’s in the rule book] in their Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood, some local business owners opposed the event. But, then, after seeing their sales go way up during the event, the very next year, they actually sponsored Summer Streets! (careful, though… this one is another sneaky thing though, don’t let too many people know that this is really an economic development tool – or they won’t want to come! shhhhh!)
4. Public Space!
Public space belongs to all of us… but, in Los Angeles, we don’t use it very well… we don’t – heaven forbid – hang out in public space very much!! We drive through it as rapido as possible. Many of us are from different parts of the world, where people hang out, sit, talk, chill, eat, meet, greet, people-watch, and even… walk… in public space. CicLAvia brings Angelenos together in space that belongs to all of us. It helps us to see our common space as places where we can meet each other – not just a place to speed through on our way to the next space. Maybe, when we see how fun it is to use L.A.’s public spaces differently, it will help us shift our priorities as we decide what to use those spaces for in the future.
5. Getting to Know Los Angeles!
The seven mile CicLAvia route connects many Los Angeles communities with many diverse types of Angelenos – young and old, Latino, Asian, White, Black, Korean, Mexican, Bangladeshi, Japanese, Guatemalan, German, Jewish, French, Thai, Salvadorean, Armenian, and everything in between. Many of us tend to hang out in our neighborhoods. On 10/10/10, CicLAvia gives us a chance to explore – tacos in Boyle Heights, mochi ice cream in Little Tokyo, pibimpap in Koreatown, pupusas in Pico Union… and much much more! When you’re on the CicLAvia, in these neighborhoods, on foot or on bike, you’ll slow down and take in the views!
In a lot of great places, folks end up staying indoors for half the year due to rain, sleet, hail, snow, blizzards, floods, and vuvuzelas. In Los Angeles, our climate is so mild, so darn perfecto! ahhhhh…. a great place to get out and enjoy. Step away from the computer, bring a lawn chair and get a tan in the street on October 10th 2010!
CicLAvia is FUN for the whole family. With no cars around, it’s easy for kids to draw with chalk, or bike with training wheels. Teenagers can walk & text, w/o gettng run ovr! :)! Parents can ride bikes with their children – and their parents – safely and comfortably. Elder Angelenos can take their time to walk the streets without fear of fast-moving cars running them down.
8. Promoting Transportation Alternatives: Walking
Nobody walks in L.A., right? Well, let’s change that! Walking is really healthy, really cheap, and more practical than it seems… and should we mention… great legs?!? Unfortunately, in the United States, walking (as one’s main commute transportation) has declined from 5.6% in 1980 to only 2.9% in 2000! (who let the statistician in? this was supposed to be about FUN!) One of the things that makes walking fun, and not boring, is to walk where there’s other people out walking, so at CicLAvia make plans to walk with about 10,000 of your closest friends.
9. Promoting Transportation Alternatives: Bicycling
With mostly flat terrain, and so much great weather (see #6 above), it’s a puzzle why more Angelinos don’t bike more. Bicycling is low-impact, low-cost, and it’s great to feel the wind whizzing past as you dash past those folks stuck in gridlock. If you’re interested in bicycling, but you’re worried about not being safe in L.A. traffic, well, then, CicLAvia is a great way to practice and gain confidence – bicycling with no cars around to worry about. (make sure to watch out for those pedestrians, though! be nice.)
10. Promoting Transportation Alternatives: Transit
This October’s CicLAvia route is centrally located, so it’s easy to get there via transit. The CicLAvia route runs along the Little Tokyo Metro Gold Line Station, the 7th Street Metro Blue Line Station, and lots of Metro Red Line stations! If you’re coming from East L.A., Long Beach, Pasadena, Compton, the San Fernando Valley, Northeast L.A., Hollywood, it’s very convenient to ride Metro Rail (and you can even bring bikes on board with you – for no extra charge.) There’s also plenty of Metro Bus Lines that converge on the route through Downtown Los Angeles. No gas, no hassle, take Metro to CicLAvia on 10 de 10, 2010! And if you’re tres chic, go multi-modal – combine walking, biking, eh even driving, with a trip on Metro!
LOOK OUT! More scintillating top TEN lists celebrating TEN-TEN-TEN coming this week! Don’t touch that browser!