L.A. Times Hawthorne on CicLAvia’s Implications

October 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm 1 comment

CicLAvia 10-10-10 on the 4th Street Bridge - Photo by Gary Leonard

On Sunday October 24th 2010, in an article entitled Critic’s Notebook: There’s a growing disconnect on a better-connected L.A., the Los Angeles Times’ Christopher Hawthorne cites CicLAvia as one important sign that Angelenos are becoming more “comfortable with density and multifamily housing and the coexistence of private cars, pedestrians, cyclists and mass transit.” While the article focuses mostly on permanent infrastructure (especially rail construction), we’re happy to see CicLAvia’s 2010 success is seen as “reflecting a growing constituency in Los Angeles for changes to the streetscape benefiting pedestrians and cyclists.”  CicLAvia would also add transit – given the large numbers of cyclists and pedestrians who rode Metro to attend, many for the first time. Growing the constituency for greener transportation is indeed one of the four goals that CicLAvia’s organizers’ set out to accomplish.

Hawthorne goes on to conclude:

CicLAvia and events like it have a role to play in helping bridge that gap [between folks who welcome density/transit and those who resist], mostly because they provide a way to see the cityscape with fresh eyes and at unusually close range.

Thanks, Mr. Hawthorne, and CicLAvia looks forward to more fresh eyes and up-close views in the years ahead.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Joe Linton  |  October 25, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    I posted this comment over at Streetsblog… and I figure I’ll post it here, too:

    It’s an excellent article – and great that he’s looking at it from not just a dashboard angle… and I am glad that Hawthorne affirms that territory has changed in a post-CicLAvia world! (I say that somewhat tongue-in-cheek, somewhat serious.)

    One reservation I have about the otherwise excellent article, is that I think he made a little bit more than is truly needed of the “divide” (taking sides in a “battle.”) Families in suburbs want safe streets, clean air, a planet with a climate that supports life, health, etc. Plenty of folks who drive feel stuck in their cars, yearning to be free… but see no viable alternatives. There are differences/tensions and competition for resources… but there’s plenty of common cause, too. Peds, cars, bikes, transit can all get along in a rich urban mix!

    To the extent that we boil it down to a drivers vs. non-drivers split… it becomes an us/them fight. The actual case is less cut and dried. Drivers bike. Bicyclists drive. If a person who drives to work most days can see herself/himself taking a multimodal trip on a saturday (say bike/bus to the beach) now and then, she/he will more amenable to supporting a balanced healthy transportation mix.

    Anyhow… thanks, Times – for contributing a worthwhile thoughtful article to an important dialogue!


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