Accueil CicLAvia in L.A.

CicLAvia in L.A.

par Gabriel PLASSAT

This fall, on September 12, seven miles of Los Angeles streets will be closed to cars and open for walking, cycling, shopping, and general fun. It will be a one-day test to see if Ciclovia—a weekly car-free street festival that started in Colombia—can be imported to Los Angeles

We are asking for your donation to help us launch CicLAvia in the fall! Help us raise $1,000 for each mile of the CicLAvia route — that's $7,000! The CicLAvia organization is currently fundraising for a pilot program to take place on September 12, 2010 from 10 am to 3 pm in Los Angeles. CicLAvia consists of the temporary opening of LA streets to pedestrians and cyclists. It will be a recurring free program that features interconnected routes throughout the region, creating a web of temporary public space where Los Angeles residents will be encouraged to make active use of their streets. Approximately 7.5 miles of city streets will be opened to families, pedestrians, cyclists, joggers, skateboarders, and anyone else interested in safely recreating in the public realm.

The City of Los Angeles has agreed to cover all city-related expenses, including traffic re-routing and control, police, and emergency medical. The CicLAvia steering committee is tasked with raising $125,000 for the production, coordination, marketing, and outreach for the program. In addition, funds will be used to supplement the City of LA’s contributions to help minimize municipal expenses. Outreach efforts will ensure that neighborhood residents along the route are made aware of the recreational opportunities and health benefits that CicLAvia provides. Outreach efforts in under-served communities are especially critical for the program’s success.


Read more about what we're doing below!

What is CicLAvía?

Inspired by Ciclovía, the original, weekly street closure event in Bogotá, Colombia, CicLAvia will work to address four core pressing issues present throughout all of Los Angeles: Public Space, Public Health, Community and Economic Development, and Pedestrian and Bicycle Advocacy. As a recurring free event, set for the same day/time every week or month, CicLAvia will allow for the temporary closure of interconnected routes throughout the region, creating a web of public space on which residents of Los Angeles will be able to walk, bike, socialize, celebrate, and learn about new cultures and neighborhoods. Similar events have successfully occurred in other US cities, such as Portland, New York, and San Francisco. Bogotá’s Ciclovía has also inspired open streets programs in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Quito, and Melbourne.

Why does LA need this?

CicLAvia directly address five core issues facing all of Los Angeles:

Public Space:

Los Angeles has the least amount of park space, per capita, of all major cities in the United States. Public space is in short supply, and existing public space is undervalued, overlooked, and underfinanced. As a temporary public space created from the streets, the route for CicLAvia will present Angelenos with newfound common ground on which to congregate and enjoy outdoor activities. As with any successful public space, the route will offer participants a diversity of reasons to visit CicLAvia. Through the organic growth of the event, participants will continually discover new purposes for converging along the route. Whether one’s objective is to bike, stroll, picnic, or people watch, this temporary public space will help to alleviate the lack of places throughout the city where people can enjoy gathering as a community.

Public Health:

Intertwined with the lack of public space throughout Los Angeles, public health has become an overwhelming concern for civic leaders and the public at large. LA’s deep-seated car culture has largely contributed to the region’s poor air quality. Coupled with this is the obesity epidemic striking every demographic of America, especially our kids, and setting the stage for enormous public heath problems in coming years. CicLAvia has the potential to shift the public’s perception of the Los Angeles landscape from one maintained specifically for cars to one that offers its citizens a plethora of recreational opportunities. Those usually intimidated by the vehicular traffic will be able to experience the joys of outdoor activity. Children will be enticed to join the fun, simply because there are other kids doing the same. Just as crucial to the overall health of our region, CicLAvia will introduce Angelenos to more environmentally sustainable ways to travel, and in the long run, reduce gas emissions throughout the city, particularly for short trips.

Community and Economic Development:

CicLAvia is sure to be a source of civic pride for neighborhoods along the route, as well as the entire region. On a micro level, CicLAvia presents neighborhoods with the opportunity to form strategic alliances to strengthen their visibility for the actual event. Residents may become more familiar with the resources in their community – store owners may attract a new clientele. Most importantly, however, community members may begin to view their neighborhood as a walkable and bikable place. On a larger scale, CicLAvía will likely bring different populations and neighborhoods together, working to celebrate the diversity and multiculturalism that is Los Angeles.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Advocacy:

CicLAvia may become the single most important pedestrian and bicycle advocacy tool that Los Angeles has ever seen. By ridding the streets of car activity, albeit on a temporary basis, CicLAvia will offer Angelenos a safe environment to enjoy the urban landscape. CicLAvia will educate citizens on how to navigate the City streets without the use of a car – it will expose Angelenos to the City’s existing bicycle, pedestrian, and public transit infrastructure. This recurring event will present the streets as a means for physical activity, while offering a more sustainable alternative to driving. CicLAvia will finally allow Angelenos to view their streets as more than just thoroughfares for their gas-guzzling vehicles… it will literally allow them to take back the streets!

What route for LA?

The ideal CicLAvia route should connect diverse and dense neighborhoods with limited access to parks. The long-term vision for the project is to create a web of CicLAvia routes throughout different parts of the City and the region, helping to physically connect this vast metropolis. The route for our pilot event on September 12, 2010 will go through Boyle Heights, Downtown LA, Little Tokyo, MacArthur Park, Koreatown, and East Hollywood.


To learn more about how you can get involved in Los Angeles’ first CicLAvia, please contact us at
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