There are plenty of other blogs and news websites today talking about last Sunday’s CicLAvia. We encourage all our readers to go out and peruse the wealth of CicLAvia experiences and information popping up all over the internet today. We would like to give a big “Thank You” to the CicLAvia steering committee, Mayor Villaraigosa, LAPD, LADOT, all the volunteers and vendors, and the cyclists, pedestrians, and runners who were…
100,000 Strong for CicLAvia
With some estimates reaching up to 100,000 riders, it’s safe to say that Los Angeles’ first CicLAvia was a success beyond anyone’s dreams. LADOT Bike Blog was proud to be a part of the counting effort, and rather than give a comprehensive report of the event, we’d like to show you our little slice of CicLAvia. You can take a look at all our pictures, as always, at our flickr page.
Before we start, here’s a video from CicLAvia.
Early Start at MacArthur Park
Not being satisfied with calling for more volunteers, LADOT Bike Blog went the extra mile and volunteered ourselves. The volunteers, almost all current or former planning students from UCLA and USC, got together at MacArthur Park around 9:00AM.
Once gathered, we were all debriefed on our duties by CicLAvia organizers Bobby Gadda and Stephen Villavaso (of LADOT Bike Blog fame). Here is as good a place as any to give our deepest thanks to Stephen, Bobby, and all the other members of the CicLAvia steering committee for all their amazing work. The volunteers were split into groups of two and dispersed to 5 nodes along the 7.5 mile route to engage in 15 minutes counts spaced one hour apart. We were given clipboards, informational packets, counting sheets, and some antique traffic counters supplied by LADOT.
New Hampshire & Beverley
LADOT Bike Blog was dispatched to Node 1 at the intersection of Beverley and New Hampshire. LADOT Bike Blog’s counting partner was Isidro Cerda, a recent USC Masters of Planning graduate and planner for the City of Los Angeles.
We sat across New Hampshire Street from each other throughout the morning while counting bicyclists, pedestrians, runners, and “other” (skateboards, tricycles, rollerskates, etc.). For each 15 minute period in which we did our counts, we counted over 500 bicyclists, over 100 pedestrians, and a few dozen runners and “other”s. While such descriptors are useful for statistical analysis, they don’t nearly do justice to the parade of joy, diversity, and expression that we got to witness Sunday morning.
City Hall was also strongly represented, as Mayor Villaraigosa and Council Member Garcetti both led rides along the CicLAvia route.
Throughout our count, curious neighbors came up to Isidro and I to ask about CicLAvia. Overwhelmingly positive, families steadily spilled out onto the sidewalks throughout the day. Kids got out their scooters and skateboards and got to experience playing in streets they had always been told to stay out of. One woman we spoke with practically came to tears when trying to describe how the CicLAvia had “made [her] street blossom”. After our last count at 11:45, we went back to MacArthur Park to turn in our counts and our gear.
Family, Fun, Free – The Spirit of CicLAvia
After turning in our count information, LADOT Bike Blog puttered around between downtown and the western end of the route at Heliotrope and Melrose. No matter where we were – the dodgeball game on 7th Street, the impromptu fixie art installation on the 110 overpass, getting a meal in the shade on Spring Street, chatting with friendly LADOT traffic officers at Park View & Wilshire, or dancing to the DJs at Orange 20 – we were constantly struck by the sense of community permeating the air. The joy and near-disbelief of euphoric Angelinos was readily apparent in every face we saw. Most encouraging of all was the number of children and families, many of them riding their bikes on LA’s streets for the first time.
LADOT Bike Blog will most likely have more to say on CicLAvia later this week, but for now we’d just like to leave you with some great photos of Angelinos getting to enjoy their streets and their City in a way few could have imagined a month ago.
Don’t forget! You can view all the LADOT Bike Blog photos from CicLAvia at our flickr page.