L.A. Opens its Streets and Residents Take Advantage

Sunday saw the sixth incarnation of L.A.'s popular CicLAvia event, which closes long stretches of city streets to automobile traffic, and opens them to bikes and pedestrians. The latest route, from downtown to the sea, attracted 150,000 people.
April 23, 2013, 2pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Modeled on Ciclovia, a 30-year-old open streets event held in Bogota, Colombia, CicLAvia provides an opportunity for Angelenos to share in the city's burgeoning bicycle culture, see their city in a different way, and appreciate the variety of modes who seek to utilize the city's streets.   

After five successful events held over the last three years in central Los Angeles, last weekend's event was the first in which street closures extended all the way to the ocean. And a record crowd estimated at 150,000 took advantage of the closure of Venice Boulevard, "a streetcar route in the bygone era of Los Angeles' Red Cars."

"With an eye on his legacy in the waning days of his eight years in office, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa described the event as emblematic of a city reducing its reliance on the automobile, with 148 miles of new bike lanes and a rapidly expanding network of rail lines," say Michael Finnegan, Samantha Schaefer and Abby Sewell.

"It's not a walkable city yet, but it's becoming a walkable city," said Villaraigosa.

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Published on Monday, April 22, 2013 in The Los Angeles Times
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