CicLAvia Rides into South Los Angeles
Sahra Sulaiman of Streetsblog LA has been documenting the bicycling events in South Los Angeles for two years now, seeing a unique brand of bike movement emerging from the area. Today, CicLAvia, the car-free open streets event aimed at getting cyclists and pedestrians into the road, is heading into South Los Angeles for the first time in its four-year history.
Indeed, this opportunity allows the South Los Angeles community to "counter persistent negative stereotypes by introducing people to the diversity and vibrancy of the neighborhoods that comprise the area, showcasing their powerful artistic heritage and the artists carrying those (and new) legacies forward, and shining a light on those community heroes who have tirelessly worked to strengthen their communities from within." Moreover, bicycle advocacy and similar open streets event have been a growing force in South Los Angeles, with work by native and advocate Tafarai Bayne, former Ovarian Psyco Mayra Fernandez, Arturo Ramirez, Andres Ramirez from Community Health Council, and others from the area.
Sulaiman's piece explores the historic legacy of South Los Angeles, the spaces along the CicLAvia route, and the region's current efforts to promote health, well-being, and local cyclists, who are "lower-income and/or immigrant riders that bike for transportation and do not easily fit into the bike community.'"