CicLAvia: Cars Banned for a Day

Pedal and pedestrian power ruled as participants took part in the city's third CicLAvia event

Sunday Los Angeles became a city without cars. For at least a few hours.

Pedal and pedestrian power ruled as participants took part in the city's third CicLAvia event, a festival encouraging the public to rediscover their city by not using a car.

"We all know that we're the Automobile capital of the world. The city that's addicted to that single passenger automobile. But we're writing a new chapter," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "A chapter that says we have to share the road. A chapter that says we have to enjoy our streets and our communities."

More: Map of the Route

Bicycle riders, skaters and walkers traversed the 10.5 main route along Seventh Street through New Hampshire Avenue to Heliotrope Avenue, just north of the Hollywood (101) Freeway. Local businesses championed the event which brought thousands of new visitors to area.

"This is a win-win. This is about getting out and exercising. This is about enjoying out communities, and this is about economic development," said Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel.

Sunday's route added two new spurs to the event's previous 7.5 mile course which was held in April-- one from City Hall to El Pueblo de Los Angeles and another through the Fashion District.

"We want Angelinos to explore their city in ways that are completely different from their normal experience," Aaron Paley, Producer and co-founder of  CicLAvia said earlier this week. "It creates a new park that exists for a bit of time then goes away. It creates a park space without the investment."

The city recently completed 20 miles of sharrows along City streets and opened new bike lanes on 1st and 7th streets that were part of the route.

"Los Angeles streets are for everyone. Some people reported… that we are closing streets. Today is about opening streets. It's about opening streets for bicyclists and people who want to stroll with their families," said City Councilman Eric Garcetti.

CicLAvia was modeled after a weekly event that started in Bogota, Colombia and is partially funded by a city grant of $200,000.

Organizers hope to expand the idea into other areas including USC, Santa Monica via Culver City, and further east into Boyle Heights to accommodate larger crowds. Long Beach and the San Fernando Valley are also under consideration.

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