LOS ANGELES, Calif. /California Newswire/ — L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, councilmembers, and bike community members this week invited Angelenos to get out of their cars and onto the streets for the City’s fourth CicLAvia; Sunday, April 15, 2012.
“CicLAvia represents a sea change in our city,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “We’re getting off our addiction to the single passenger automobile by creating infrastructure for bikes, increasing public transit options, and making it easier for Angelenos to get from point A to point B—with or without their cars. CicLAvia is an amazing example of what happens we get out of our cars.”
On Sunday, April 15, 2012, over 100,000 Angelenos are expected to participate in the City’s fourth CicLAvia event. From 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, a 10-mile stretch of City streets will be closed to motor vehicles. Streets will be open to all residents to rediscover their city on alternative modes of mobility.
“People love CicLAvia because it is incredibly fun, and there is a sense of camaraderie and community that is rare for a city as large and diverse as ours,” said Aaron Paley, CicLAvia’s co-founder and producer. “Los Angeles is undergoing a transformation, and CicLAvia gives people a chance to enjoy the benefits of the city’s improved walkability, public transit, and vibrant street life while also changing how we use our streets on a daily basis.”
Members of the community feeling the lasting impact of CicLAvia’s temporary change joined the Mayor at the press conference today. After experiencing CicLAvia, many Angelenos changed their day-to-day habits by beginning to ride their bikes to work, using more public transportation, charting a healthier lifestyle, or shopping locally.
“CicLAvia showed me that I could bike and take transit more in my daily life,” said Angeleno Steven Nancarrow. ”I started by simply biking to friends that lived nearby. Now I bike or take the Gold Line to work, and I have convinced more people to do the same.”
Local businesses also feel the lasting effects of CicLAvia’s temporary change. Some call it the “CicLAvia Bump.” Read and watch more about it HERE.
“Having just 100 people go by your shop on a bike or by foot is significantly better than 1,000 speeding by in their cars,” said Bolt Barbers founder Matt Berman, “The exposure we get from events like CicLAvia is crucially important.”
The Mayor today announced that this CicLAvia the City is partnering with the bike share company Bike Nation to provide 100 free bikes for the April 15th CicLAvia. Bikes can be reserved online HERE on a first come, first served basis with suggested donations going to CicLAvia. The confirmed renters will be able to pick up their bikes at the MacArthur Park Hub or at the El Pueblo Hub.
“There’s nothing like experiencing Los Angeles on a bicycle,” said Councilman Tom LaBonge. “You see more and it’s healthy. CicLAvia gives us the safe opportunity to get a two-wheeled view of this great city.”
The Mayor also announced a new Spanish language public safety campaign for cyclists in Los Angeles. The LA Department of Transportation and LA County Bicycle Coalition City of Lights program partnered with workers utilizing the Bici Libre bicycle repair shop to create a slogan and design for the public safety posters. The winning design will is on display at CBS bus shelters and a video PSA can be found online HERE.
“Besides being an incredibly successful community gathering event, promoting healthy living and a cleaner environment, CicLAvia has become the single most important tool we have to encourage more bicycling and pedestrian use in the City of Los Angeles,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “From its inception, CicLAvia has helped everybody from lawmakers to residents see for themselves the benefits of increased bicycle use throughout our City, and I am happy to join the Mayor and Council in support of this worthwhile event.”
CicLAvia is a part of the City’s efforts to promote a more sustainable Los Angeles by creating the infrastructure for the mobility of people—not just cars. The City is improving bike infrastructure, diversifying our public transit options, and making it easier for Angelenos to get where they’re going.
On March 1, 2011, the City adopted a long-term Bike Plan to build 1,680 miles of bikeways throughout the city. The city hit its first goal of 40 miles of bikeways installed for the fiscal year 2011/2012. While the City is installing more bikeways than ever, it is also adding the infrastructure needed to support more bike use. Since Villaraigosa took office, LA has increased the number of bike racks in the City from 2,456 to 4,400, a nearly 80% jump.
With Measure R’s help, the City is expanding its regional rail network to give Angelenos more public transit options. The first phase of the Exposition line, connecting downtown to Culver City, will open on April 28th. Last fall, Metro broke ground on Exposition Phase Phase II and by 2015 we will have the first rail connection between the Westside and Downtown in 50 years. Work will also soon begin on the Crenshaw Line, the Westside Subway and the Regional Connector. All of these improvements will make it easier for Angelenos to do their day-to-day business or attend special events like CicLAvia.
Inspired by Bogotá’s weekly Ciclovia created over 35 years ago as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets, CicLAvia is a collaboration between the City of Los Angeles, the non-profit organization CicLAvia, and the cycling community to encourage healthy, active transportation and connect communities across the city.
“CicLAvia brings together people of all stripes to work together for a healthier city,” said CicLAvia Board Member Miguel Luna, “As a Colombian native, the origin of ciclovias, I’m honored to be part of this movement here in my LA.”
This year’s route will stretch through South LA, Boyle Heights, Little Tokyo, Downtown, Westlake and MacArthur Park, Koreatown, and into East Hollywood at the Bicycle District. Click HERE for a map of the route.
CicLAvia is one part of the Mayor’s “all-of-the-above” strategy to build a more sustainable City. Los Angeles is: 1) increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy, 2) building a 21st century public transit system, 3) expanding green space, 3) recycling and conserving water, and 4) helping to grow a green economy. A quick fact sheet about Mayor’s environmental issues is attached. Click HERE to watch the video.
CicLAvia is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting public health, green transportation, open space, economic development, and community building through car-free public events. With the full support of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the Los Angeles City Council, Police Department, Fire Department, Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Works, the Department of Water and Power, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Los Angeles County of Public Health, CicLAvia is an innovative model for creating new public space and enriching civic life.
CicLAvia is free of charge and open to all. No reservations are required. For more information, or to download maps, please visit www.ciclavia.org.
Support for CicLAvia:
CicLAvia is made possible through the generosity of its supporting partners, including RENEW (Renew Environments for Nutrition, Exercise and Wellness), an initiative of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro); the U.S. Department of Energy; the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition; and REI.
Generous support for CicLAvia is provided by the Annenberg Foundation/Metabolic Studio, the Rosenthal Family Foundation, the Wasserman Foundation, the California Endowment, the Goldhirsh Foundation, the David Bohnett Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Roth Family Foundation, Wells Fargo, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, and Occidental College. Sponsors include Metrolink, Intelligentsia Coffee, LA Weekly, L.A. Downtown News, Indie Printing, Laemmle Theatres, iZip Stores, and Tern Bicycles.