On Sunday in Morelia, Mexico, I was walking along the main street near my hotel and it seemed that something unusual was going on. The street was empty of cars, and some sort of event was going on. I saw a few cyclists here and there in the distance, but not the sort that look all hardcore and determined to go fast and determinedly on their way, but instead the more leisurely stop-and-smell-the-flowers sort. I wondered almost immediately if I had run into a local ciclovía, and a few minutes later, a sign confirmed this. Wonderful!
I’ve been waiting for such a thing to come to LA for a while now, since I heard of it last year when I part (and presented) in a public discussion downtown at the Artwalk about bike issues in the city, and had heard that it was becoming more widespread (it started in South America – Colombia) but it was an unexpected treat to find one right outside my hotel room! Here are three more picture. Click for larger view.
It was great to see lots of people out and about just using the streets with no cars present. This included cyclists of all ages, pedestrians, (runners and walkers), and rollerbladers. There was a lot of milling about and just enjoying the Sunday in a carefree way that was quite delicious to witness.
So, here’s the good news for LA I learned today*: The first ciclovía is coming to LA in September!! Hurrah! It’ll be called CycLAvia and there’s more to learn about it here and here (including the route). This is another small victory in the battle to get away from the car-dominated view of life in the city here. Thank goodness (and those who worked hard to bring this event to LA). Let’s hope that it is a success and we get more of this activity…