Monday, October 11, 2010

CicLAvia, A Life Changing Moment For Los Angeles

View Of The Street At MacArthur Park

If only this is what traffic in Los Angeles looked like every day. I have countless stories, photos, videos, and memories that came out of the experience, which I haven't the time to fully express right now. I do want to give a huge thanks to the CicLAvia team that made this possible. A 100,000 seeds were planted in fostering a new understanding for what can be possible with our public spaces by simply removing cars from the picture. From kids to the elderly, cyclists and skaters, joggers and the disabled, everyone, took to the streets in droves and made for a magical experience like nothing else I have seen in Los Angeles.

I've been on many mass bike rides, but this was more than a group of people on bikes. This was not just a party on wheels rolling together, a racing peloton, or an assertion of rights, it was simply a teeming network of people coming and going and stopping where they pleased. A 7 mile microcosm of what city life could be like if we didn't get around in cars.

I wish it didn't have to stop at 3:00pm, and it's a rude awakening back to reality to see so many streets choked with cars again. Many called this a street closure, as did most reporters, because it closed the street for cars. Yet as many advocates have tried to say, this is really an opening of the street. From my conversations with people who were there, even those who were not "advocates", they instinctively got that this was truly an opening. I heard people refer to the 3:00pm cutoff, the return of cars to the street, as when the streets would be closed.

I can't wait until we can do this again. 10/10/10 was magical, everything I imagined it could be and more.


Mike said...

Could not agree more. Great comment of the Streets Opening. Can't say when I had more fun!

PlebisPower said...

This pic really sums up the city nicely - the old Downtown, improbably renewed, in the background with the small commercial strips characteristic of Los Angeles prominent and in the foreground.
But who could notice for all the cars? With the streets opened we have a chance to look and marvel at the rough jewel that is Los Angeles, and ponder the next steps so that we can polish it once again.
Read my take on CicLAvia: