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Mayor and Council Announce Car-Free Streets for CicLAvia on October 10th

By David Markland
Published: Thursday, September 23, 2010, at 05:56PM
CicLAvia Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilmembers Eric Garcetti, Jose Huizar and Tom LaBonge join with cycling advocates on Wednesday for the official announcement of October's CicLAvia route.

Angelenos will be able to celebrate 10-10-10 by literally playing in the steets.

On October 10th, an eight mile ribbon of city streets will be closed off to cars for CicLAvia, a five hour event aimed at encouraging the public to walk, skate or ride a bike.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilmembers Eric Garcetti, Jose Huizar, Tom LaBonge and Bill Rosendahl joined cycling advocates on Wednesday to officially announce L.A.'s first "open road" day, the path of which will run between Melrose and the 101 to the west and 4th Street near Hollenbeck Park to the East.

On the event's website, participants are encouraged to "walk, bike, skateboard, skate, run, dance, explore, hang out, walk dogs, or come up with your own exciting activities."

Villaraigosa said that he had seen similar events in Copenhagen and Mexico City, and believed Los Angeles needed its own open street day to "give people a break from the stress of car traffic," and show them "what's possible if more of us get on a bike and out of our cars."

Councilmembers Garcetti and Huizar expressed their belief that the event would create community, giving neighbors a chance to get to know each other.

The event is inspired by the ciclovías of Bogotá, Colombia, which began 30 years ago as a response to growing traffic and air pollution.

Downtown, the October 10th event will run east on 7th to Spring, north to 1st, over to Central, down to 4th, and then east past the Los Angeles River. "Soft closures" at major intersections will allow autos to cross the route on normal light cycles. The CicLAvia site has more information and a detailed route and crossing map.

The city is covering the costs of road closures and public safety, while CicLAvia has raised over $70,000 so far for additional expenses. The group hopes to expand the event to multiple neighborhoods in 2011.

"It is my hope that events like CicLAvia will make cycling, skating, and walking more prevalent around this great city and help Angelenos feel more connected with their great communities," the Mayor said.

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