11 Oct

We need more events like this one.

 (Gina Ferazzi, Los Angeles Times / October 11, 2010)

In Los Angeles Sunday, an estimated 100,000 bicyclists, runners, walkers, skateboarders, rollerbladers – all turned out for the city’s first CicLAvia – a bike festival focused on fitness, alternative means of transportation and just plain ol’ outdoor fun.

According to Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times, CicLAvia was far more successful than organizers expected.  The event took place on a 7.5 mile stretch of streets in East Hollywood – an area reported as generally jammed up with motorists. 

Participants at CicLAvia – commented that the city felt smaller and more manageable.  That is exactly what happens when you slow down and walk, bike or even run through an area – you see it, you feel it.

Governments at all levels should take notice.  People of all ages, shapes and sizes want to be able to bike, walk and run safely in their cities and neighborhoods.

We need to have the room and the means to get outside, together in a safe and protected environment.  If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere.

People in cities and towns across the country want their streets to belong to them – not just cars/trucks. 

It is past time to transform our streets – and make them work for everyone.

I like the way these participants explained it:

“We’re alone in our cars. We pass above whole neighborhoods on freeways and never actually see them. Today, I’ve seen buildings I never took the time to lay eyes on before. Today gave people a chance to just slow down and it connected the neighborhoods of the city in a new way. That’s important,” said Rafael Navar, 32, who was taking a break on the 4th Street Bridge with his brother, sister-in-law and their three young kids.” (L.A. Times, Joel Rubin)

It was not lost on Cyndi Hubach, 49, and Kevin Mulcahy, 45, that the 45 minutes or so they took to cover the route may have been faster than what it would have taken in typical stop-and-go traffic. For them, and many others, that realization led to musings of what life could be like in Los Angeles — a city inhospitable to cyclists.

“Being able to ride freely and safely right through what you knew were usually really dangerous intersections, it got you thinking about what it could be like if the city created a network of dedicated bike routes. Getting from place to place would take on a whole new light,” Mulcahy, an architect, said. (L.A. Times, Joel Rubin)

Read article: “An estimated 100,000 turn out for L.A.’s inaugural CicLAvia event



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