This past Sunday I had the pleasure of participating in Los Angeles’ first ever CicLAvia, a 8 mile route of urban streets closed to car traffic and open to bikers and pedestrians.  In a city where one answers to the car, it was a mighty call to convince the powers that be to give the engines a break and to let the people rev up the power of the feet machine.

I biked the whole route from LA City College down through MacArthur Park and over to Boyle Heights.  It was really empowering to be on the open street- free of cars.  There was a certain calm among the crowd as they cycled and laughed and enjoyed sidewalk lemonade stands.  Some animated the route with sidewalk chalk drawings.  Bands added beats on the street.   Frisbee flew in the park, kids wheeled their scooters and adults of all ages cycled and walked the asphalt.  You could see humans inhabiting the space.  And you saw the space.  With different eyes.    It felt like the city was ours, we were communing in a way that normally doesn’t happen in Los Angeles.

My route- my map (google maps is TOO much! love it)


~ by maureenmoore on October 13, 2010.

2 Responses to “CicLAvia”

  1. Mo, I can even FEEL the refreshing of this experience just reading about it! You may or may not know that I not only lived in Highland Park and then South Pasadena for a combined 11 years, and that more than 20 years ago, but I also worked in the Arco Towers in downtown for 6 years. I can’t even imagine the changes in increased population, activity, congestion, etc. (unfortunately) that the years have wrought, but in any case, to bike or walk the streets of this 8-mile stretch in such an environment as you describe, yes, must feel like a breath of fresh air–wow! Particularly love imagining the marks of simple living and enjoyment at its best via lemonade stands, people activities at the park, etc. I hope we don’t ever lose this kind of “stuff!” Merz

    • Didn’t know about you working downtown! Wow what a changed place it must be. Would love to give you a tour of ‘my’ L.A. And Highland Park just may be my next neighborhood…we’ll see where I land. In the meantime, here’s to lemonade! We’ve got to grow our own lemons to keep the sweet life. xo

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