Sunday, LA opened up some of its busiest streets to people, and the result sounds astounding. The video above is by the hardworking folks at Streetfilms.
The name CicLAvia comes from ciclovía, which translates from Spanish to “bike path.” However, ciclovías can also be large celebrations where streets are closed to motor vehicle traffic. Starting in the late 1970s, Bogotá began to close off a pathway of city streets to cars, basically turning them into parks. The city now does this every Sunday and on holidays:
Los Angeles took this idea and tried it out Sunday, and an estimated 100,000 people took advantage of the closed pathway of typically busy streets to go out an celebrate.
I also love their terminology. They aren’t closing the streets to motor vehicle traffic, they are opening them up to everything else.
Seattle closes a stretch of Lake Washington Blvd on some Sundays during the summer for “Bicycle Sunday,” but these videos make me wonder if we can’t try something even more ambitious. Maybe open up Westlake and Eastlake to make something of a big Lake Union loop. Or we could open the I-5 express lanes. Or we could open up the entirety of Aurora Ave and the viaduct. Imagine being able to hang out with a bunch of people on top of the viaduct, then ride straight through the city in complete safety. That would be wonderful.