CicLAvia comes to Los Angeles for the second time

Listen to an audio story by Annenberg Radio News:


So, what should we expect from the second round of CicLAvia — the open streets event that transforms miles of Los Angeles into a car-free park?

image “Bikes and people and skateboarders and families,” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.

“Blacks and Asians and Whites and Latinos, people in wheelchairs, every flavor of Los Angeles out on the street together,” echoed CicLAvia organizer Joe Linton.

The mayor’s excitement for Sunday is palpable at a preview event today. After all, he’s expecting his very famous bike friend, Lance Armstrong. Villaraigosa invited Armstrong to join when the superstar athlete texted him after the mayor’s July bike accident.

Armstrong texted: “Remember, stay on the bike.”

Not only did the mayor stay on his bike, but he pushed to make the second CicLAvia happen.
“LA is committed!” Villaraigosa said.

October’s CicLAvia was a huge success in terms of numbers and safety, board member Kyla Fullenwider said.

“We were hoping 30,000, 40,000, maybe 50,000.”

They got a turnout of 100,000, and they’re expecting that many this time, too.

“I think even the police department was surprised that it was such a peaceful, safe event,” Fullenwider said. “You know when you get a hundred thousand people on the street – who knows?”

Getting the first event up and running took a lot of grassroots organizing.

“You know, we really started to feel momentum come into place after that first one when everybody really saw what was possible,” Fullenwider said.

Fundraising the $100,000 necessary to make the event real was a little easier for the organization this time. And the city matched that contribution.

On Sunday, participants can join in anywhere along the route, which spans from Boyle Heights through downtown and all the way to East Hollywood.

Joe Linton’s advice: “Just show up and experience spontaneous joy in the city of Los Angeles.”

But CicLAvia organizers say the event is as much about fun as it is about creating a robust movement to make Los Angeles a greener, healthier and more civic-minded city.

After Sunday, there are two more CicLAvias planned for 2011 and, by October, the route will get longer.

The mayor assured everyone “there will be NO rain on Sunday.”

Time to tune up your bike, grab your sneakers, board or roller blades.