CicLAvia turns out many pros and a couple of cons

Julio Alberto Cruz

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This past Sunday, on 10/10/10, Los Angeles held its first Cicolvia, in LA known as CicLAvia, with 7.5 miles reserved mainly for bicyclists, but also for people to walk plus several activities were held throughout the route.

I was a little disappointed that some sort of flu kept me in bed and made miss the opening at 10 a.m. in Hollenbeck Park, where Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilmember Jose Huizar kicked it off.

I did, however, spend the afternoon in the downtown area and captured some photo shots (see slideshow at the bottom) of different types of people going up and down Seventh Street near the Macy’s Plaza. From young people to children were enjoying the hot day.

Some of the cons I did encounter, which were not many from my experience, was that bike riders did not enjoy much of that free fall-like feeling when coming down that hill from St. Paul Street all the way to Spring Street, where the route made a left turn towards city hall, because there were several crossing points for cars and cyclists had to make frequent stops.

I’d hope that there were more news coverage of the ciclovia, the first ever in LA (did I mention that already?) prior to it so people could know what was going on and avoid those types of halts and traffic.

Aside from that, everything I saw was fine.

There was a band playing on the sidewalk on Spring Street, and several restaurants, cafes, even bars, where open for people to grab a bite or drink during breaks.

Near city hall, on First Street and Main Street, many booths, including CicLAvia, were placed, some giving out FREE water and Powerade, others getting more info on this new event, and others enjoying the shades and breezes coming from the tall trees as they laid on the grass, taking a break from that hot sun.

Staying on First Street, on the corner of Main Street, a group of about 10 people enjoyed an hour of a FREE yoga class, which started at 1:30 p.m.

I was there for a couple of hours and did see a lot of people not only on their bicycles but walking, a handful even jogging, taking advantage of this ciclovia where who knows how often it’s going be held. Places like Bogota, Colombia have been doing this for the past 30 years, extending routes from 30 to even 60 miles, every Sunday.

Hopefully the overall turnout was positive so our city could continue this as often as possible, promoting good health for us the people and our metropolitan environment, for all Angelinos to practice and be a part of.

Click here for complete photo slideshow of CicLAvia.