CicLAvia Recap and Photos
CicLAvia: Iconic Wilshire Boulevard didn’t disappoint on Sunday (except for one car vs. bike incident). The crowds came out en masse, but the route—a 6.3-mile stretch between Museum Row and Downtown Los Angeles—was both manageable and enjoyable for the majority bikers, walkers, joggers and skaters alike. The day was also a chance for Angelenos to examine one of the oldest thoroughfares in LA from a different perspective—out of their cars—and we took full advantage. LAist covered the entire route, riding the circuit and soaking in the art, architecture and great people-watching along the way.
Things kicked off at 9 am on Sunday at a press conference in front of LACMA with CicLAvia organizers and special guests. James Cuno, CEO and chair of Getty Trust, spoke about CicLAvia as part of the initiative Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. Kudos to The Getty for also developing a cool little booklet—The Modernist’s Guide to Iconic Wilshire Boulevard—a pocket-sized history guide to buildings and sites along the route.
Aaron Paley, co-founder and the executive director of CicLAvia, talked about the future of the event in LA, including the possibility of expanding CicLAvia to a monthly event. Paley also said they’re in talks with the city of Beverly Hills for a possible future CicLAvia (and we’ll believe that one when we see it!). The ever-lively councilman Tom LaBonge stepped in for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and incoming Mayor Eric Garcetti, who were both attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Las Vegas. He peppered both Paley and the crowd with pop quiz questions about Wilshire and LA. (We learned from the councilman that Grand Avenue was originally named Charity Street, but the city council re-named it in the 1800s because no one like saying they “lived on Charity.”)
Actress Stana Katic, co-star of ABC’s Castle, concluded the press conference, talking about her similar initiative, the Alternative Travel Project (ATP), which asks people to go car-free for just one day. She quoted a Greek proverb that speaks to the current generation’s responsibility for the future: “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they’ll never sit in.” After the opening ceremony, Katic and a group of school children headed Downtown on bike to enjoy the sights and sounds of Wilshire car-free.