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If there are two complaints people have with CicLAvia they are,
in order of how often I hear them: cyclists are racing by and
there’s not enough space to walk and that the event doesn’t last
long enough to truly explore the entire route.
CicLAvia VII: Iconic Wilshire
Corridor, seeks to address both of those concerns. First, the
time of the event is longer, lasting 7 hours from 9 am to 4 pm.
Second, each end has “pedestrian zone” where bike riders won’t be
allowed for several blocks. One zone is at One Wilshire in Downtown
Los Angeles. The other is at Fairfax Ave in Miracle Mile, right
near all of the wonderful Mid-Wilshire museums. In addition,
CicLAvia and the Getty Center have teamed to bring a series of
architecture tours along the iconic route.
“This is our dream CicLAvia. The route is ideal for
pedestrians, for people who love the history of Los Angeles
architecture, foodies, families, cyclists and everyone who wants to
experience the grand thoroughfare of Los Angeles from a new
perspective,” CicLAvia Executive Director Aaron Paley
said in a media release.
As part of Pacific Standard Time
Presents, CicLAvia will include programs designed to
provide participants with a deeper look at the architectural
history of Wilshire Boulevard. Radio broadcasts by noted
architectural researcher and commentator Edward Lifson will be
available for participants to download and listen to as free
podcasts. The radio series will tell stories that run quickly
through Wilshire’s beginnings more than a century ago and its
pre-WWII boom years, to focus on the modern era, with stories and
sounds. As of this writing, the downloads aren’t on CicLAvias
website, but when they are you can find them
Going from east to west, let’s look at some of the attractions
of CicLAvia VII.
CicLAvia begins at the “One Wilshire Hub” at Grand and Wilshire
in Downtown Los Angeles. As mentioned, this hub has a large
“bicycle free zone” stretching three blocks west to Figueroa and
One of the iconic images of Columbias Ciclovia, the event that
started the worldwide open street festival phenomenon, is of
thousands of people taking a dance class and later an exercise
class together. Finally, CicLAvia is adding that type of
experience. The One Wilshire Hub will feature a climbing wall,
pilates and art pilates, belly dance classes, bicycle helmet
decoration and give-aways.
Or, you can just walk in the street for a couple of blocks free
of anyone on any wheels, minus those in wheelchairs. That’s pretty
Wilshire and Figueroa is also home to Metro Center, the second
largest transit hub in Los Angeles. Red, Purple, Blue, Expo and
Silver Lines all meet at Expo Center. Metro staff has quietly
worried that the station will be overwhelmed with CicLAvia
participants and their bicycles, but thus far I have not seen any
warnings from Metro to avoid the station.
At each Hub, CicLAvia participants will also be able to grab a
free copy of The Modernists Guide to Iconic Wilshire
Boulevard (or you can
download it here.) Researched and written by Catherine
Gudis and designed by Colleen Corcoran, the guide allows
readers to appreciate and understand the context for modernism and
the role that Wilshire’s built environment has played as the city’s
cultural and demographic makeup has changed.
Wilshire and Grand is also the
start of Los Angeles Walks “WalkLAvia”
event. The walk begins at 9:15 am, but the feet powered
non-profit recommends arriving right at CicLAvia’s
opening at 9 am. They plan to walk the entire route, arriving at
Fairfax near 1:30 pm. They’ll stop at all the major hubs, but take
an extra long break at the Koreatown Hub for lunch.
Traveling west, walkers will find themselves mixing with
bicyclists until MacArthur Park at Alvarado and Wilshire. MacArthur
Park has been a part of every CicLAvia, and is a regular place for
activities, restaurants, and more food trucks. Of course, a large
urban park such as MacArthur is a sort of CicLAvia extension on its
own as a carfree place to sit and relax by the fountain, with or
without street food, and cool your wheels (or souls) free of
MacArthur Park will also feature a yoga area. The fun at the
park doesn’t end at 4 pm. a post-event concert, including a
children’s show and an evening show, will all take place at the
Image from the 2011 Koreatown BBQ Festival in 2011.
From there, we head west to the Koreatown Hub. As luck would
have it, CicLAvia coincides with the 5th Annual Koreatown BBQ
Festival. I’m not sure that needs a lot more explanation. In
addition to the gigantic BBQ party, the hub features music,
aerobics, crossfit, cardio kickboxing and, yes, more yoga.
The Koreatown Hub is also the starting point for a second large,
Meetup with Yelpers, ie people that use Yelp, at noon for a
walk from Koreatown to Downtown. Grab your BBQ and a drink and get
ready to work off those calories. If you walk with Yelp, you’ll
receive a free Yelp t-shirt.
From there we next meet the smaller Mid-Wilshire Hub. The
smallest of the hubs, Mid-Wilshire features a picnic area and more
live music. There’s no yoga planned, but you can always do some on
The Westernmost Hub is the Miracle Mile Hub. This Hub
features…cars! Ok, it features a lot of great things,
including The Modernists Guide to Iconic Wilshire
Boulevard, gigantic oscar statues, free refreshments from
Johnny Rockets, and a a Photo Op Stop, Tattoo Parlour, and
Interactive Spin Art Studio, provided by the Los Angeles County
Museum of Art.
But yes, there will be cars too. The Peterson Automotive Museum
will be bringing a collection of its vintage cars out to the street
corner for public viewing. There will also be events for the
But the most appropriate event of the day is programmed by For
Your Art (FYA). FYA celebrates CicLAvia with a temporary
public art installation of works by Ben Jones and Ruben Ochoa.
Organized to celebrate the first CicLAvia’s first pedestrian zone,
in the city where “nobody walks”, the works reflect the
increasingly pedestrian-centric bent of the city and the event.
FYA’s engagement campaign for the event, Stop and Smile
#ForYourArt, encourages pedestrians to document and share
their experience with the works during #CICLAVIA (make sure to
share these photos via Twitter and Facebook!).
Be sure to check back on Friday for the Streetsblog CicLAvia
scavenger hunt. Fun for the whole family.