CicLAvia on Kickstarter


Earlier this year, Los Angeles hosted it's first CicLAvia (blogged here previously)— an event which closed off 7.5 miles of city streets to cars for a full day allowing cyclists and pedestrians full use of the roadways. It was a huge success with over 100,000 residents showing up on 2 wheels rather than 4. Yes, this happened in Los Angeles, dare I say one of the most "car-positive" cities in the world. The organizers are working on plans for the next CicLAvia for 2011 and have teamed up with Kickstarter to help raise some funds. They are hoping to bring in $5K, and have a bit over $1K right now. I just donated because I think it's a super worthwhile cause, and because I ride my bike in LA on the streets all the time anyway and being able to do it every once and a while without worrying about getting run over is awesome.


[Top photo by Alex Thompson, bottom by Waltarrrrr]


  1. These things make traffic an absolute mess. It is nice and I support bicyclers, but I really hope this will be done rarely and only on Saturdays.

    1. I’ve been in Los Angeles my entire life and this was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had here.

      To the folks complaining about the traffic “caused” by this event, please donate some money to help advertise event and perhaps there will be less of you complaining that you didn’t know there were going to be street closures. Also please note that short of a few inadequate bike lanes, cars get 100% of the roads 100% of the time so please keep that in mind when you feel you’re being inconvenienced by people that live here too.

  2. yes.
    maybe they can use some of the funds to ADVERTISE that DTLA
    will become IMPASSABLE for cars from other parts of town, for example,
    trying to get to LATC to watch some theater and missing the dang show by FORTY minutes.

    get some permanent bike lanes instead of throwing workaday Angelenos off
    with random eco-dressing events…

    (it was my last chance to see that show, so yes, i’m pro-bike yet peeved.)

  3. Antinous, again i love the -concept- of clearing all the cars to the car gulag.
    out of sight, out of mind.

    but not only do we get hundreds of idling car carboning up a storm with their idling
    engines, but people trying to come into DTLA to drop a little support for it’s new thriving
    end up in hell along with the businesses (like the Los Angeles Theater Center) they are trying to support (or work at).

    if i KNEW there was going to be a massive cartrap, at least i could have planned for it..
    and avoided idling my engine for 45mins just trying to get out. after giving up on LATC.

    more permanent solutions are better.

    1. You do realize that you could have turned your car off instead of idling the engine for 45 mins right? I know, I know, what if traffic moved a foot or two and you had to waste precious seconds starting back up just to inch forward. I will give you that forewarning would be a good thing. To that point…

      In Bogota, Colombia they have been doing CiclaVia for a long time, not sure how long, and they do it on every Sunday. Nobody there seemed too crabby about it.

      So, ultimately, yes to this idea. As a frequent cyclist and a constant user of air it annoys me that most people are happy to sit in their air conditioned cars and generally make a stink in more than one way. Therefore, annoyed car owners can be annoyed and that is just fine by me.

    2. I agree more permanent solutions are better. But, there was information about what streets were going to be closed. It is safe to assume that if streets are closed near where you will be traveling traffic will be worse. This wasn’t a surprise event, it was planned in advanced and that info was publicly available.

    3. “more permanent solutions are better.”

      I agree, but it’s going to take a few years to ban cars from inside city limits of LA entirely, so until then we’re going to have to play nice with each other.

  4. It never ceases to amaze me that the mere mention of the word “bicycle” suddenly brings out all the haters. Keep lining the pockets of those Saudi princes my friends.

    How about we all donate $5 to the kickstarter campaign for every “car positive” comment in this thread?

  5. I wonder how many pedestrians got/almost got run over by road law-ignoring cyclists during this stunt. I almost got killed by the Critical Massholes in San Diego cuz I was using the crosswalk when the herd decided to run a red light and almost mow me down. I’m sorry but until cyclists start demonstrating more respect for the road and ALL those that use it I have no sympathy for your “cause”.

    1. Hey, “cyclists are regulation flouting jerks guy”, I can’t tell you how many times I have almost been run down on my bike by some dip-stick in a car that wasn’t paying attention or not following the rules. Hell just today some jackass at a light wasn’t paying attention, texting at a red light (that we were both stopped at) he didn’t see the light change, I proceeded and then he gunned it while still texting and came within inches of hitting me. I was in a bike lane. So yeah, I can play “motorists are regulation flouting jerks guy” to your opposite viewpoint. The point is that there will always be jerks that don’t follow the rules. What vehicle one operates makes little difference aside from the fact that you have a better chance of surviving a collision with a bike than a car. And one makes you fat and runs on money and the other runs on fat and saves you money.

      Also Critical Mass is mostly for douchy-hipster-activist-wanna-bes anyway. So I totally understand your frustration. Their typical antics aren’t really helping anything. But neither is your myopic attitude.

    2. That stuff you’re complaining about has nothing to do with the One Hundred Thousand people who did this legally, in LA.

      Bikers may or may not be selfish people, but at least they’re not adding to hot air.

    3. I wonder how many pedestrians got/almost got run over by road law-ignoring MOTORISTS every day. I almost got killed by a motorists in Santa Monica cuz I was using the crosswalk when the herd decided to not yield as required and almost mow me down. I’m sorry but until motorists start demonstrating more respect for the road and ALL those that use it I have no sympathy for your “cause”.

      This event isn’t just for bikes, its for pedestrians on foot too.
      There are assholes everywhere, they shouldn’t be the ones guiding the discussion or your thoughts on the issue.

  6. In Bogota, where this was originated (it’s called just the generic ‘ciclovia’ there), this has become a very positive and widely accepted part of the landscape. However, it arrived there co-sequent with an extensive, city-wide re-imagining of how transit should work in modern city centres (including the marvellous TransMilenio rapid bus system and the part-time pedestrianization of a number of major arteries). It may be that this kind of large-scale paradigm shift is necessary for bringing about any real re-imagining in North American cities.

    Bogota was also lucky enough to have a mayor with some vision, who was able (and willing) to impose such traffic changes in a top-down way. I despair that, in North America, there is a distinct lack of vision at play that will preclude similar initiative, and one wonders whether privately organized events will succeed in convincing them to take such a big leap.

  7. Here’s a thought.

    People have suggested for years the notion of two-tiered roadways – one road above another road. The problem is that in terms of automobiles, this is structurally tricky and the design complicates traffic flow and interchanges.

    But what if instead you took a regular road and built a bicycle only road above it? Underneath, the cars and trucks go along as normal. Above, the cyclists can take the same routes to and fro, getting them through the densest parts of a city without danger or hassle. And since most cyclists don’t travel very far compared to the distances cars travel, these roads need only be in the densest regions of traffic and population, mitigating construction expenses.

    ~D. Walker

  8. This made up for the lack of an LA Marathon Bike Tour this year, which bummed me out big time. Riding through LA’s streets without car traffic feels as magical as Christmas morning. Everyone should give it a whirl.

    I think a lot of the hatred toward bikes originates from poor infrastructure. Bicycles don’t fit neatly anywhere in the traffic code. They’re definitely not as heavy, fast, or deadly as cars, and shouldn’t be considered such. But they’re different from people on foot, too. Most people don’t see them often enough to truly grow accustomed to them, so when they do see bicycles they aren’t sure how to react.

    LA’s street design barely acknowledges the existence of bicycles, too. It’s easy to think that only two types of vehicles–cars & trucks–should be allowed on roads, because their design allows for nothing else.

    So the bicycle hatred comes from ignorance. And it’s not even a willful ignorance. There simply is no street-level vocabulary to even begin to describe bicycle traffic in any serious way, beyond the occasional bicycle lane, or those heartbreakingly small “Bike Route” and “Share the Road” signs.

    Back when I lived in Boston they closed Memorial Drive on Sundays in the summer, and it was absolutely alive with all kinds of kooky activity. It was also a predictable–after years of tradition, drivers had grown accustomed to the road closure and were trained to avoid Mem Drive on Sundays by instinct. Traffic moved along as usual. The world did not end.

    But the Mem Drive street closure had to start somewhere, I’m sure, and I bet there was lots of carbon monoxide-tinged vitriol against it. CicLAvia is the beginning of what should become a grand civic tradition that makes LA an even more fun place to live.

    Remember “fun,” people?

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