Last Sunday’s CicLAvia was one of the most pleasurable yet. Although the route was short, at just over six miles, Wilshire Boulevard is the heart of Los Angeles – or the heart, at least, of the vast portion of the city south of Mulholland. In the years since it began as a dirt path through a beanfield, it has accumulated major parks, hundreds of significant and often beautiful buildings (several of them Art Deco masterpieces), world-class museums and galleries, and a richly-diverse population representing every race, dozens of cultures, and all levels of income.
Wilshire is also the busiest transportation corridor in the city, and perhaps the country—but it was never busier than during CicLAvia!
Nor more tranquil: 150,000 happy humans strolling, skating, and pedaling down a broad boulevard make no sound beyond the whisper of bike chains and murmur of conversation. With both sides of the road allocated to the event, we reveled in quiet, spaciousness, and community. Cars take up so much room, and ban us from knowing each other with their dictates of physical isolation, noise, and speed. CicLAvia, to put it simply, made room for us to be human together. Even as it made room for more people traveling down the corridor than Wilshire could ever accommodate in motorcars.
It also allowed far more people than usually can do so to sample the wares of restaurants, bars, and other local establishments of every sort—or at least of the ones that were clever enough to open on a Sunday.
Since I’ve been focussing lately on bikes and development on this blog, I’m going to skew the picture slection to show how valuable bicycling can be to the local economy. If you want to see the entire photo set on Flickr, start here.
Lined up at an artisanal cookie shop in the Miracle Mile
Hitting a local faux-Mex cantina
Cruising for burgers
The bar at LACMA
All this was just in the Miracle Mile, which actually is just a mile long. But the scenes were repeated everywhere there was food, drink, or celebration along the route.
Thank you , CicLAvia; you’re always LA’s happiest day!