Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tomorrow, the latest edition of Los Angeles CicLAvia, one of the country's most successful Open Streets program

CicLAvia is modeled on the Bogota Ciclovia program.

Many cities across the US do similar programs, aided in part by the Open Streets Project, which publishes materials and provides technical assistance.

-- Open Streets Project, National Conference, September 25th-27th, 2015, Atlanta
-- Open Streets Project blog

The Los Angeles version is probably the most successful in terms of generating the largest number of participants.  They get as many as 100,000 participants in a single day, helped by the fact that the city has over 3 million residents.

(Arguably, with more than 2.5x the number of city residents, the NYC Summer Streets program gets comparable attendance.  NYC has an active RFP process to generate activities and events during the program, which runs three consecutive Saturdays in August.)

CicLAvia gets more people out to organizing meetings, than DC did in its one effort a few years ago, at Fort Dupont.

It's supported by Los Angeles County MTA ("Metro") as a promotion for sustainable transportation--which according to LA Streetsblog provided $2 million last year and this year as primary sponsor.

Because the transit agency serves the entire county, CicLAvia is held throughout the county rather than solely within the City of Los Angeles.

They've had 12 since 2010, and have moved to a schedule with an annual event each spring and fall. And because Los Angeles is so big--over 500 square miles--they move it around the city, which is a good way to bring attention to biking and walking--and transit, since Metro is such a big supporter.

-- LACMTA Open Streets Framework

According to the document, the agency has three primary and two secondary goals for the program:

• Increase Sustainable Transportation Mode Share (Transit, Bicycle & Pedestrian)
• Provide opportunities for 1st time transit usage
• Encourage cities to develop multi-modal polices
• Other benefits include economic public health benefits and opportunities to Highlight & Promote Cultural Resources

Tomorrow it's in San Fernando Valley, showcasing a 6-mile long route.

In some of the past editions, various local groups have leveraged the event to showcase issues and/or elements of their communities, which I think is a great idea.

From the Los Angeles Times article:
The East Valley's wedge-shaped route follows Lankershim from Chandler Boulevard to the Universal/Studio City Red Line station, then heads west along Ventura, ending at Coldwater Canyon Avenue. Music, activities and food trucks will be available at four spots along the route, at Coldwater Canyon, the Studio City Farmer's Market, Universal City and the North Hollywood Arts District.

In North Hollywood, city transportation officials have staged a temporary demonstration of a cycletrack, a bike lane that physically separates cars and bikes in traffic. The organizers say it's a chance for Angelenos to try out a type of bicycle infrastructure that's uncommon in Los Angeles.

Activities will also be offered on the banks of the Los Angeles River at Laurelgrove Avenue, including nature walks, poetry readings and a scavenger hunt. 

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