CicLAvia takes over LA streets. Photos by Gary Leonard

Streets reclaimed by pedestrians and bicyclists… In the heart of Los Angeles? It may sound crazy, but on October 9, it will become reality. CicLAvia is coming, closing down 10 miles of roadways from cars, and opening them up to bikers and pedestrians.

CicLAvia is inspired by Ciclovías, which started in Bogotá, Colombia over thirty years ago to combat congestion and pollution, and spread throughout Latin America and the United States.

“Ciclovías bring families outside of their homes to enjoy the streets, our largest public space,” the event website describes.

This October’s CicLAvia will be the third, with previous events having taken place October 10, 2010 and April 10, 2011. During the event, streets will be safe for people to walk, bike, skate and play, as well as visit the many shops and restaurants that will be open along the way.

No cars in sight during CicLAvia.
No cars in sight during CicLAvia.

The next CicLAvia route runs from Hollenbeck Park in Boyle Heights through Little Tokyo, Downtown, Westlake and MacArthur Park, Koreatown, into East Hollywood at the Bicycle District – the original 2010 route. In addition, there are two spurs in Chinatown and one through the Fashion District into South L.A. The routes encompass 10.5 miles in all.

Cars will be banned from the routes from 1 a.m. on Sunday morning until 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

CicLAvia seeks to promote “safe, vibrant public spaces, sustainable transportation, and public health” through the car-free street events.

Revelers enjoy the day.
Revelers enjoy the day.

The event “interconnects diverse portions of the city, creating a web of temporary public space, free of car traffic,” according to the website.

October’s event will be the year’s last CicLAvia. The next one is planned for April 8, 2012, and more in the summer and fall.

L.A. cyclists and pedestrians, are you ready to reclaim the streets?

For more information about the event, visit CicLAvia’s website

To read stories about cycling, visit GoNOMAD