Street Closures: Everyone’s Favorite Reason To Go Car-Free Is Back

A guide to Ciclavia’s first event of 2013

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The event that closes off major thoroughfares to cars so locals can walk, bike, skateboard, or simply just hang out in the street returns to Los Angeles stronger than ever this month. Ciclavia, now in its sixth edition, will open up to pedestrians 15 miles of road between downtown L.A. and Venice beach on April 21st for its first event of the year.

With Los Angeles looking towards greener initiatives, Ciclavia shows how good it can be for us to traverse the city outside of our cars. The opening of this particular route, which follows Venice Boulevard, marks the first time that the event has stretched all the way to the coast. The trail more than doubles the original seven-mile path, which spanned between East Hollywood and Boyle Heights. At the event’s press release, executive director Aaron Paley said that this year’s course represents one of the longest stretches of street to be temporarily closed to cars in the U.S. (There are approximately 60 similar events held around the country.)

When asked about this year’s route, Stephen Villavaso, President of Ciclavia’s board told us, “going to the sea is really great, I think, because it’s part of the L.A. experience, but it’s something that isn’t really within reach for all communities within the area. Our event then becomes a great way for people to get there by their own body power.” Villavaso also said that while challenging, he appreciates the extended route as an opportunity for the program to engage new participants.

With around 100,000 people expected to attend on Sunday, the program is looking to bring the motor-free fun to more communities around the greater Los Angeles area. Ciclavia has two new events planned for later this year, with one along Wilshire Boulevard. In fact, organizers hope to turn Ciclavia into a monthly affair that rotates in different routes each month, and city representatives from La Puente, Lynwood, San Fernando, Pomona, South Gate, and Huntington Park have all attended previous Ciclavia events in order to hopefully someday host their own car-free afternoons.

What to Know Before You Go:
1. Any attire is OK, and be sure to wear comfortable shoes!
2. No need to schedule your visit around meals; Food trucks will be located at five hubs along the route including City Hall, MacArthur Park, San Vicente Boulevard, Cadillac Avenue, and Venice Beach.
3. If you’re looking to ride a bike, there are multiple feeder trails that lead from other locations to the main trail listed here.

RELATED: See a slide show from last year’s Ciclavia
Q&A: Meet The Man Who Brought Ciclavia to L.A.

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