10 Things We Learned From Sunday's CicLAvia

Sunday’s CicLAvia: Iconic Wilshire Boulevard encouraged thousands of Angelenos to ditch their cars for the day and enjoy a closed six-mile stretch of one of the biggest thoroughfares in Los Angeles. This was the ninth CicLAvia, and its second time down Wilshire. Last time, we concentrated on the art and architecture of the street, but this time, we just rode. And then stopped—to look at things we’d never noticed before; to talked and listen to people and organizations along the way.

Here are 10 things we learned and/or saw during our CicLAvia ride yesterday:

1. Future CicLAvia routes. From CicLAvia co-founder Aaron Paley we learned that the next CicLAvia events are on Oct. 5 (Heart of LA route) and a brand-new route in South L.A. on Dec. 7.

2. The movement for open streets is growing. There were reps from the Open Streets Conference from various cities and countries at LA’s CicLAvia, learning how to bring the open streets events back to their own cities.

3. Metro and bike sharing. Lindy Lee, deputy CEO of Metro, announced that Metro is helping create pilot bike sharing programs in L.A., Pasadena and Santa Monica.

4. Going car-free for one day. From Castle’s Stana Katic, a big supporter of CicLAvia and founder of the Alternative Travel Project, we learned about the environmental and economic impact of going car-free for just one day. We also learned that cycling 20 miles a week can cut coronary heart disease in half! (So since we did 12 miles yesterday, we only need a few more car-free days this week to make our hearts happy.)

5. Timeline photography. At the MOPLA table stationed across from LACMA, we met artist Jay Mark Johnson, who explores “timeline photography.” His large-scale work of people biking in L.A. and Siem Reap, Cambodia, was installed in front of 5900 Wilshire. He was kind enough to give us some photography pointers, too, with our little point and shoot camera.

6. People do walk in L.A. We met folks along the route from Los Angeles Walks, a pedestrian advocacy organization that works to make walking safe, accessible and fun through Los Angeles.

7. Street paddling. The guys from Westssup were out in full force, and we were checking out their street stand up paddles for skateboards. It works for water, so why not for land?

8. Summer's around the corner. Grand Performances were set up at a tent at Lucas and Wilshire, told us that they were getting ready to announce their summer season on April 21. They told us just a few of the names on the bill—and it’s going to be an awesome lineup.

9. Berlin Wall art. There’s a section of the Berlin Wall, that currently sits in front of 5900 Wilshire Boulevard. On the front of the wall that faces Wilshire, there are segments painted by artists L.A. muralist Kent Twitchell, emerging L.A. artists Farrah Karapetian and Marie Astrid González, and French-born, Berlin-based artist Thierry Noir. If you walk around the BACK of the wall section, you’ll see fantastic work by graffiti artists Herakut, D*Face and RETNA.

10. The Wende Museum. We learned that the Wende Museum, responsible for the Berlin Wall section, is actually not located on Museum Row. They’re located in Culver City and will open in its new permanent location at the old National Guard Armory in Culver City in November. The Wende Museum, a research and education institution, is dedicated to Cold War artifacts and history.