Long Beach Is Getting Its Own 'CicLAvia'
Long Beach loves to bike. Here's Suja Lowenthal, a Long Beach City Council member, in a tricycle race from a few years back. (Photo by Gary Kavanagh via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
Long Beach, one of the most bike-friendly cities in Southern California, is getting its own version "CicLAvia." On a Saturday next month, a long stretch of Atlantic Avenue will be shut down to all types of motor vehicles and open to walking, biking and lollygagging.
The series being called Beach Streets will kick off Saturday, June 6 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. This first edition is being called Beach Streets Uptown since it all takes place in neighborhoods north of the 405, including Bixby Knolls and North Long Beach. The organizers say that a "round-trip" of the route is 7 miles (which basically means the route is 3.5 miles). It's being sponsored by Metro. Here's what it will look like:
Courtesy of Beach Streets Uptown
The route goes from Atlantic Avenue from Wardlow Road to Harding Street. This is an important moment: Atlantic has been undergoing some serious changes, particularly in Long Beach. In 2012, the LA Times' architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne used the 25-mile long street as an example of the way car culture was changing: "The classic drive-through architecture of the Southern California strip, though a whole lot of it remains, is slowly making way for a new, more public cityscape."
Los Angeles' CicLAvia isn't the original car-free holiday—Bogota, Colombia kicked off the trend in 1974 with weekly shutdowns of major thoroughfares.
If you want to take Metro to Long Beach, you can reach the route most easily from the Wardlow Station on the Blue Line. For more information about Beach Streets, visit its website.