Photos: CicLAvia was 7.5 Miles of 100,000 Smiles
By all accounts, Los Angeles experienced something amazing for five hours on Sunday. An estimated 100,000 people took to a stretch of 7.5 miles of streets closed off to cars and open to people. And those people responded with positive zeal.
Based on Ciclovia in Bogota, Colombia (and later in U.S. cities like San Francisco and New York City), CicLAvia was an open streets festival that let Angelenos claim public space, usually reserved for vehicles, with a different perspective. In a sense, it was one long park that snaked through the city, if only for a handful of hours.
"As the car capital of the world, we know a lot about congestion and pollution here in Los Angeles," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa last month. "Our streets are filled with traffic, our air polluted with toxic fumes, and our children suffer from obesity and other health conditions caused by the scarcity of public space, dirty air, and safe, healthy transportation options."