Sunday’s CicLAvia Valley Expects 50,000 Participants to Enjoy Car Free Streets

By On March 21, 2015

This Sunday the Valley will transform itself in a dramatic display of people power as it hosts its first CicLAvia. The world-renown L.A. open streets event will make the San Fernando Valley its home for the first time Sunday, March 22, from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm when Metro Presents CicLAvia – The Valley.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sunday’s six mile colossal bike event opens car-free streets between North Hollywood and Studio City to tens of thousands of people using foot, pedal and other non-motorized wheel power. Countless related neighborhood displays and celebrations are planned along the route, including a complete block-long display of LADOT’s new protected bike lanes, or cycletrack, presented by the LA Department of Transportation’s Bike Program.

Walk Bike Burbank, local chapter of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition will also be hosting a short community bike ride prior to the event, starting on the Chandler Bike Path. The public is invited to join-up with Walk Bike Burbank and Walk Bike Glendale who will be riding along with Burbank City Council woman Emily Gabel-Luddy and Congressman Adam Schiff as they co-lead a pre-CicLAvia feeder ride originating from Glendale. Schiff is the U.S. Representative for California’s 28th congressional district, which includes Glendale and Burbank.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank bike riders will meet on Keystone and Chandler at 9:00 am Sunday to ride to CicLAvia’s starting point at the Metro Redline Station on Chandler at Lankershim.  Everyone is welcome to join Walk Bike Burbank, Representative Adam Schiff and Council woman Emily Gabel-Luddy, Walk Bike Glendale  and others in celebrating active transportation in Burbank and Glendale along the way to CicLAvia.

Over the course of just one day, CicLAvia – The Valley provides us a glimpse of a new North Hollywood and Studio City transformed from normally car-dominant places into colorful arteries of community, people and activity.

But for the other 364 days out of the year, Los Angeles County tells its own unique active transportation story with its latest transportation statistics:

Nearly one in five, or 19 percent of all trips made in Los Angeles County, are completed on foot or by bicycle, 34 percent of Los Angeles County students walk and bicycle to school, as compared to the national average of only 10 percent who walk and bike to school.

Very few sources of money beyond Measure R sales tax returns are available locally to cities for active transportation and infrastructure improvements. Creating significant and lasting improvements for walking and biking in Los Angeles County requires sturdy political commitment on the part of local politicians.

Pockets of local resistance and lack of strong political will to support safer walking and biking improvements are the competing obstacles to making these modes of transportation true mobility options, as is the case currently for Burbank.

Open-streets events such as CicLAvia help residents start envisioning a better city with transportation options that provide fundamental and safe mobility access when accompanied by the municipal infrastructure that creates people-friendly streets.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

CicLAvia succeeds in demonstrating that a city’s focus on the right pieces of its infrastructure can make bicycling and walking viable and healthy transportation alternatives – and as an alternative to simply adding more cars to the streets – even in the San Fernando Valley!

Experience the Valley as you’ve never seen it before! Dust off your old bike and bring it to the Burbank Farmers’ Market Community tent Saturday, March 21 from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm for a free bicycle safety check. Get you and your bike safely on the road and experience the first CicLAvia in the Valley.