Mayor Announces New CicLAvia Route To Venice
The April iteration will be the city's sixth CicLAvia, shutting down city streets for casual cyclists to ride without the threat of passing cars. This time around, they'll coast from Downtown to Venice by way of Venice Boulevard (see the map here).
"I love my CicLAvia," the mayor said to a crowd of roughly 50 reporters and bike advocates gathered in front of City Hall's First Street steps, "but this seven-mile thing — uh-uh. This is L.A. I want to go to the beach."
The mayor pointed to growing numbers of participants in the bike party as a clue to the city's enthusiasm for greener paths. "From the beginning of the morning to the end," he said of the last CicLAvia Oct. 7, "you saw this route packed. It said Angelenos are yearning to get out of their car and enjoy their neighborhoods."
Villaraigosa said he'd like to see one more CicLAvia before he leaves office, riding "off into the sunset — on a horse, not on a bike." Two more are scheduled in 2013: one on June 23, and the next on Oct. 6
"Almost from the beginning," Villaraigosa said of naysayers, "they said, Oh, they're not gonna get to 40 (miles of bike ways). Well, you're right. We didn't get to 40." After consulting an aide, he added, "We did 79 in the first year."
The city is in the middle of a Master Bicycle Plan, which calls for the 1,680 miles of new bicycle infrastructure. The first five years require 40 miles on average to maintain pace. Over the first two years, L.A. has managed to roll out 123 new miles.
"It means 123 miles of seeing L.A. in a new way," Villaraigosa said, Councilman Bill Rosendahl nodding his head enthusiastically beside him.
But plans for bike lines for portions of Westwood and Sepulveda boulevards were met with ire from Angelenos at a public hearing this week, suggesting continued development might be an uphill battle.
More to come on the city's bike progress, and Angelenos' reactions to changes in infrastructure.