CicLAvia  10-9-11

So CicLAvia, everyone’s favorite open streets event (as in open to all uses that aren’t automobiles) is returning this Sunday from 9:00am to 4:00pm to the famous “Heart of Los Angeles” route (a variant of which started it all back in 2010). For a great run down of the event, with links to more info, and the meta sub events within the events going down, check out Damien’s Streetsblog Los Angeles post today. If you want a rundown of the architectural history and sights along the route, be sure to check out Militant Angeleno’s CicLAvia Tour 6.0.

For Santa Monica and the westernmost territories of the Westside, this route is a little bit of a jump, but there are very doable options for getting there sans automobile. Santa Monica Spoke has long organized group bike rides to the route starting at the top of the Santa Monica Pier near the cannon. It’s a relatively chill pace, no-drop ride, that is safer and more enjoyable then going it alone, and simplifies having to think too hard about navigation as a good route is already figured out.

For those on the Westside who are close to the Expo Line, that is of course a great option, and if you are coming from Santa Monica and don’t want to transfer to get there, the beach path to the Ballona Creek path is a relaxed, if not direct, way to bike to the Culver City terminus station.

WalkBusCicLAvia
Walking in the bus lane on the Wilshire Blvd. CicLAvia.

Taking the bus from Santa Monica is an option I’ve done several times, and the Metro #720, and the #BBB 10 are both great options. If you aren’t familiar with the BBB #10, it is like the secret weapon of the BBB fleet, jumping from Santa Monica straight to circulating in Downtown L.A., via the 10 freeway, and with no stops in between. The service hours into the evening and frequency are not as good as some other BBB routes, and it costs a dollar extra for $2.00 express fare, but when it’s available, there is no better car-free shortcut to downtown until the Expo Line is finished.

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Bus bike racks will probably be in high demand, so beware of that for those without folding bikes, but CicLAvia is also quite enjoyable without a bike as well. Bus plus in-line skating, or just walking part of the route are both enjoyable ways to experience the event that I’ve tried. Walking the city without cars around is a very different experience than walking it any other day. Speaking of walking, Los Angeles Walks is kicking off their “Walktoberfest” series of events with a walk from Mariachi Plaza (starting at 10 am) to Chinatown through the CicLAvia route.

I can’t wait! CicLAvia! CicLAvia! CicLAvia!!