Inspired by ciclovía, the original, weekly street closure event in Bogotá, Colombia, CicLAvia opens Los Angeles streets to pedestrians and bicyclists, creating a temporary web of public space on which residents of LA can walk, bike, socialize, celebrate and learn more about their own city. On 10/10/10, 7.5 miles of roadways were temporarily closed to car traffic and opened for recreational purposes. From Boyle Heights to Downtown, MacArthur Park to East Hollywood, CicLAvia encouraged Angelenos to not only make active use of their streets, but to rediscover the roadways and neighborhoods that too often go unnoticed in a car.
As part of his Durfee Fellowship program, Aaron Paley and Community Arts Resources began work with the CicLAvia steering committee in the spring of 2009. As the event producer of the pilot CicLAvia event, CARS worked closely with the steering committee, the City of Los Angeles Mayor's Office, the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation, the Los Angeles Police Department and the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services to make CicLAvia a reality. As the lead fundraiser on the committee, CARS' efforts pushed the City to confirm the pilot date. CARS also oversaw the successful marketing and outreach campaign, which garnered CicLAvia a front-page image on the Los Angeles Times the day after its first event, as well as hundreds of other traditional and online media spots both leading up to the pilot and for weeks post the successful day.
Now into it's fifth year, Community Arts Resources has produced and implemented 11 CicLAvia events, each attracting over 100,000 participants from all over the world. CARS has assisted in taking 100 miles of streets from cars, opening them up to pedestrians, bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, wheelchairs and more, in neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles like Echo Park, Koreatown, Venice, Leimert Park, Boyle Heights and Koreatown to name a few. In partnership with local organizations, CARS also co-produces CicLAvia Explores, a series of smaller, car-free activities that ventures into the neighbrorhoods that CicLAvia routes have traveled. CARS, the CicLAvia Board of Directors, Los Angeles County Metro and the City of Los Angeles, under the guidance of the Mayor's Office, are in preparation to implement 4 CicLAvias throughout 2015: