April CicLAvia / Photo courtesy Gary Leonard, ciclavia.org
Check your bike’s tire pressure, lube up the chain and leave your car behind. This Sunday, Los Angeles celebrates its fifth CicLAvia. Called “L.A.’s Biggest Block Party,” this round’s route features nearly 10 miles of safe open space for walking, riding, skating and experiencing the city in a new way.
Organizers estimate nearly 100,000 people will go car-free and participate in the day’s event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The new route connects Westlake with South Central around USC, downtown, Chinatown and Boyle Heights.
The CicLAvia route includes six hubs, each situated in a unique neighborhood: MacArthur Park, Exposition Park, Grand Park at Civic Center, Central Plaza in Chinatown and Mariachi Plaza and Soto Station in Boyle Heights. These points are accessible by the Metro Red/Purple, Blue, Expo and Gold lines.
Whereas the previous two CicLAvias ventured into Boyle Heights with a hub at Hollenbeck Park, public relations correspondent Ashley Rodgers explains the new route toward Mariachi Plaza.
“We’re always looking to change the route because we want to give different neighborhoods and communities a chance to benefit from the event,” she said. “Mariachi Plaza is obviously a very important, historic place, so we want to honor that.”
Plus, with other reconfigurations, stopping in Hollenbeck Park would have blocked off street access to an entire section of the community, Rodgers added.
A variety of activities, including music, performances, games, gardening workshops, food mapping and Zumba classes will take place along the route. The Mariachi Plaza station will also feature a farmers market. Organizers encourage participants to patronize the many restaurants and businesses along the way.
CicLAvia is free of charge and open to everyone. No reservations are needed. For more information, visit ciclavia.org.
Elisa Hough contributed to this story.