The First CicLAvia

It's our birthday! That's right: the upcoming CicLAvia–Heart of LA lands right on our birthday: October 10. We have been opening streets, connecting communities, and exploring neighborhoods together all across Los Angeles since 2010!

On 10/10/10, we hit the streets for our first event, which was also CicLAvia—Heart of LA. About 100,000 people discovered the myriad joys of open, car-free streets along a 7.5-mile stretch through downtown and into Boyle Heights. We are looking back at some of the many moments, images, and even headlines from that inaugural event.

For so many Angelenos, the sight of streets not only empty of cars but completely safe for joggers, runners, bicycles, skates, wheelchairs, and even sitting and dancing was incredibly powerful.

“We’re alone in our cars. We pass above whole neighborhoods on freeways and never actually see them. Today, I’ve seen buildings I never took the time to lay eyes on before. Today gave people a chance to just slow down and it connected the neighborhoods of the city in a new way. That’s important,” said Rafael Navar, 32.

Los Angeles Times

The day after the event, the Los Angeles Times covered the excitement, and interviewed a number of the attendees. This one event inspired more people to think about how our city's streets can better serve people who use different methods of commuting.

“Being able to ride freely and safely right through what you knew were usually really dangerous intersections, it got you thinking about what it could be like if the city created a network of dedicated bike routes. Getting from place to place would take on a whole new light,” Mulcahy, an architect, said.

“This was amazing — a huge success,” said an ebullient Aaron Paley, CicLAvia’s co-founder. “This was about giving people of Los Angeles another way to experience their city.... It was about what belongs to us. The streets of L.A. belong to us. If we think to repurpose them, they are our greatest public space.”

Since 2010, CicLAvia has held 36 open streets events, covering over 200 miles of Los Angeles County streets and reaching neighborhoods like Pasadena and Venice, Canoga Park and San Pedro. We expect to cover so much more ground in the next ten years: enjoying old favorites, experiencing new communities, and making more LA memories.

Be our partner for the next 10 years (and many more after that!) and consider becoming a CicLAvia Street Star with a monthly donation that shows your support for active transportation, small businesses, open streets, and good health. Plus, we'll send you gifts!