This is a joint post by Metro and 8 80 Cities
Los Angeles County just learned a little more about how bike and rail rides go together like the sun and surf. In one of the clearest demonstrations yet of how the region’s expanding transportation options can work together, this past Sunday’s Ciclavia – the largest open streets event since Metro’s Expo line opened last spring – drew more than 100,000 participants, with rides on the Expo line increasing nearly 50 percent. Rides system-wide were also up more than 15 percent over the previous five Sundays and TAP cards sales were up by 11.6 percent. Ridership on Metro Rail has consistently risen at least 10 percent for all past open street days in the past 5 years.
CicLAvia open streets events have created a new narrative for the LA Region, one that promotes active transportation and community connectedness. Open streets introduces us to the possibilities of doing daily activities that we once thought were only possible with the use of an automobile.
–Romel Pasqual, Executive Director CicLAvia
Key to the success of the increasing inter-connectedness of the rail and bike systems are the frequent open street events supported by Metro and community leaders across the region. Of course, open streets didn’t start here — they originated in Bogotá, Colombia, as a 75-mile open street event every Sunday and from there grew in to a global movement. Leading this movement is 8 80 Cities, a group helping to create more vibrant and healthy cities around the world, using 8-year-olds and 80-year-olds as ‘indicator species’ for successful places, programs such as Open Streets and community engagement processes.
8 80 Cities joined over 100,000-plus participants such as city of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti for the ride along with the City of San Jose delegation that was taking notes for their own Viva Calles SJ event. Here is what they experienced at CicLAvia.
CicLAvia is a great Open Streets program for other cities to experience. The energy and happiness that participants, volunteers, programmers and staff bring to this event is contagious. You see young children, older adults, teenagers, everyone enjoying the streets together in harmony. That experience is unique, special, and moving. We’ve tried to bottle it up to show other cities but nothing is better than experiencing CicLAvia in person.( Alyssa Bird, Project Manager, 8 80 Cities)
Metro has been helping to make Open Streets happen in cities all over LA County with a $2 million annual grant program. Just look at all the events coming your way in the next two years presented by Metro.