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Villaraigosa invites Angelenos to CicLAvia

September 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa held a press conference Wednesday morning to invite the city to participate in CicLAvia, L.A.'s first open streets festival, on October 10, 2010. Angelenos are about to get their streets back for at least one day when 7.5-miles of city streets from East Hollywood to Hollenbeck Park will become a playground for the community.

"Get on your bikes, skates, use your feet and enjoy this auspicious day," said Council President Eric Garcetti. "It is going to happen on October 10, 2010."

So on 10-10-10, some of the most congested streets in Los Angeles will be free of cars and will be open to cyclists and pedestrians.

"Whether you live in the Valley or South Bay we want everybody to come out. Everybody is welcome," said cycling enthusiast Heidi Zeller. "We also want everyone to know it is not a race. It is about open space."

The idea is to provide space to get outdoors and rediscover L.A.

"The streets will be safe for people to walk, skate, to play and ride a bike," said Mayor Villaraigosa. "Shop owners and restaurants are encouraged to open their doors along the CicLAvia route and to participate in what will be a remarkable event."

The idea for CicLAvia originated in Bogota, Columbia 30 years ago in response to frustration over traffic and pollution there.

Two years ago, Zeller and other cycling enthusiasts set out to bring CicLAvia to L.A. and this month it becomes a reality.

"We just want people to explore neighborhoods that they may have never been to before," said Zeller. "When you are out there breathing the air and you are not inside your car you can take in the sites and come out and play."

CicLAvia takes place on Sunday October 10, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is free and open to all.

Other cities that hold the event are New York, Chicago, Miami, Baltimore, Portland and Guadalajara.

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