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Pedestrians take back L.A. streets w/CicLAvia

October 10, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Drivers gave way to bicyclists and pedestrians Sunday for L.A.'s first CicLAvia, an event aimed to give Angelenos a different perspective of their city.Vehicles were temporarily banned from parts of Los Angeles for CicLAvia, a bold vision to let people enjoy the city with no traffic.

Officials hoped that the inaugural event, which ran from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., gave pedestrians and bicyclists a chance to rediscover the city from a different perspective.

The closures started in East Hollywood at Heliotrope Drive and Melrose Avenue, extended to Koreatown and the Mid-Wilshire District, and then passed by MacArthur Park, City Hall and Little Tokyo.

The route, which spanned about 7.5 miles, ended at Hollenbeck Park on First Street in Boyle Heights.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hoped CicLAvia is a step toward a more environmentally friendly culture in Los Angeles.

The idea behind CicLAvia spawned from Bogota, Colombia with the idea of pedestrians taking back the streets.

"It's a big step to start changing the image of the street as a space used only for cars. You can temporarily use the spaces," said CicLAvia originator Jaime Ortiz.