CicLAvia draws thousands to San Fernando Valley

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- About 50,000 bicyclists, skateboarders, roller skaters and pedestrians took to the streets Sunday for CicLAvia's first San Fernando Valley route.

The event began at 9 a.m. and ran until 4 p.m. A ceremony attended by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and several L.A. City Council members kicked off the event.

"This is a free day for people to enjoy the city, to see the San Fernando Valley in a whole new way, to see a part of Los Angeles in a whole new way. So you can walk, you can bike, you can come in your wheelchair, you can come in your skateboard," said CicLAvia co-founder Aaron Paley.

"When you're in a car, unless you're not driving, you really don't get to look around. You really don't get to look at the little shops that you drive by every day and don't notice," Granada Hills resident Adrianna Rios said.

The 6-mile route from North Hollywood to Studio City started at the intersection of Chandler and Lankershim boulevards, continued up Lankerskim Boulevard to the Universal City/Studio City Metro Red Line station, then turned up Ventura Boulevard to Coldwater Canyon Avenue.

The ride also included a sonic "walkscape" that could be accessed through an app. The app allowed participants to listen to music, interviews and historic sound clips that brought together the past and present of the San Fernando Valley.

CicLAvia: The Valley takes place Sunday, March 22, along Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood to Ventura Boulevard in Studio City.

CicLAvia: The Valley takes place Sunday, March 22, along Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood to Ventura Boulevard in Studio City.


Roads are closed to all but foot and bicycle traffic through approximately 5:30 p.m.

Metro arranged extra Orange Line bus service and longer cars on the Red Line subway to increase capacity during the event. Bus detours are listed at http://www.metro.net/service/advisories/update/special/1160/.

Several off-ramps on the 134 and 101 freeways were closed, according to Caltrans. They include the Vineland Boulevard off-ramps on the north and southbound sides of the 101, the Campo de Cahuenga off-ramp on the northbound side of the 101, and the left turn lane of the Lankershim Boulevard off-ramp of the westbound side of the 134.

Godfather of the event Jaime Ortiz created Ciclovia, which means "open roads," in Bogota, Colombia to bring attention to car pollution and promote healthy living. The event gives many a chance to see the valley at a different pace, flooded with people, rather than cars.

"It's so quiet without the car noise. It's unbelievable. You can actually hear the birds," Paley said.

Previous routes have gone through downtown, South Los Angeles, East Los Angeles, the Westside and along Wilshire Boulevard.

For more information about the event, visit ciclavia.org/ciclavia_the_valley.

Send us your photos from Sunday's CicLAvia event in the San Fernando Valley with #ABC7Eyewitness



City News Service contributed to this report.

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