40th CicLAvia connects East and West Hollywood

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HOLLYWOOD — The CicLAvia open-street festival went Hollywood Aug. 21, closing down streets between East and West Hollywood to allow locals to walk, bike and skate through Tinseltown.

The event closed Hollywood and Santa Monica boulevards for a roughly 6.6-mile stretch, with only people-powered vehicles allowed between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The open-street festival is designed to reconnect residents with their neighbors and community, while supporting local businesses and encouraging healthy outdoor activities.

Inspired by Bogotá, Colombia’s weekly ciclovía, CicLAvia has been temporarily closing streets to car traffic and opening them as public parks in Los Angeles since 2010. This marked the 40th event CicLAvia has held in 12 years, with officials claiming more than 1.6 million people have taken part in the events over the years.

“We know that even one day without car can change the air quality in L.A.,” City Councilwoman Nithya Raman said on Twitter. “Isn’t that incredible what happens when you change the streets? It gives us a real way to imagine a Los Angeles that looks a bit different.”

Romel Pascual, who runs CicLAvia, called it an amazing event.

“The energy and enthusiasm was almost indescribable,” he added.

City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said the event was “awesome,” adding “What a fun, inspiring day.”

According to its website, CicLAvia “collaborates with local community organizations, civic leaders, government agencies and cultural institutions to create events that benefit local communities while sharing the variety and uniqueness of L.A.”

Christopher Hawthorne, chief design officer for the city, said “CicLAvia hasn’t only allowed Angelenos to see the city and its architecture with fresh eyes, it has allowed us to see ourselves with fresh eyes.”

Two more CicLAvia events are planned this year — on Oct. 9 in downtown Los Angeles and Dec. 4 in South Los Angeles.

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