Photo of Los Angeles's CicLAvia by Brian Addison.
It’s official, Long Beach: “Beach Streets Uptown” is set to transform Atlantic Avenue into a beyond-bicycle-friendly Open Street event on Saturday, June 6.
Atlantic Avenue will be temporarily closed between Harding Avenue to Wardlow Road from 9:00AM to 4:00PM so that people can walk, bicycle, skateboard and socialize without any threat from motorized traffic.
“We finally have our own version of Ciclovía, and it’s an all-ages family event that will showcase the best of Long Beach," said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. “I'm looking forward to spending the day exploring Uptown by bike and I hope the whole city will come out and support this great event."
Ciclovía, a Spanish word meaning "cycleway," refers to permanent bike paths, or more commonly in the US, the closing of certain streets to automobiles for use by cyclists and pedestrians. Bogotá, Colombia, where every Sunday and public holiday from 7:00AM to 2:00PM certain main roads are converted to ciclovías, is credited with pioneering the concept in the 1970s.
Open Street events, according to the City, are gaining popularity across the states, with events that pursue innovative strategies to achieve environmental, social, economic, and public health goals. By “taking back the streets” for cyclists, pedestrians and other non-motorized users, cities have begun to show support for more people-friendly infrastructure.
“This event will be a great way for the community to socialize, enjoy new and familiar businesses, and learn about different methods of getting around our beautiful city,” said Councilmember Roberto Uranga in a statement.
Entertainment will be provided at several sections along the route and at the major hubs of Bixby Knolls, Scherer Park and Houghton Park. Several intersections will be maintained to allow motorized vehicles to cross Atlantic Ave.
Councilmember Rex Richardson noted North Long Beach’s current renaissance, saying that Beach Streets will be a great way to showcase the neighborhoods, cultural resources and businesses there.
The City’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine and the Health Department will provide healthy active living activities and information throughout the course.
Bicycles, skates, rollerblades, skateboards, and your own two feet are acceptable modes of transportation for the route. The only motorized vehicles allowed on the car-less stretch must be officially marked means of transportation for those with disabilities.
Beach Streets Uptown is funded by LA County Metro, and will be preceded on April 7, 2015 by Beach Streets Grand Prix View, which opens up the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach race track to pedestrians, joggers, bicyclists and strollers.
For more information about both events, including updates, maps and parking information, please click here.