Image courtesy of the City of Long Beach.
It’s safe to say that Long Beach’s first ever Ciclovía went off without a hitch. An estimated 25,000 people took back the streets as unicyclists, Razor scooterists, rollerbladers, pedestrians and cyclists, cruising up and down Atlantic Avenue on a sunny Saturday last June.
So if you missed this streets-for-the-people extravaganza or maybe you’ve been excitedly anticipating the next one, worry not, for the Broadway corridor will “spring to life” on Saturday, March 19 for the Beach Streets Downtown Open Street event, the City of Long Beach announced Tuesday.
“Open Street events like Beach Streets are one of the best ways to experience Long Beach,” stated Mayor Robert Garcia. “We will have entertainment for the entire family throughout the event, including music, demonstrations, food and all kinds of activities.”
The four-mile, car-free route will include several activity hubs and extensions, including Pine Avenue from First to Eighth Streets in Downtown; Linden Avenue from First to Third Streets in the East Village; Cherry Avenue from Second to Fourth Streets including Bixby Park; Fourth Street from Cherry Avenue to Junipero Avenue in Retro Row; and a block party at Broadway and Euclid Avenue.
“Our community is well known for its focus on mobility options and bicycle-friendly infrastructure, and I’m delighted to showcase that with an exceptionally innovative event like Beach Streets Downtown to highlight everything Long Beach has to offer,” said Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal in a statement.
A festival with two stages, live music and a kid’s zone will take place along the route at Bixby Park, where many of the city’s departments will participate by hosting healthy, active-living activities, booths and information for the entire family. The Downtown Long Beach Associates will also provide venues and activate various locations throughout the downtown area.
“I’m thrilled Beach Streets will be making its way downtown,” stated Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez. “Biking advocates for years have been waiting for this moment, and I am proud that the City is partnering with local organizations to further enrich our neighborhoods with this unique experience.”
Several intersections where vehicles can cross Pine Avenue and Broadway will be upheld along the route, however, the entire route and the extended streets will be closed to vehicles, motorcycles, scooters and anything with a motor, according to the release. Exceptions will be made for officially marked transportation used by those with disabilities. Acceptable modes of transportation include bicycles, skates, rollerblades, skateboards, and your own two feet (pretty much anything except a motorized vehicle).
“This is a great opportunity to slow down a bit and explore local businesses and restaurants on foot or bicycle and see everything your neighborhood has to offer,” said Councilwoman Suzie Price in a statement. “You might be surprised at the new gems you discover.”
Funding for Beach Streets Downtown is provided by Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, grant funding from Los Angeles County and other local and city sources. For more information, including updates, entertainment, maps and parking information, please visit the Beach Streets website here. You can also check for updates via the Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram @BeachStreetsLB.