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Villaraigosa Urges Angelenos To Ditch Cars For ‘CicLAvia’

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is urging Angelenos to get out of their cars and use 10 miles of city streets as a park to ride, jog or walk for the upcoming CicLAvia event.

The city will close a 10-miles stretch of roadway to cars on Sunday, April 15 from East Hollywood through downtown and into Boyle Heights. The route meanders through Koreatown, MacArthur Park and Westlake, featuring six hubs which sell merchandise and give out information about CicLAvia.

Short extensions into Chinatown and South Los Angeles will also be closed to traffic; however, there are several crossing points for vehicles that which are highlighted online at www.ciclavia.org. The streets will be closed from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The previous  CicLAvia events have drawn crowds close to 100,000 people.

“CicLAvia represents a sea change in our city,” Villaraigosa said. “We’re getting off our addiction to the single passenger automobile by creating infrastructure for bikes, increasing public transit options, and making it easier for Angelenos to get from point A to point B with or without their cars.”

“People love CicLAvia because it is incredibly fun, and there is a sense of camaraderie and community that is rare for a city as large and diverse as ours,” said Aaron Paley, CicLAvia’s co-founder and producer.

Supporters said the event has gotten some Angelenos to change their day-to-day transportation habits, turning more often to bikes and public transit.

Backers also said the event exposes participants to local businesses along the route, providing restaurants, bars, shops and services with a “CicLAvia Bump” in customers.

“Having just 100 people go by your shop on a bike or by foot is significantly better than 1,000 speeding by in their cars,” said Matt Berman, founder of Bolt Barbers, who has a shop on Spring Street downtown.

Villaraigosa also announced a partnership with Bike Nation, a bike-share company, to provide 100 free bikes for riders to use during CicLAvia. The bikes are available on a first come, first serve basis; however, participants are encouraged to reserve a bike online at www.bikenationusa.com/ciclavia due to the limited availability.

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