100,000 at inaugural CicLAvia

CicLAvia — the Los Angeles open streets event patterned after Columbia’s Ciclovia — attracted an estimated 100,000 participants yesterday when the city closed a 7½ milees from East Hollywood through downtown and into Boyle Heights.

Says the LA Times:

The turnout and ease with which the event went off far surpassed the expectations of organizers, who had questioned whether Los Angeles could accommodate and tolerate the idea of shutting down heavily traveled streets for no other reason than to let Angelenos on foot and pedal have the run of the place.

100,000 is a lot of people — much more than other “cycling” events I can think of at the moment. San Francisco’s Sunday Streets attracts about 20,000 people or so. About 20,000 people participate in Chicago’s Bike the Drive (cyclists pay to cycle on a portion of Lake Shore Drive that’s closed to motor traffic for a few hours once a year). Something like 30,000 cyclists show up for the annual 5 Boro Tour in New York City.

Then again, one million people visited San Francisco over the weekend to watch the Blue Angels perform over San Francisco Bay during last weekend’s Fleet Week. An estimated 200,000 people literally jammed onto Pier 39 alone. Most of these visitors likely walked at least part of the way to the waterfront, and a good percentage of Bay Area tourists know to take BART or Caltrain into San Francisco. After the Blue Angels performance, every arterial street and highway in and around San Francisco become unusable for a couple of hours as tens of thousands of motorists hit the road simultaneously.

Biking in LA has photos and links to ride reports.

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