Los Angeles fire paramedics and police had relatively little to do during Sunday’s CicLAvia, as authorities reported no major medical emergencies or arrests at the city’s seventh car-free event.
One cyclist was reportedly struck by a vehicle about 2:15 p.m. along Wilshire Boulevard near Lorraine Boulevard in the city’s Mid-Wilshire neighborhood but was adamant that he did not require medical attention, despite an initial complaint of back discomfort, city fire spokesman Brian Humphrey said.
Specially trained paramedics mostly dealt with minor injuries and cyclists wanting to high-five officials, he said.
“I would describe it, from our perspective, as a very successful and enjoyable event,” Humphrey said. “We were blessed by mild weather, people in good spirits and the experience of having six previous CicLAvias.”
Thousands joined in the event, in which a 6.3-mile section of Wilshire Boulevard from downtown L.A. to Fairfax Avenue was closed to vehicles until 4 p.m. to allow for bicyclists, roller skaters, in-line skaters, skateboarders and pedestrians to take over the big boulevard.
The event’s organizers have called the route the most pedestrian-friendly of any CicLAvia. For the first time, there were pedestrian-only zones at the beginning and end of the route. Those areas featured activities including Pilates, belly-dance classes and bicycle helmet decoration.
Previous events drew as many as 100,000 cyclists and pedestrians. The $350,000 cost to stage each event is picked up by a nonprofit, CicLAvia, and the city, which uses state and federal money. The goal of the nonprofit is to encourage public health, mass transit and vibrant use of public space through car-free street events.
Ciclovías started in Bogotá, Colombia, more than 30 years ago as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets. Now they are staged throughout Latin America and the United States.
Twitter: @joemozingo | Facebook