CicLAvia celebrating its fifth anniversary Sunday with Heart of L.A. bike festival

August CicLAvia

Thousands of bikers, skaters and pedestrians participated in a CicLAvia event in August on a route that stretched from Culver City to Venice.

(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

More than six miles of downtown Los Angeles streets will be open Sunday to bicyclists, skaters and pedestrians as part of the fifth anniversary celebration of CicLAvia called the Heart of L.A.

The increasingly popular bike festival, which is held in different locations throughout the year, encourages people to abandon their cars for the day to explore their environment in other ways. The idea is to promote a clean environment and good health.

Sunday’s course will run through the Civic Center, the Arts District, Little Tokyo, Boyle Heights, Chinatown and as far west as MacArthur Park. The day will start with a kickoff ceremony at 8:30 a.m. in front of Los Angeles City Hall and will include Mayor Eric Garcetti, County Supervisor Hilda Solis and CicLAvia executive director Romel Pascual.

The free event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will require about a dozen street closures that will last throughout the day. Sunday’s event will be the 15th edition of the car-free event.


Also Sunday, organizers plan to announce the results of studies by UCLA and the Rand Corp. that examine the health, environmental and social impact of CicLAvia.

Ciclovias, as they are known in Spanish, started in Bogota, Colombia, more than 30 years ago as a response to increasing automobile congestion and pollution. They have spread through Latin America and the United States. The tradition came to Los Angeles in 2010.

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