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Thousands gather in downtown L.A. for CicLAvia bike festival

Thousands gather in downtown L.A. for CicLAvia bike festival
CicLAvia participants ride by City Hall in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday. (Christina House / For The Times)

Thousands of cyclists, skaters and walkers are gathering in downtown Los Angeles today for the 19th CicLAvia, a recurring street festival that celebrates nonvehicular forms of transit. 

Attendees are traversing a 5.75-mile car-free route that starts in MacArthur Park, stretches along Broadway in downtown Los Angeles and extends east to Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights.

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The path showcases Chinatown, Boyle Heights and MacArthur Park, with hubs in each neighborhood offering attractions like food trucks, a DJ performance, a beer garden, a Los Angeles Public Library "Book Bike," and a mobile mural.

CicLAvia participants ride through downtown Los Angeles.
CicLAvia participants ride through downtown Los Angeles. (Christina House / For The Times)

The route also features a dozen car-crossing points to ease gridlock in surrounding neighborhoods. The festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; streets will reopen to cars at about 5:30 p.m.

The car-free festival began in 2010 with a route that snaked from East Hollywood to Boyle Heights, and it has since rotated to various neighborhoods around Los Angeles, drawing about 50,000 to 100,000 attendees each time.

Organizers hold the festival about four times a year, and the goal is to make CicLAvia a monthly event.

Sunday marks the first time the bike festival has overlapped with Metro Los Angeles' $11-million bike-share system, which was launched July in downtown Los Angeles. The system, which offers 760 bikes for rent out of 51 kiosks in various locations, has seen low but growing ridership in its first few months of operation.

Twitter: @frankshyong

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