Glendale, Burbank part of CicLAvia 'dream route'

As CicLAvia prepares to isolate 10 miles of Los Angeles streets on Sunday for use only by pedestrians and bicyclists, organizers say they are eyeing a route through Burbank, Glendale.

CicLAvia organizers have met with city leaders to lay out their dream route, which would start in North Hollywood and end in Atwater as they push to expand throughout the region.

“We want to be in Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena. We want to be in the beach cities — Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Santa Monica and the Westside. So we started a whole bunch of discussions,” said CicLAvia producer Aaron Paley.

But in order for the event — which turns some of L.A.’s busiest streets into public spaces for recreation — to export to neighboring cities, organizers say they need cities to cover police and transportation costs. CicLAvia would handle the event production.

But with tight budgets, that may be a tough sell in Glendale and Burbank.

Councilwoman Laura Friedman, who often bikes to Glendale City Hall, said she’d support CicLAvia taking over Glendale streets, but added: “I don’t know if there’s going to be money for it.”

The same penny-pinching is happening in Burbank.

“We see a CicLAvia event as a great way to promote the City Council’s goals related to health, sustainability, non-motorized transportation and economic development. However, the biggest barrier is obviously the cost,” said Corey Wilkerson, an assistant transportation planner in Burbank.

Police and transportation costs alone could run around $30,000 in Burbank. How much it would cost Glendale is unknown.

It costs Los Angeles about $200,000 to shut down streets, but most of that money comes from government grants, Paley said. His organization pays about the same amount to produce the event.

CicLAvia’s hope is that other cities will be able to tap county, state and federal grants to cover their costs.

“There’s still obstacles for everybody to go through,” Paley said. “I’m not rosy-eyed about it.”

Last year, the county gave CicLAvia a $100,000-grant to give technical assistance to five cities with high childhood obesity rates. Of the cities, which include Huntington Park and San Fernando, the furthest along is Pomona.

Like Glendale, Pomona is also working on a new bicycle master plan — a blueprint for bicycle amenities. It also has roughly the same population size.

Pomona has already set up a host committee, which is tasked with revving up excitement and making initial plans. The same sort of group would be needed in Glendale.

Erik Yesayan, a leading member of Walk Bike Glendale, said the community group would love to participate.

“When we have [CicLAvia] in our neighborhood, hopefully it gets people to think ‘Oh, maybe I can walk around my neighborhood or bike around my neighborhood’ — something they wouldn’t usually do,” Yesayan said.

Long Beach is also poised to host a CicLAvia event in September. Paley said Pomona shouldn’t be far behind.

“If we can do [the planning in L.A.] in 12 months, I think we could do it in these other cities in the same timeframe,” he said.

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