By ROBERTO FONSECA
ATWATER VILLAGE — Dust off those old bikes, inflate the tires and hide the video games from the kids. Then head down to Glendale Boulevard on Sunday, June 11, where 3 miles of streets will be closed to cars but open to cyclists, pedestrians, and skaters during CicLAvia.
CicLAvia is not a race. Participants will be able to start and end where they please in what’s described as an “open streets event.” In this case, the route will run along Glendale Boulevard in Atwater and on Central and Brand avenues in Glendale. Traffic will flow in two different directions just as regular traffic would, according to event organizers.
History of Ciclavia
CicLAvia is inspired by Bogota’s Ciclovia, biking events that take place every Sunday in Colombia’s capital. The first CicLAvia was held in Los Angeles in 2010 as a response to discussions about open street events that would address problems in transportation, urban land use and public health in Los Angeles, according to event organizers.
More than 1 million people have participated in Los Angeles CicLAvias, which ranked as the biggest open streets event in the United States, say organizers. Streets from Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles to South L.A and the San Fernando Valley have been closed off for CicLAvia, but this Sunday will mark the first time Atwater and Glendale have been included in the event.
What do Atwater businesses think of this?
The prospect of closing a major shopping street to traffic on a weekend may not sit well with some business owners and residents. However, according to a study done by UCLA, local businesses along the routes of CicLAvia have a 10% increase in sales on the day of the event. This bump was higher with businesses that engaged with CicLAvia participants by hosting their own street fairs. This event is used as an incentive for many local businesses along the CicLAvia routes to promote their services.
Many local businesses in both Glendale and Atwater will be providing specials on Sunday and are excited about the upcoming event.
“We think it’s great, we’re looking forward to it,” said Melissa Nester, the manager at Palette Food + Juice. Palette will be offering a 10% discount to those who mention CicLAvia in their order.
The Atwater Parlour will also be providing specials of their own along with complimentary consultation, braiding and eyebrow shaping.
“We want to expand our market to people we don’t normally associate with. We’re totally looking forward to the event,” says Tonantzin Rodriguez, the manager at The Atwater Parlour.
The event is completely free, open to the public, and will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Click here for more details.
MetroLink will also be providing free additional “bike cars” in order to help those in need at the time of the event.
Roberto Fonseca is a senior journalism major at Chico State University. Fonseca grew up in Atwater Village and attended Atwater Elementary, Irving Middle, Marshall and Sotomayor High schools before graduating in 2014.
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