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Would You Welcome CicLAvia to Northeast L.A.?

CicLAvia will take over the Westside next month, what do you think of the idea of the event being held here?

CicLAvia, they day-long event that closes down Los Angeles' public streets for pedestrians and cyclists, will return on Sunday, April 21. 

This year's CicLAvia event will track a course from Union Station to Venice; it's the furthest the route has ever traveled into the Westside since its inaugural event in 2010. 

CicLAvia bills itself as "LA's biggest block party." It's modeled after Bogota, Colombia's weekly ciclovia events that turn the city's downtown area into a massive meeting place. 

The organizers of the event have hinted at a desire to begin holding monthly CicLAvias in neighborhoods across the city. 

With that in mind, would you welcome CicLAvia to York/Eagle Rock/Colorado Boulevard or North Figueroa Street? Shops would remain open, of course, but drivers would have to cede the road to walkers and riders for an afternoon. 

What do you think? Tell us in the comments.

John Carlucci February 28, 2013 at 12:20 AM
As a merchant I'm against it. Close down our street on Saturday, our busiest day? No thanks. I heard feedback from shop owners on Colorado Blvd complaining about how much business they lose each year during the Eagle Rock Street Festival. It's not fair to the Brick & Mortar establishments & our staff to lose a day of wages so strangers from other neighborhoods can party on our street.
Ryan Gold February 28, 2013 at 12:53 AM
Have you seen the crowds that come out for CicLAvia? Hoards of happy people casually cruising around the boulevards checking out what the neighborhood businesses have to offer? This isn't the ER Music Festival. People biking, skating, walking, strolling, crawling... sounds horrible!
Dee February 28, 2013 at 03:10 AM
CicLAvia is always on a Sunday.
rebecca niederlander February 28, 2013 at 04:01 AM
I would absolutely support Ciclavia here! And the local businesses would do an amazing business. My husband and child go on Ciclavia all the time and know which restaurants to visit each time. They love it and have learned a lot about our city on the rides. I think it would be terrific for our communities.
Richard Risemberg February 28, 2013 at 03:16 PM
CicLAvia gives you a chance to see and try all the businesses along your streets without being rushed through neighborhoods in a frenzy of shrieking metal. People who have driven through districts thousands of times repeatedly exclaim out loud that they never really knew what was there before. CicLAvia is really a way to discover your city for the first time--a city cars and their speed and hurry have kept you from. yes, bring it on!
Maggie Thatcher February 28, 2013 at 03:32 PM
Bring it on ! Close the roads to cagers ! 2 wheeled vehicles are the smart way to go !
Hector Huezo February 28, 2013 at 05:47 PM
I'd love to see it in the northeast. The closest it's been is in Chinatown and the ride down Fig from Highland Park to Broadway was awesome. Can't imagine how fun it would be for part of that trek to be completely freed up for cicLAvia-ers, as well.
A.S. February 28, 2013 at 07:18 PM
John Carlucci sounds like he is against bicycles and the people that ride them in general. He complained once already about losing some parking near his business for a bike rack. Now, he's against an event that would making parking a non issue and temporarily open streets up just for foot and bike traffic. The day AFTER his busiest day. A day that his band could perform and provide some live music for the event since his band was not selected for the Eagle Rock Music Fest. It's funny too... his business website states, "We service a wide variety of clientele from all walks of life!". Guess you really do have to walk over to that salon, no bicycles are welcome there!
Hooper Humperdink February 28, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Give the guy a break - he runs a hair salon, which don't do too well during street festivals. Bolt Barbers in Downtown found out that the day is crap for sales so they did as you suggest Carlucci does and stuck a band out front and handed out discount cards. The owner of Bolt said that they got a pretty nice bump in business due to the exposure. A lot of businesses shuttered their doors on the first CicLAvia. Small business can be a tough gig and the public street is literally what keeps many of these little places open. I understand the nervousness - but CicLAvia really can help local business. I hope we can find the courage in the local business community to embrace the idea. It would do a lot for our community to have its main streets re-envisioned as quieter and safer places.
Punk Attitude February 28, 2013 at 09:33 PM
This would be great! It's only day! The businesses that were on Heliotrope for other CicLavia's got major play. I think it's important to include the HP - it gives us props.
John Carlucci February 28, 2013 at 09:38 PM
Thanks Josef. That's very understanding of you to see both sides of the coin @ A.S... I'm not against bicycles, I happen to own 2 bicycles. This has nothing to do with bicycles. It has to do with a street closure. Our salon is open 7 days a week. Sunday is the 2nd busiest day of the week. The Extra traffic & lack of parking that would be impacted due to a street closure would hurt our business period. We have rent, utilities & people to pay & we will lose money as the businesses on Colorado told me they lost money during the Eagle Rock Music Festival. Since you mentioned it, the reason why I don't support the Eagle Rock Music Festival is because the Eagle Rock Music Festival does not support local musician's. The Festival charged $10 a head to get in & charged every band that applied a $35 non refundable application fee, there were sponsors like Ford Motor Company & Macys. In other words, someone made money while the local merchants suffered. Meanwhile the Festival brought in DJ's from as far away as Chicago while ignoring talent in their own neighborhood. I mean, I find it quite Ironic that we were turned down by the ER music festival, but asked to play this one.... https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=359353660769558&set=a.199290076775918.44426.199078733463719&type=1&theater
Mark Gonzalez February 28, 2013 at 11:36 PM
I would be interested in seeing a poll on this.
A.S. March 01, 2013 at 12:42 AM
I find it funny that you have no problem boasting about playing two weekends in Coachella, but you're not willing plan for a one day event in your own neighborhood. Buy a ticket and come see me play, but don't come into my neighborhood unless you're giving me your money. http://articles.latimes.com/2012/apr/13/entertainment/la-et-coachella-main-20120413 The Eagle Rock Music Festival didn't charge people $10 at the door, they had a bucket for your suggested donation per person. I guarantee you there were plenty of people in attendance who didn't pay because it wasn't required. I've worked at a small business on Colorado Boulevard during the music festival multiple years. Last year was slow, but the year before was crazy. Several other years before were crazy as well. That's no different than any other day for a small business. At least knew about the music festival beforehand and planned accordingly. I'm sure some small businesses don't appreciate days when filming that takes place in Eagle Rock or Highland Park, but I haven't seen any stop to that.
John Carlucci March 01, 2013 at 03:11 AM
A.S. Please refrain from putting words in my mouth & making assumptions as to what I am for or against. I'm pretty clear about where I stand on the issues at hand & I do not need you to paint my opinions in a light that has no bearing to my point of view. I am not worried about losing money for myself if the street closes during business hours. I don't even work there. I have another job at a film studio. My wife runs the salon. It's our staff I am concerned about. Are you going to help our single Mom stylist feed her kid when she makes no money because the street is closed? Maybe you work at a bar or restaurant that makes a killing on Festival days, but other businesses do not. Some of our clients are Real Estate Agents, they could not function at all during the festival.You cannot compare filming to a street closure for a festival or street party. Production companies reimburse local businesses that are directly affected by their productions to offset their losses.
Jim Connor March 01, 2013 at 03:37 AM
CicLavia should come here. My family would love it. We've participated twice and both times were held on Sundays, not Saturday. If the businesses still don't like it on a Sunday, which is always a slow day, they can close for the day. People come to discover the 'hood, then come back to be consumers. I think it is great advertising.
mark March 01, 2013 at 03:45 AM
The streets don't belong to local merchants. Sometimes the streets should be closed down in the name of local businesses. It's the like the Farmers' Market on Friday. I know it uses up that parking lot, but it adds alot of value to the community. I get that it's hard to make a buck as a small business, but being all closed up to festivals and other things that define the community is not a very constructive approach. I mean it is delivering 50K potential customers to your front door, if you can't find a way to make that benefit you.... well maybe you shouldn't have a business. Same thing with the Farmers' Market. Everybody complaining about how it uses up parking. Still though, it brings people into the area. Hungry people who don't necessarily like the food for sale at the Market.
Jeanne March 01, 2013 at 06:12 AM
Yes yes yes! The air quality improvement alone is reason enough. Connecting with neighbors and local businesses in a vehicle-free environment? Absolutely!
A.S. March 01, 2013 at 07:46 AM
@John Carlucci You are correct in assuming that I work at a restaurant. However, I did clearly state that this past year during the ERMF was slow. We didn't make a killing and our staff didn't walk home with tons of tips. It wasn't expected due to success in previous years, but that doesn't mean we will give up opening our doors during an annual local event on our front porch. You stated that, "Production companies reimburse local businesses that are directly affected by their productions to offset their losses." I highly disagree with you. I've had days where there is no parking in front of my work due to filming. Not only do I not see the businesses not involved in filming get any reimbursements to cover the costs of rent, utilities, staff wages, etc., but the employees don't make tips because customers have nowhere to park or couldn't get through the crews. Employees who are college kids, parents, old, young... all kinds of people. People who need money to eat and pay rent and whatever else in life. We don't cry foul or say don't come here because of that. But there is no make up for that business lost for those owners or their employees on filming days. I guess we'll just have to wait and see if we get a CicLAvia event in NELA. I hope you'll change your mind and try an event that would bring at least some new potential customers to the area. Maybe you don't make a lot of money on that one day, but exposure and word of mouth are a small businesses best friends...
Highland Park Cares March 01, 2013 at 02:29 PM
Yes! Recent transplants have cited to me that the York bike lanes were a selling point in their decision to become a Highland Parker. Ciclavia has highlighted Boyle Heights, Echo Park...we demand to be included!
John Carlucci March 01, 2013 at 07:16 PM
A.S. When a Film Production company takes out a Permit to film in Los Angeles, they are required to notify the residents & businesses in the area in advance. They leave hang tags on the doors of everyone in the area that include contact numbers for the Production company. Your boss needs to contact the production company next time & negotiate a settlement to offset the losses. When they filmed "Spiderman" in front of my salon, I calculated the average pay each of my stylists would lose & we presented a figure to the production company. We were given a check in a few days & I was able to pay everyone that was not able to work. Your boss may already be doing this but not taking care of the staff. All of the businesses on York were compensated when "Spiderman" was filmed. Film companies include these types of expenses in their production budgets. (I work in Finance @ a major studio) I might add, that this type of debate is way better than what had been going on earlier. It's way more beneficial when people from different viewpoints exchange their ideas so everyone can get a view of the bigger picture. Plus you caught me at a bad time this week as my LA City Business License Tax was due this week (This is on top of Sales tax we paid last month The FED & State Income Tax due next month, & monthly Insurance) Perhaps if you understood exactly what it takes to open our doors, you might realize why I'm so apprehensive to have any days at all where we have to close.
mark March 01, 2013 at 11:28 PM
When a film production company rolls in it shuts down the whole neighborhood and bosses everybody around. Doesn't matter though because they compensate you. The festival benefits all the thousands of people who attend, including most the people who live around ER, doesn't matter thought because you can't figure out a way to make capitalize off of having 50k potential customers delivered to your door.
Creper Chimone March 02, 2013 at 01:58 AM
I'd like to know who they are because even the bike people on here say that the york bike lanes are a problem with traffic and are empty.
nonoise March 02, 2013 at 03:05 AM
Only one way in and out of the area. No way. This is not a good spot. Around Venice Bl there are lots of alternitive streets but that is not the case in Northeast.
Charlie March 04, 2013 at 04:13 PM
Would love to have Ciclavia come to Highland Park! Also, I moved to Highland Park about 9 months ago and love that York has bike lanes. I use them very often. Makes me feel much safer when I have my kids in my bicycle as well.

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