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Carfree Streets: Ciclovias all across America

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Carfree Streets: Ciclovias all across America

Old 07-13-10, 12:03 AM
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smokingcrayon
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Carfree Streets: Ciclovias all across America

Ciclovias are getting more and more popular in the U.S. so I'm guessing a lot of people here already know about them. If you're not familiar with it, it's "either a permanently designated bicycle route or a temporary event, the closing of the street to automobiles for use by others" as defined by wikipedia. Although it started in Colombia, it's rapidly spreading in America and there was one that was even held in Oakland, California recently.

This site has https://www.streetfilms.org/category/bicycles/ a lot of videos on different ciclovias in America and other bicycle-related events like Bike Month. Streetswiki https://streetswiki.wikispaces.com/Ciclovia has its list of ciclovia videos grouped together.

This is a list of https://www.studiomezz.com/wheel-change ciclovias in America. It seems as though a lot more are located on the west coast, not surprisingly...
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Old 07-13-10, 12:12 AM
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Ciclovias don't make carfree streets. They just let a few streets have a brief parole from their car-jail existence. I look forward to the day when we only allow motorized vehicles to operate on our streets on certain days of the month. May I live that long.
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Old 07-13-10, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Ciclovias don't make carfree streets. They just let a few streets have a brief parole from their car-jail existence. I look forward to the day when we only allow motorized vehicles to operate on our streets on certain days of the month. May I live that long.
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Old 07-13-10, 01:38 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Ciclovias don't make carfree streets. They just let a few streets have a brief parole from their car-jail existence. I look forward to the day when we only allow motorized vehicles to operate on our streets on certain days of the month. May I live that long.
But it can be argued that ciclovias are a step forward towards car-free streets by creation of temporary car-free streets.
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Old 07-13-10, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by smokingcrayon View Post
But it can be argued that ciclovias are a step forward towards car-free streets by creation of temporary car-free streets.
I agree, it's a long way to go, but a step in a good direction. We just call our temporary events "Car Free Days", and they occur periodically on a few of our more interesting streets: https://www.carfreevancouver.org/

It's a bit ironic to see people struggling to park near one of those streets during the day, as some people actually drive to the event. Overall though, still a good thing for awareness, and it does seem like the vast majority do get there without their cars, from the few that I've checked out.
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Old 07-13-10, 07:01 PM
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Ciclovias probably work best in areas where there's a lot of pent-up demand. For example, I wouldn't expect to see a lot of riders out on city streets if there were lots of bike trails or even good side-streets. I bet the best place to implement cicylovias would be in suburban areas where it's difficult for riders on major thoroughfares.

In my city, there are quite a few organized rides through the city. Most routes are through low traffic streets and often there are a ton of cyclists. But they do share these routes with cars (which are forced to slow down.) So I wonder if a cyclovia would work here...

Just_Ryan, which cities are featuring ciclovias? Vancouver? I think Ottawa experimented with this a while back.
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Old 07-13-10, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Ciclovias probably work best in areas where there's a lot of pent-up demand. For example, I wouldn't expect to see a lot of riders out on city streets if there were lots of bike trails or even good side-streets. I bet the best place to implement cicylovias would be in suburban areas where it's difficult for riders on major thoroughfares.

In my city, there are quite a few organized rides through the city. Most routes are through low traffic streets and often there are a ton of cyclists. But they do share these routes with cars (which are forced to slow down.) So I wonder if a cyclovia would work here...

Just_Ryan, which cities are featuring ciclovias? Vancouver?
Vancouver has been in the news a lot, but cities all over the world have ciclovias and carfree days. Bogota probably had the first ciclovias in the world, and Detroit (believe it or not) closed several miles of streets to cars on Saturdays back in the 1980s. They're pretty common in devloping countries, where car congestion is a major social problem. I see a lot of news stories about carfree days in Jakarta, for example.
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Old 07-14-10, 07:01 AM
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Cities like Dayton could easily close off some of it's streets with little inconvenience to it's citizens. They do it for festivals so I could see them doing it to promote the city as a cycling destination. I could see it being a boon to businesses in the area during slow weekends. Dayton is a small enough city you could still drive (park in the parking garages) and easily get around by foot if not by bike.
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Old 07-14-10, 03:12 PM
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As Roody noted, the Ciclovia just outside of Detroit began in 1983 and is certainly one of the first in the U.S. The interesting trivia is the event is held on a parkway named after a famous Detroit cyclist and road builder.
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Old 07-14-10, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
Just_Ryan, which cities are featuring ciclovias? Vancouver? I think Ottawa experimented with this a while back.
I was only referring to the events here in Vancouver. Not sure about other Canadian cities. I re-read the wiki entry though, and I'm not sure if they fit the mold of a ciclovia, because they are more of a festival vibe than just shutting down the street for use by alternate forms of transportation. If I were actually trying to travel the route of the car-free street, I'd probably take a different route that was still open to cars, just to avoid the mob of people in the street. Fun events though.
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Old 07-15-10, 06:15 AM
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Big Ciclovia in Bogota, Colombia SA every Sunday that has 2, 000,000 Riders and with over 70 miles of closed streets. Not sure if Bogota started the Ciclovia Movement several years ago but its very well attended every Sunday. My Next Trip down there to my Dentist ( I travel to Bogota for Dental Work due to the high quality work at very reasonable prices) I'm packing my Dahon Folder so I can participate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELa5C...next=1&index=5

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Old 07-15-10, 05:45 PM
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When they close down Lake Washington Boulevard to cars on Sundays in the summer, is this a Ciclovia?
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Old 07-15-10, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
When they close down Lake Washington Boulevard to cars on Sundays in the summer, is this a Ciclovia?
Yes, I think it is, especially if bicycles are a major component of the event.
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Old 07-15-10, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ndbiker View Post
Cities like Dayton could easily close off some of it's streets with little inconvenience to it's citizens. They do it for festivals so I could see them doing it to promote the city as a cycling destination. I could see it being a boon to businesses in the area during slow weekends. Dayton is a small enough city you could still drive (park in the parking garages) and easily get around by foot if not by bike.
There's controversy about whether ciclovias and and carfree days help businesses or harm them. I think Vancouver is experiencing a lot of pushback from store owners who want cicolvias to be curtailed because sales have been slow.
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Old 07-15-10, 10:07 PM
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But if they can close a street to cars can they close a street or highway to bicycles?

https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/s...7a4a78c22.html

we are intering an interesting time period when cycling is gaining more acceptance in some areas and more resistance in others.
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Old 07-16-10, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
There's controversy about whether ciclovias and and carfree days help businesses or harm them. I think Vancouver is experiencing a lot of pushback from store owners who want cicolvias to be curtailed because sales have been slow.
The thing is Dayton needs to bring people to the downtown area, especially during weekend daytime hours. The streets on the weekends are not heavily traveled by car, we have plenty of parking, and a bike path along the riverfront. The greater likelihood would be that there wouldn't be enough interest (by cyclists and walkers) to cause businesses to remain open on car free days. Perhaps they should try it a couple times a year by offering free bus service downtown, having businesses in the area promote specials and having local entertainment near the riverfront and the old court house. We now have some streets with bike lanes but few of the recreational riders from the bike path venture off the MUP. I think they would be amazed at how quickly you can get around the downtown area by bike if they tried it.
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Old 07-19-10, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
But if they can close a street to cars can they close a street or highway to bicycles?

https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/s...7a4a78c22.html

we are intering an interesting time period when cycling is gaining more acceptance in some areas and more resistance in others.
I get what you're saying, but I think the ciclovia needs to be though of as opening the streets to community, rather than closing the streets to cars. Still might not work everywhere, but the idea of inclusion of community trumps the simple exclusion of cars, in my opinion.

The other argument, that business owners don't actually want the events on their streets, is interesting. Even if their revenue is actually lower during those days, in a difficult to quantify way I would argue that hosting the ciclovias (or car-free days) make the streets into more interesting cultural locations, and might boost business on other days. Not sure if that's a fact - or how to quantify it - but that's my suspicion.
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Old 07-19-10, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Just_Ryan View Post
I get what you're saying, but I think the ciclovia needs to be though of as opening the streets to community, rather than closing the streets to cars. Still might not work everywhere, but the idea of inclusion of community trumps the simple exclusion of cars, in my opinion.

The other argument, that business owners don't actually want the events on their streets, is interesting. Even if their revenue is actually lower during those days, in a difficult to quantify way I would argue that hosting the ciclovias (or car-free days) make the streets into more interesting cultural locations, and might boost business on other days. Not sure if that's a fact - or how to quantify it - but that's my suspicion.
I used to live in a small resort community near Lake Arrowhead Ca. We used to have monthly market nights where they shut down the main road through town to allow vendors to put up easy ups and food stands for a fun evening of shopping and visiting with neighbors. The owners of the traditional store fronts in the town complained till the event was moved to the parking lot of our local water park. Even with the same vendors the event slowly died a natural death. The strang thing was the stores that complained were only open for about 30 minutes to an hour during the very beginning of the market night. It isn't like people were going to shop in those stores after the event was moved.
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Old 07-26-10, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Ciclovias don't make carfree streets. They just let a few streets have a brief parole from their car-jail existence. I look forward to the day when we only allow motorized vehicles to operate on our streets on certain days of the month. May I live that long.
Exactly. The notion of occasionally opening streets is defeating to the idea of bicycles as serious transportation. What is needed is a robust acceptance of the bicycle as earnest transportation and an integrated infrastructure that makes that possible. This sort of thing is just a fun diversion.
The whole idea of "bike friendly," in fact, is hardly getting us where we need to go (no pun intended). When we are relegated to the bike path and MUP, or occasionally given the run of a few closed streets, what has that done?
Raise awareness? Incite acceptance. C'mon, really. What that does is give us a false sense of superiority and the cagers something to laugh at they whiz on by.
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