More than 40,000 people participated in yesterday’s four mile-long CicLAvia event, along Venice Blvd. from Mid-City to Pico Union, according to Romel Pascual, CicLAvia Executive Director. We caught up with Pascual at mid-day on Sunday at El Camacho Restaurante Nicaraguense, the oldest Nicaraguan restaurant in the city, located at the corner of Normadie and Venice Blvd.
“That’s about average for us,” said Pascual. “The biggest ones we have are on the Westside, around Venice and Downtown. The biggest one we had ran from Downtown all the way to the beach. We did it in 2013 and that was epic. That was the biggest one we ever had, and it really put CicLAvia on the map.”
Pascual has been involved in CicLAvia since 2009, when it was first proposed to the Villaraigosa administration by activists inspired by ciclovía, a weekly program in Bogotá, Columbia. At the time, Pascual served as a deputy mayor for then Mayor Antonoio Villaraigosa and City Council President Eric Garcetti. After leaving the Mayor’s office, Pascual served on the CicLAvia board, then took over as Executive Director in 2015.
The popular event happens six times a year, which keeps Pascual and his small staff busy coordinating volunteers and raising funds from various civic sources, including local foundations, to cover the almost $500,000 budget for each event.
Yesterday we also chatted with local philanthropist and Larchmont resident Tara Roth, president of the Goldhirsh Foundation, who was there with her son. Roth told the Buzz they have been supporting CicLAVia for a number of years, for its efforts to activate city streets by turning them into public parks for a day, and promoting active transportation and good health.
If you missed Sunday’s event, there’s another one coming up Sunday, August 18, 2019 from West Hollywood to East Hollywood. Participants can ride, walk, skate, whatever they choose, along Santa Moncia Blvd, north on Highland Avenue and east on Hollywood Blvd for 6.5 miles.
Buzz Co-Publisher Liz Fuller rode the full route on Sunday and shared these photos: