San Diego CA— The day University Avenue and 6th Avenue closed to cars and opened to the public was the day thousands of people from throughout the region pedaled, walked, skipped, scooted and skated more than two miles of car-free roads. San Diego’s third-ever CicloSDias rolled through the Hillcrest and Bankers Hill communities on Sunday, November 9 drawing people out of their cars and into the streets.
A post-event survey issued by CirculateSD recorded that nearly 83 percent of respondents dined at local restaurants along the CicloSDias route and 85 percent said they would return to the Hillcrest and Bankers Hill neighborhoods for future dining and shopping. The same survey showed three quarters of respondents attended CicloSDias to ride bicycles and walk without worrying about car traffic.
“CicloSDias makes it clear that people want to bike and walk in their communities, but they need to feel safe in order to do it,” says San Diego Bike Coalition Executive Director Andy Hanshaw. “This event is about rethinking about our streets as public spaces and the many possibilities to accommodate bicycling and walking, primarily as a safe mode of transportation.”
In conjunction with the Hillcrest Business Association, the Bike Coalition formulated the CicloSDias route to include more than 300 local businesses and a large, weekly farmers market. Between shopping locally and rediscovering the neighborhood, attendees spent the day playing life-size Scrabble and Twister in the streets, exploring mock-up protected bike lanes and racing folding bikes in costume.
The Bicycle Coalition advocates for and protects the rights of all people who ride bicycles and hopes to make San Diego a place that embraces open, livable communities. For a few hours each year, CicloSDias creates an opportunity for residents to experience this vision with their local businesses, neighbors, families and friends by their side.
With three open-streets celebrations under its belt, the Bike Coalition plans to announce which neighborhood CicloSDias will roll through next in early 2015.