The City of San Diego proudly premiered CicloSDias this Sunday, August 11, to offer the community a break from the stress of car traffic, promote local business and establish San Diego as a bicycle-friendly city with open streets celebrations.
|Photo by K.C. Alfred / UT San Diego|
A press conference featuring Coucilmembers Marti Emerald and David Alvarez and County Supervisor Dave Roberts kicked off the event at 10 a.m., and the 5.2-mile route of CicloSDias officially opened to all those who felt the urge to bike, walk, or dance in the car-free street. The course extended from Golden Hill through North Park and South Park to reach Cherokee Point Elementary School in City Heights, looping through popular parts of each neighborhood and including hundreds of local businesses.
“This free event gave the streets back to the people for just one day, and everyone loved it,” said Andy Hanshaw, executive director for San Diego County Bicycle Coalition (SDCBC). “The local businesses were booming and grateful, participants were out riding around and running into people they knew - there was a contagious feeling of cheerfulness. The success of this event represents a shift toward a future of livable communities and shared streets.”
CicloSDias brought an estimated 10,000-15,000 friends and family members (including four-legged ones) out to spend their Sunday riding, walking, strolling and skipping though some of San Diego’s most picturesque parks, neighborhoods and districts at no cost. Local businesses saw a surge in activity as participants “shopped local.” Spontaneous bands played on the sidewalk, dancers put on performances, stores brought their products outside to sample and businesses offered specials to rejoice in all the activity of the first-ever event.
“Surveys have shown that residents want to walk and bike more and spend less time in the car,” said Hanshaw. “CicloSDias brought people out of their homes and cars and into the streets to enjoy San Diego with neighbors. We hope to give our communities the same opportunity again next year.”
Two more community friendly events will round out this year’s Triple Crown of bicycling events including the 6th Annual Bike the Bay on August 25 and Tour de Fat on September 28.