SoMoS: Santa Ana’s Inaugural Ciclovia

Last Sunday saw the first SoMoS, what will hopefully be a frequent, not just annual, “open-streets” event in Santa Ana. The city closed three miles of Main Street to motorized traffic from 9AM to 4PM and let people – on foot, on two wheels, on skateboards, on roller skates and even on kids’ yard toys – experience the street on a human scale and at a human pace.

If you haven’t done a ciclovia by bicycle before, you must. It is a different experience from anything you’ve done. You just can’t imagine how nice it is to be on a road, on a bicycle, without the noise and threat of cars pushing past. Three miles of road is more than it seems when you don’t have to do that obliging hurry along one feels the need to do when riding a bike among cars. When you leave, and re-merge with mainstream traffic, you might notice an interesting phenomenon: After experiencing a street on a human scale, you, on a bike, don’t feel out of place on other roads. It’s the cars that now seem out of place. Like football players at a ballet.

Oh, we (the OCBC) manned a tent and did our best to encourage more cycling. It was nice to sit and watch the myriad cyclists go by.

Some pics:

Happy cyclists

Cruising

Kids at the end of the day

One thing about October in Southern California: it can be hot. Witness the not-uncommon ice fight:

CicLAvia October 2012

Title: CicLAvia
Location: Los Angeles
Link out: Click here
Description: Celebrate 10 miles of car free streets in the heart of the city.
Start Time: 10:00
Date: 2012-10-7
End Time: 15:00

10/7/12 – CicLAviaIf you ever wanted to ride your bike sans traffic of the four wheel variety on the streets of the City of Angels, this event is for you! (because nobody walks in LA..!)

10 miles of roadways will temporarily close to car traffic and open for recreational purposes.

For the first time, we’re going to Exposition Park, Chinatown, Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights, and the newly completed Grand Park downtown, where CicLAvia will converge with the inaugural celebration of the park’s performance lawn.

Metrolink and Amtrack are two ways to get to Union Station which is about 5 blocks away.
To bike from Union Station to CicLAvia: turn left/south on Alameda, then right on First Street, and you can’t miss it!

If you want to rent a bike, Bike Nation is offering bike rentals with a suggested donation, all of the proceeds will go to CicLAvia. The bikes will be available at the Mariachi Plaza Hub and the Grand Park Hub. Click the link to learn more and reserve a rental.

Of course, groups could form feeder rides to and from the event!
Directions and a map (pdf) to look over might give you some ideas.

Could be a great model for something similar here in the OC, a CiclOCia if you will.

Which city will be first; Santa Ana, Anaheim, Irvine, HB, Orange?

OCBC Thanks CicLAvia!

Many thanks to the organizers of CicLAvia for allowing the Orange County Bicycle Coalition to participate in a wonderful day.  Let’s do it again, but next time in “our” house!  Now if only there were a way to connect the 2 counties in a cross-county “County La Via?” hmmmm maybe someday; the sooner the better, yes?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The OCBC would also like to thank and recognize the Sponsors and Volunteers that make events like this possible.  Thank you ALL very much!

   
   
   
   

Specifically, we would like to thank Garo’s Produce for donating a bottomless bin of oranges to feed and hydrate the masses for almost 4 hours!  They were appreciated very much, and tasty too!  Thanks to Roger Martin from the South Bay Wheelmen who moved the oranges from Garo’s over to Woori Market in Little Tokyo whose management kindly kept them overnight and delivered them to our intersection at lunchtime.

Thank You, or perhaps どうもありがとう, or Domo arigato!

Thank you to  The Home Depot (in Tustin and LA) and ACE Beverage for supplying water, and liquid refreshments, especially the end of day ones (wink, wink, nudge, – say no more)!

According to OCBC’s Jim Freibert, “As far as we know, our adopted intersection was the only one giving away any food or water”.

Thanks to our Sponsors this was possible, thank you again very much.

But we didn’t hand out just food and water!
Thanks to:
Knott’s Berry Farm, the OC Tourism Council, the  CA Visitors Welcome Center in Buena Park, MEDIEVAL TIMES, and PIRATES  for their donations of tickets and posters of attractions in the OC.

Thanks to Katie for all the balloons (orange of course), which brought some nice color to the cityscape and helped frame our adopted intersection.

Thanks goes to our staff; Pete, for wearing two hats, as our Executive Director, and helping out everywhere; 

Brian and Jonathan from Jax Bicycle Centers with countless bicycle repairs.

The other board member, Vince Buck brought his Daughter Michelle, and her fiancee Brett – all shown in stopping traffic on East 4th Place and East Third Street – while motorized vehicles had the green light on South Alameda.

Thanks to Tony and Isabel for passing out water, and several hundred FREE plush toys, mostly bears from Plushland, and Marlene for your help as an Intersection Angel too! 

Wes Parsel from the OCTA was the first to arrive, and did double duty like most of our volunteers!

Finally, last but not least, two Orange Co (FVSD) teachers, cycling friends Dan, and Jane, with her husband Freddie, and Nick, and Lupi who came to help too!

Some of our “Intersection Angels”  wore Angels of Anaheim baseball caps, while others wore orange & blue caps from Rabobank, (whose team we’ll being seeing next month at the Tour d California) along with Orange T-shirts, and bright orange safety vests.

Thank you all, it was a real learning experience that can be applied to our own CiclOCia!

Garo’s Produce
1362 Lawrence St
Los Angeles, California 90021
Tel: (213) 236-0840

Ace Beverage Co.
401 S. Anderson St.
Los Angeles, CA 90033 (Map)
p. 323-264-6000

Why Bicyclists Are Better Customers Than Drivers

An excellent article from DCStreetsBlog highlights the positive economic impact cyclists provide to communities.
Long Beach is mentioned quite a bit in the post as having transformed 4 business districts into cycle friendly areas complete with merchant bike-share programs, discounts to customers arriving by bike, bike valets, and a sea change in business owner’s perceptions about cycling and profits.

The biggest obstacle to overcome was fear. Fear of change, fear of lost
profits, fear of the unknown…
Really though it’s a “no brainer”, to vanquish fear and get business owner’s buy-in all you have to do is show them the money!

  1. Fear of Change: Change is inevitable – get over it; change is a natural
    process that can be guided to positive results.
    These are the “good old days”!
  2. Fear of Lost Profits: Will you be willing to give me 1 of something if I
    give you 12 in return?
    On a 1:1 basis, or even a 4:1 basis, installing cycling infrastructure will lead to joy and discovery among disposable cash spending cyclists.  Creating a bike corral in the space of 1 car’s parking spot, at least 12 bicycles are able to be parked.  So in exchange for 1 spot and even 4 (3 passengers) customers using that space, you now have 12!
  3. Fear of the Unknown: Since it is unknown, it is not worth your time (or
    health) to fear “it”.

So Where’s the Money?
Cyclists spend less (on average) on car maintenance by definition – they are cyclists and drive less.  Some are completely car free! Less maintenance costs (for them) turns into more disposable cash; generating business and profits for you (the owner). As an added benefit, more of that cash remains within the city or community – a win for everyone!

Consider:

  • According to a 2011 AAA news release the average cost of owning  and maintaining a car sits around $8,000 a year.
  • Of that, only 16% is retained within the local economy (which you can read about here).
  • Cyclists become more aware of their surroundings and business offerings
  • Cyclists can stop and impulse buy much easier than an auto-bound  potential customer (and are also more likely to)
  • Cyclists get hungry and thirsty by nature of their healthy activity
  • Cyclists generally are healthier than the general population – thus less
    health expense and  more disposable income.

Ya But…ok you want more?

  • St. Louis: Washington University quantified the economic benefit of  their Ciclovia (open streets) as a net positive.
  • New York: Car free Times Square generates more than 10% of The City’s  economic activity.
  • More cars != more profit.  As simple as that.

BikePaths are Profitable:

  • Leadville, Colorado: A 19% increase in sales tax revenues after opening of the Mineral Belt Trail (and more).
  • Dunedin, Florida: 35% storefront vacancy into turned into 100% occupied after completion of the Pinellas Trail.
  • Property Values: Increase 11% near bikepaths according to April Economides (a consultant to Long Beach).
  • Construction: of bike lanes create about twice as many jobs as road-building for the same amount of money (a 2fer!)

If you build it, they will come…and spend – oh wait – no building required. Just 1 spot left open for 12 cyclists to securely park their bikes will do wonders to our local economy because more of those dollars will stay and circulate here rather than be exported to somewhere else. Those dollars remaining here will help cities regain their fiscal stability, and provide funds to improve the local infrastructure, which leads to more bike paths, trails, and lanes to needed destinations (wash, rinse, repeat – in a positive and sustainable way!)…

San Clemente has become a shining star by adopting into its General Plan its Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

Cycling advocates throughout the County can and should get their city councils to do the same.

Which city or town will be next to embrace the sustainable future?

We can help, you can use the comments below or visit: Contact us.

When you ride your bike to a local business and there’s no bike rack, do you find the manager and explain to them that you would appreciate a bike rack near their business?  Success builds on success, sometimes starting with one rack, or corral in one parking lot at a time.

More towns, cities, and counties nationwide are discovering the sustainability and profitability of cycling friendly environs.

It’s a sea change all right,  and a welcome one at that.
Jump in, the water’s great!
-John