Skip to content

Posts from the "Ciclovía" Category

StreetFilms No Comments

The Rise of Open Streets

Streetfilms has been documenting the open streets movement for over seven years, beginning with our landmark film in 2007 on Bogota’s Ciclovia, currently the most viewed Streetfilm of all time.

The next year, Mike Lydon of The Street Plans Collaborative decided to get an open streets event going in Miami, which led to his research for The Open Streets Project, a joint project with the Alliance for Biking & Walking.

Miami wasn’t alone. In 2008, there were new open streets events in more than a dozen cities, including San Francisco, Portland and New York. All told, open streets events have increased tenfold since 2006.

“The Rise of Open Streets” examines the open streets movement from myriad perspectives — how it began, how events are run, how they shape people’s perceptions of their streets, and how creating car-free space, even temporarily, benefits people’s lives. And it looks not only at big cities like Los Angeles, but smaller ones like Fargo, Berkeley, and Lexington.

We’ve interviewed some of the most important people in the movement, including former NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and former Chicago DOT Commissioner Gabe Klein, as well as former Bogota Parks Commissioner Gil Penalosa and Enrique Jacoby, from the Pan American Health Organization.

We were proud to partner with The Street Plans Collaborative and the Alliance for Biking & Walking to produce this film, which we hope will encourage even more open streets events throughout the world. Funding for “The Rise of Open Streets” was graciously provided by the Fund for the Environment & Urban Life.

No Comments

Enrique Peñalosa: Democracy Is Bus-Only Lanes and Protected Bikeways

I lived in Bogotá, Colombia, for about half of 2002. While I was there, a political party headquarters near my house was car-bombed, guerrillas attacked the presidential inauguration, and thousands of people were killed in routine violence. It was a stressful place to live.

Adding to that stress was the speed and chaos of traffic. Every taxi ride I survived was a minor miracle.

And then there was Sunday.

Sundays and holidays, 75 miles of major roads — normally choked with diesel-powered kamikaze vehicles weaving in and out of lanes in a cacophony of car horns — were closed to motor vehicle traffic for the ciclovía. Filling the void were families walking dogs, teenagers on skateboards, couples on bikes, and one freaked-out gringa who finally found a place in Bogotá she could breathe. Those car-free rides saved me.

Mayor Enrique Peñalosa didn’t start the ciclovía but he expanded it and made it a vibrant, exciting activity enjoyed by two million people every week. He flatly rejected the argument that it wasn’t worth building bicycle infrastructure for the tiny fraction of Bogotanos who rode, knowing that “if you build it, they will ride.”

In a TED talk posted yesterday (but filmed in September), Peñalosa pushes the boundaries of what most people think is possible in a city. Reserve every other street for transit, bikes, and pedestrians? Dedicate bus-only lanes in dense, congested cities? It’s not only possible, Peñalosa says, it’s also necessary for a healthy democracy. If you’ve never seen this man speak, do yourself a favor and spend 14 minutes with him in this TED talk.

In the talk, Peñalosa asserts that “an advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but one where even the rich use public transport.”

Read more…

StreetFilms 3 Comments

¡Viva CicLAvia!

Watch here without subtitles.

After sponsoring Streetfilms of the first two CicLAvias, the open streets festival in Los Angeles based on Bogota’s Ciclovia, Streetsblog LA faced a dilemma: How can we continue to cover this event that draws over a hundred thousand Angelenos to the streets?  The answer: Make a Streetfilm that was accessible to Southern California’s large Spanish-speaking population.

¡Viva CicLAvia! consists of two parts. First, narrator Mara Corina Arellano Colin explains the history and concept of Los Angeles’s amazing open streets party, including footage and photos from similar festivals in Bogota, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Brussels and Miami. While the narration is a great explanation of the benefits and culture of CicLAvia, the soul of Social Impact Consulting’s efforts are the interviews with participants.

Read more…

StreetFilms 7 Comments

Thousands Play in the Streets at First-Ever “Oaklavía”

On Sunday, June 27, Downtown Oakland opened two miles of its streets for traffic-free fun and activities -- zumba dancing, circus arts, BMX bike competitions and performances from local musicians. Walk Oakland Bike Oakland (WOBO) partnered with the East Bay Bicycle Coalition, Oaklandish, Oakland YMCA, Cycles of Change, and other civic organizations to create the East Bay's first car-free event in the Ciclovía mold. Preparations are in the works for another Oaklavia in the coming months.

2 Comments

Inspired by Streetfilms, Ciclovia Comes to Roanoke, VA

Here's a neat livable streets success story from Virginia. A short time back a woman named Andrea Garland dropped by the TOPP office in Manhattan. A transportation engineer and native of Colombia, Andrea now lives in Roanoke, where she is active in several cyclist and pedestrian groups. One of those groups, BikeWalk Virginia, is bringing Ciclovia to downtown Roanoke in August.

12453265_c3d19faae2.jpgDowntown Roanoke. Photo: ocracokewaves/Flickr
Andrea, who is planning the event, explains that the Ciclovia Streetfilm was instrumental in making it happen.

Watching the Ciclovia video was very inspiring. I don't often think that Colombia could be an example for the world. So I feel proud of Bogotá to have many features to showcase, such as Ciclovia and Transmilenio. I thought the video was worth more than 1,000 words, and it was the easiest way to get people's attention toward having a Ciclovia in Roanoke.

At first I used it to introduce Ciclovia to the people that are currently helping me with the event -- city officials, artists, friends, etc. I broadcast it during an Earth Day festival hoping to get some volunteer interest. Now that I'm actually having the event, I'm using it to get more organizations involved. I'm introducing the event with a brief description and including a link to the video so that they get a better idea. 

I really think that without the video (the short version actually is the one I use the most), it would have been very hard to even get a permit for it, because it is such a new concept for this region.

Congratulations to Andrea and everyone down in Roanoke. If anyone else out there has a similar story, or if you'd like advice on how to use Streetfilms, Streetsblog, or other Livable Streets Initiative tools in your town, let us know.

41 Comments

Summer Streets: The Wait Is Over

Well, almost over. It's been two and a half months since we first heard that some sort of Ciclovia-style event was coming to New York. Tomorrow, Summer Streets will finally be upon us. To build up the anticipation just a bit more, we're re-posting this classic from the Streetfilms archive.

The spectacle of a 6.9-mile car-free route in the middle of Manhattan should make for a banner street photography day. To our New York readers who plan to bring cameras to the event: Upload your shots to Flickr and tag them "streetsblog" -- we'll highlight the best next week. You can also drop us a line at tips@streetsblog.org if you've got a Summer Streets story or experience you want to tell us about. Don't hold back.

Here are a few key points of information from the official Summer Streets website:

Read more...
6 Comments

Juan Valdez and Jay-Z Invite New Yorkers to Take to the Streets

summer_streets.jpg

The City's official Summer Streets web site and press release hit our inbox this morning. Jay-Z is joining Mayor Bloomberg and DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan in inviting New Yorkers to hit seven miles worth of car-free streets in Manhattan this Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bringing it back full circle to Bogotá's Ciclovia, Juan Valdez 100% Colombian coffee is going in as a sponsor.

As in Bogotá and Paris, it looks like the City is making a serious effort to program the event. Organized activities will include bike classes for kids and adults, aikido, salsa dancing, tai-chi, running, rollerblading and hopscotch. Bloomberg is pitching the event as a test run. "We're going to embark on a grand experiment that could dramatically alter the way we use and look at the streets of New York," Bloomberg said in the City's press release. "If the program works, we'll strongly consider doing it again; maybe we'll try it in other parts of the city. If it doesn't work, we won't, but we can't be afraid to find out."

And on that note, let the bitching and moaning about imaginary traffic tie-ups, lack of community input, hidden real estate developer agendas and hippy/yuppie cyclists commence!

There are lots more details, including locations of rest stops, events and free bike helmet give-aways in the City's presser...

Read more...
3 Comments

Wiki Wednesday: Ciclovía

With New York's big Summer Streets premier less than 72 hours away, this week we're highlighting the StreetsWiki entry on the mother of all car-free events, Bogotá's Ciclovía. Actually, the phrase "car-free event" doesn't quite do justice to a weekly gathering of a million people along 70 miles of streets. And as the authors note, much more goes on at Ciclovía than the name alone implies:

­recreovia.jpgBikes dominate the name and the landscape of Ciclovia, but there is a lot more to it than that. Ciclovi­a days in Bogota are combined with Recreovi­a (pictured at right), a program of free public exercise activities in parks and other car-free areas.[7] Activities include dancing, yoga, and aerobics, led by professionals who are paid by the city and accompanied by festive music.

It also provides tremendous business to vendors who serve Ciclovi­a participants.[1]

Credit for this entry goes to Meg Saggese, Lily Bernheimer, Corey Burger, Nathan Schneider, and Paul Cone. Feel free to get in there and edit, if you'd like.

On a related note, I've noticed an uptick in user-submitted entries on StreetsWiki lately. Thanks for depositing your knowledge with the Livable Streets Network, Streetsbloggers. Keep it coming and watch for your contributions on Wiki Wednesdays.

21 Comments

Car-Free Saturdays Will Open Path For Peds and Bikes From City Hall to 72nd


With several cities in addition to New York exploring the idea of car-free events modeled after Bogotá's Ciclovía, Streetfilms produced this "express version" of their popular full-length video.

Last month we reported that DOT was planning a major car-free event this summer in the mold of Bogotá, Colombia's weekly Ciclovía. Details emerged on Friday in the Downtown Express:

On three Saturday mornings in August, the Department of Transportation will ban cars from nearly 5 miles of city streets to make way for cyclists, joggers and walkers. Starting at the beginning of Centre St. in Lower Manhattan, then moving north onto Lafayette St., Fourth Ave. and Park Ave., people will be able to travel all the way to 72nd St. and then to Central Park by walking down the middle of a street.

The streets will be closed to cars on August 9, 16 and 23 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. On 15 major east-west streets, like Canal, 14th St. and 42nd St., cars will be allowed to cross the car-free zone.

Read more...
13 Comments

Coming Soon: A Major Car-Free Event in NYC

722696492_0e9c285ce0.jpg
Cyclists enjoy Bogotá's weekly Ciclovía. Which New York streets will host a similar event this summer?

Speaking at Tuesday's Fit-City Conference, Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced that a Ciclovía-style car-free street event is in the works for this summer. New York is not alone. According to a story published earlier this week on RedOrbit, several other American cities are considering the same thing:

Others are planning ciclovia, or "bike path," programs in which networks of streets are temporarily closed to driving and open for non-motorized play. Last summer El Paso, Texas, staged the first ciclovia in the United States, and now Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Portland, Ore., are working on similar events.

Details of the New York Ciclovía have yet to be revealed. Streetsblog will fill in the blanks as this story develops.

Photo: themikebot / Flickr