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Pedestrians, Bikes To Take Over Streets Sunday For CicloSDias

Evening Edition

Aired 8/9/13 on KPBS News.

Streets in five San Diego neighborhoods will be closed to cars Sunday for San Diego's first CicloSDias.


CicloSDias will stop traffic on 30th Street from K to Landis streets, and on Landis and Wightman streets in the Cherokee Point neighborhood of City Heights Aug. 11, 2013.

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A 5.2-mile-long block party will close streets to vehicle traffic in five San Diego neighborhoods Sunday for the city's very first CicloSDias.

"It's a bicycling-, walking-, strolling-, rolling-, connect-with-your-community event," said Andy Hanshaw, executive director of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition.

Hanshaw said San Diego is joining an open streets movement with Sunday's event. CicloSDias is modeled after similar events in Bogotá and Los Angeles. The goal is to reclaim streets for pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders — anyone but drivers.

Hanshaw said CicloSDias has been in the making for about four years. It gained momentum during the 2012 mayoral campaign, when candidates jockeyed for support from San Diego's bike community and smart growth advocates.

"I think the timing was right," Hanshaw said. "I think people are wanting to have more of these types of environments and opportunities to enjoy their streets without worrying about the stress of traffic."

Street access will be closed to cars from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on 30th Street from Grant Hill, through Golden Hill and South Park, to North Park. Landis and Wightman streets heading into City Heights will also be open to pedestrians.

Expect neighborhood booths, music, Zumba classes and a lot of bikes.

Hanshaw said organizers are already thinking about hosting another CicloSDias. Permits, equipment and marketing for the event cost $60,000 to $80,000. This year's event was funded through private donations, Hanshaw said. Organizers are still accepting donations through the crowd-funding site


Avatar for user 'Alex_Grebenshchikov'

Alex_Grebenshchikov | August 9, 2013 at 12:13 p.m. ― 2 years ago

Yikes, I'll stay as far away from this event as possible :-( The smug levels will be dangerously high.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | August 9, 2013 at 2:39 p.m. ― 2 years ago

This is almost as bad as those critical-massholes. At least they are giving notice and getting legal permission to block off their route. Critical mass riders create a very dangerous situation by blocking off traffic and acting like they own the streets. If my loved one was having a medical emergency and I needed to get to the hospital, I would not allow some guys on their bikes to illegally block my route. Cars are stronger than bikes.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | August 9, 2013 at 5:22 p.m. ― 2 years ago

Thugs on bikes. Tossing eggs from the higher buildings will be a load of fun. Yolk yolk. :)

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Avatar for user 'Katt'

Katt | August 9, 2013 at 7:49 p.m. ― 2 years ago

Oh Goody. I can't get in and out of my own neighborhood. There is only one major street, and the city decides to close it FOR OUR BENEFIT? I wish I could stay away from this event, but I live in the middle of the block on a closed street. My car is already parked a couple of blocks away so it won't get towed, but I am disabled and cannot get to and from the parking place. I am stuck.

I will be stuck again in a few weeks when a Colorado brewing company hosts their bicycle ride through our neighborhood. I am really looking forward to 3000 drunks on bikes in the neighborhood. Last year they were kind enough to leave the streets full of trash.

The bus will be rerouted and the signs are at the bus stops saying there is a service alert, but what is the new route? That is not posted, I feel sorry for the folks that have to try to get to work.

I hope none of the churches along the route are hosting weddings or funerals. it will be difficult enough for folks to get to their Sunday service, let alone special events.

The bike vendors along the way might be happy, but I bet most of the other shops will not be so glad. It is difficult enough to get into the neighborhood and park on a good day, let alone a day with the only through street closed.

If you want to close the street and make it friendly for the people, do it on the nights of a walkabout. We host them four times a year. On those days, the sidewalks are jammed and folks are overflowing into the streets.

I hope this is nothing like the Critical Mass rides. Those folks are rude. The fan out and completely paralyze the neighborhood. They ride with horns, whistles, and assorted noisemakers so they get every dog barking and disturb every household along the way.

If you have to do it again, could you pick a neighborhood that has more than one major street please?

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Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | August 10, 2013 at 7:21 a.m. ― 2 years ago

lets hope all the macho riders that feel they need to prove something do not show up.

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Avatar for user 'Anon11'

Anon11 | August 10, 2013 at 10:01 a.m. ― 2 years ago

There is a lot of ignorance in the comments posted so far.

"Yikes, I'll stay as far away from this event as possible :-( The smug levels will be dangerously high."

Who is more smug than the person who labels groups of people and places themselves above them? I'm sure everyone is happier you are staying home.

"Thugs on bikes. Tossing eggs from the higher buildings will be a load of fun. Yolk yolk. :)"

They're the thugs, yet you advocate assault against them?


Those who make arguments against critical mass do have merit, though.

"Critical mass riders create a very dangerous situation by blocking off traffic and acting like they own the streets."

Absolutely, however..

"If my loved one was having a medical emergency and I needed to get to the hospital, I would not allow some guys on their bikes to illegally block my route. Cars are stronger than bikes."

So you're going to potentially kill multiple people in order to save one? Would you run over a jaywalker, too? What if a smaller car is blocking you? Just crash into it and push it out of the way? Seems like a pretty stupid approach, to be blunt.

Fact of the matter is, bikes have the same rights as cars. Whether you feel like they slow you down, or you harbor some sort of bigotry towards bike riders in general, has no matter.

Tolerance and understanding could go a long way here, on both sides. Too bad something as awesome as transportation through exercise, with no oil/gas or pollution, gets such a bad rap. Seems the impatience of the average driver is the catalyst for so much of the hate. I hope that doesn't apply to whoever is reading this.

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Avatar for user 'Katt'

Katt | August 11, 2013 at 5:44 p.m. ― 2 years ago

I was wrong. I am an older resident along the route, and I was not thrilled with the inconvenience the event was causing. I must admit my mistake. The public good outweighed my inconvenience. The portion of the event I saw was (for the most part) well run. There were a few bugs, and that is not unexpected for the first run of an event this large.

The portion of the event along my neighborhood section was well attended, well behaved, and a very happy event. There were folks and critters and every possible wheeled conveyance, and everyone was smiling.

Families were out together walking and riding. There were extended families. It was a beautiful day, and people were exercising in the fresh air. It was a free event, and I understand there were various stations along the way with goodies - watermelon in one place, ice cream in another, and water in many places.

I had the opportunity to speak with many participants, and a good many either lived somewhere along the route or were regularly in one of the route areas. There were others who would not have come to the neighborhood if not for this event, and they were all united in the fun they were having.

Having seen the event, I must admit my incorrect preconceptions, and congratulate the planners, the donors, and all the volunteers. What a pleasant surprise, and I will try to approach the future with my mind open and positive.

I expected some of the critical mass bad behavior, or the drunken antics of the Tour de Fat group. Today was NOT the destructive / entitled / aggressive element. This was friends and neighbors, and everyone got along - happily. What a treat!

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Avatar for user 'surf4food'

surf4food | August 12, 2013 at 10:51 a.m. ― 2 years ago

This was fun event and I hope they do it next year. The people who are complaining disgust me and get my blood pressure up with the amount of hatred I have for them.

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Avatar for user 'surf4food'

surf4food | August 12, 2013 at 10:57 a.m. ― 2 years ago

I with this site allowed direct replies. Some of the comments are really pissing me off. Who the hell do some of these people think they are that cyclists (people who are having fun getting exercise and not polluting) should have a damn about then? Selfish aholes.

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Avatar for user 'Natalie Walsh'

Natalie Walsh, KPBS Staff | August 12, 2013 at 11:05 a.m. ― 2 years ago


Thank you for adding your comments on this story and while we appreciate your passion for this topic, please keep your comments civil.

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Avatar for user 'surf4food'

surf4food | August 12, 2013 at 11:12 a.m. ― 2 years ago

Sorry Natalie,

I just get heated up over this as I have known several fellow riders who have been hit and landed some permanent life altering injuries and the drivers didn’t care and were more concerned with the personal financial repercussions from lawsuits. Your point is taken and I will adhere to it.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | August 12, 2013 at 3:48 p.m. ― 2 years ago

Wow dude, that temper of yours is dangerous. I bet your blood pressure is so high with rage that it outweighs all the benefits you get from cycling! What a scary person!

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Avatar for user 'Bel75'

Bel75 | August 12, 2013 at 10:37 p.m. ― 2 years ago

I don't understand why some people criticized this event. I was a participating vendor giving out free food and water to those who stopped by our booth. Everyone was thrilled to stop by for a break. Everyone was in good spirits and as a business we were able to engage with many people who we may not have been able to communicate with on a typical day. All around this was a superb event for the community and all the small businesses along the route! I hope they do this more than once per year. And no, please don't associate this event with the Critical Mass rides. This is an organized official event. A totally different crowd. Lighten up people!

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Avatar for user 'rickpeoples'

rickpeoples | August 13, 2013 at 9:51 a.m. ― 2 years ago

I rode the event with three teenagers. Teenagers don't like to let on that they are having fun, but I thought I saw them smile a couple times when they thought I wasn't looking. For an event with this many people involved, it was very calm and low key. We got water, oranges, and watermelons. I didn't see any craziness, I was impressed by how many volunteers there were, and they were allowing cars to cross the route at several key intersections. For a first time event, I have to say hats off to organizers. I attended specifically so I can lobby the city where I live to host a similar event. And the comments to this news story are extremely helpful. Thanks to everyone involved.

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Avatar for user 'Lunawaters'

Lunawaters | August 13, 2013 at 1:50 p.m. ― 2 years ago

This event was awesome and I would like to see more of these! I am very grateful to have the financial, physical, and mental ability to ride a bike. Thank you everybody who organized and supported this event! I specially loved to see all the families out!!! Loved the free watermelon and the music. Thank you for not forgetting about the Barrio! Thank you KPBS for providing this media space.

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