Thursday, April 5, 2012

Squaring the Triangle in Los Angeles

Something is happening in Los Angeles, a city that embodies the cliché of car-bound congestion and suburban anomie. The megalopolis is wriggling out of the straitjacket of concrete avenues that, by condemning its residents to travel only in metal shells, wrapped them in loneliness and frustration. Almost suddenly--or so it feels--the city is snipping its way out of a restraining urban fabric that bound it to the car and stitching a chic and even sexy costume that lets it move freely, walk, run, even dance, in its travels. We have a long way to go before we can feel truly free and confident, but at least we can move again! From traffic jams we're moving to jam sessions--on real estate once reserved for speeding wheels. One of the first freedoms was CicLAvia (patterned after the ciclovías of Bogotá) where ten miles of streets are closed to cars and opened to unarmored human beings moving joyously and freely under their own personal power--cycling, walking, skating, dancing, running. We went trepidatiously into the first, in 2010--Could this ever work in LA? Will everyone hate us for even trying?--but tens of thousands responded with a wordless Yes! as they crowded into the liberated avenues. More CicLAvias followed, each drawing more happy people than the one before--and another is due this month! Read More Here.

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