On Sunday, CicLAvia is hitting the Westside again. You may remember the first time that CicLAvia took over Venice Boulevard in April 2013 and let people ride or walk all the way to the beach. The crowds were huge and what everyone talked about afterward was the bike congestion: many riders abandoned the official route and took the Ballona Creek bike path or made their own route. Riders and walkers also discovered a key truth about leaving the beach on your own power: it's relentlessly uphill. Many found themselves a long ways from home when the route closed down in mid-afternoon. So this time there are some changes.
Crowds on Venice Blvd. at CicLAvia in 2013. Clifford V. Johnson.
Sunday's route is much shorter. Instead of 15 miles from downtown, it's just six miles and starts at the Expo Line terminus in Culver City. The route then follows Washington Boulevard through the heart of Culver City. Riders only get up to Venice Boulevard at Centinela, then have a clean shot out to Venice Beach and back. The block of Venice Boulevard east of Centinela will be available too so that participants can get to the Mar Vista Farmers Market on Grand View Boulevard and the colony of bike shops around that corner. New to the block is Sweet Lucie's, a husband-and-wife organic ice cream shop (originally a truck) next door to Venice Grind, in the space that formerly served as the election headquarters for City Councilman Mike Bonin.
Here's some advice from Metro:
- Metro is beefing up rail service during the event, particularly on the Expo Line. If taking a bike on board, please use the designated bicycle area.
- Load up your TAP card with roundtrip fare ahead of time to avoid long TVM lines at Culver City Station.
- Speaking of Culver City Station…we expect the parking lot to fill up early, as well as the park and ride lot at La Cienega/Jefferson Station. So if you want to park and ride, follow us on Twitter to get updates on the parking situation. Or check here for other options.
- And speaking of parking, the lot at Expo/Crenshaw Station will NOT be available for use on Sunday due to service at West Angeles Church.
- Lines 733 and 33 will be detouring, as you can see from above map. But they’ll still be in service, along with other Culver City Bus and Big Blue Bus lines that run in the area. These buses might be good options for those who find themselves in Venice and too tired to walk/bike back to their starting point.
CicLAvia also warns in bold type:
**Allow yourself enough time to return to the Metro or your car safely while streets are still closed to car traffic. Streets begin to re-open to vehicles promptly at 4pm.**
Even if you're not taking part, note that summer Sundays are always congested at Venice Beach and that some of the usual streets will be closed for this event. Main Street, Grand Boulevard, Windward Avenue and the Windward Circle will be closed to cars from 8 a.m., so if you are driving in the area expect a mess.