CicLAvia 47 Report: CicLAmini To The Max!

The intersection of Lankershim and Magnolia boulevards in North Hollywood during the September 17, 2023 CicLAvia CicLAmini open streets event. The street was closed to auto traffic between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and open only to bicycles, pedestrials, skaters, scooters, wheelchairs and other human-powered transport.
The intersection of Lankershim and Magnolia boulevards at the September 17, 2023 CicLAmini – North Hollywood CicLAvia event.

There was no tropical storm or even any measurable rainfall to spoil Sunday’s CicLAmini – North Hollywood CicLAvia event, but unlike all of the previous CicLAvias, the sky remained uncharacteristically cloudy and overcast the entire time, without a single break in the clouds to let a beam of sunlight in.  It was late summer, yet the temperature was a cool 72 degrees in North Hollywood, specifically the NoHo Arts District where the one-mile course ran through – a stretch of Lankershim Boulevard between Camarillo Street and Chandler Boulevard, a two block-long length of Chandler Boulevard and another two block-long dogleg of Magnolia Boulevard east of Lankershim.

It was the second of the morsel-sized “CicLAmini” CicLAvia events, which are meant to be shorter than two miles long, and emphasize walking over bicycling, even though the usual CicLAvia modes of transport are still welcome. The inaugural CicLAmini happened on May 21 in good ol’ Watts, a lightly-attended event overall, but had a great turnout of local residents (as opposed to people traveling to CicLAvia), and the majority of the participants appeared to be children/youth/families. Though the Watts route had plenty of community-oriented institutions, there was little in the way of commercial area featuring restaurants and shops (aside from the shopping center along 103rd Street). Like the Watts CicLAmini, The Militant left his bike at The Militant Compound and rode the Metro, taking on the entire route (and back) on his combat boots.

There seemed to be a lot more people moving about on two feet as opposed to two wheels this time around – as well as many places to just hang out.

The North Hollywood CicLAmini was decidedly different – there was no lack of restaurants and shops (The Militant skipped the CicLAvia food guide this time as there were simply too many eateries to mention), and for a mile-long CicLAvia event, there seemed to be a lot more pedestrians and scooters than bicycles this time around. Like the Watts CicLAmini, it was Metro-accessible (this time by the (B) Line subway and (G) Line Bus Rapid Transit line), but this CicLAmini was meant for a leisurely hang in NoHo.

Which led to The Militant’s main complaint about the event – the normal operating hours of CicLAvia events during Pacific Daylight Time are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but (presumably) due to the shorter route, the CicLAminis (both the May event in Watts and Sunday’s in North Hollywood) were scheduled for 9 .a.m to 3 p.m. Can’t we just get the extra hour to enjoy the streets like this? Especially for a route with plenty of places to eat, shop and recreate?

The Militant was able to briefly chat with an unspecified person within the CicLAvia organization to offer his feedback on the CicLAmini hours. Another person he spoke to on Sunday with ties to an unspecified Los Angeles City department mentioned that there will likely be more “CicLAmini” events planned for 2024 and 2025, partly to make up for the CicLAvia hiatus during the Pandemic Era, and also partly because they can be implemented in more neighborhoods around Los Angeles with much simpler logistics than a standard 5+ mile event.

The Militant initially thought the whole “CicLAmini” concept was a cheap cop-out, but…they’re actually not bad at all. They can bring focus to businesses, institutions and cultural assets withing actual neighborhoods as opposed to a several-mile-long course to be conquered in a one-way or round-trip bike ride.

After CicLAvia, The Militant naturally wanted to explore more of North Hollywood. He walked west on Magnolia towards North Hollywood Recreation Center when he happened to spot a unique addition to NoHo’s street food scene at the southwest corner of Magnolia Boulevard and Tujunga Avenue:

Afterward, The Militant walked back to the North Hollywood Metro station – but instead of hopping on the subway back to The Militant Compound, he decided to have a mini errand/adventure in the 818 today. Having not yet ridden the new electric buses on the Metro (G) Line BRT, it was time to change that once and for all:

The Militant rode as far as the Sepulveda Station, deciding he had to buy some stuff at Target. Initially thinking it was just “around the corner,” he huffed the half-mile from the (G) Line Sepulveda Station to the store on 5711 Sepulveda Boulevard. En route, he realized that Sepulveda seems to be the center of the street food scene in Van Nuys.

Along the 5800 block of Sepulveda in Van Nuys. Take your pick: birria, Japanese food or tacos.

By the time The Militant got back to the (G) Line stop from Target, he realized he had already walked the length of another CicLAmini. He hopped on the e-bus back to North Hollywood. It was quite the ride.

He also got to see the bus get charged up for the next trek back to Chatsworth before hopping back on the (B) Line back home.

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