Last night, I went to the Community Meeting for the Valley’s first CicLAvia event. It was held at the venerable Beeman Park auditorium, which seemed a lot smaller than my memory served(I was last inside during my elementary years). Besides fighting off the urge to dunk on the seven foot rims, I was there to take in breath of information to add details to the March 22nd event. Here’s what transpired:
- The meeting was well attended. If some of the people didn’t choose to stand or sit off to the side, then all the seating would have been filled. I’d put the numbers of attendees around 50.
- The presentation started out will some slides and a video. Most people there already know the routine, but it warms the heart to imagine this happening in the valley.
- The biggest piece of information about the route was the detail around the Universal City station. On the big map, it indicates that the crossing on the 101 will be a pedestrian zone, but the closeup reveals that cars will be able to cross to enter the 101 northbound. That brings the crossing points up to six, but this may be the toughest zone for cars to cross because of the alignment.
- Businesses will be able to come out to the sidewalk, as long as they are not on the street and give a four foot lane for people to pass. The staff brought up that business has increased 10% during CicLAvia and 57% for those that engage the customers. I brought up the point that even if you’re a business that may not benefit that day, like a mattress store or car dealership, that it’s a great opportunity to interact with potential customers you’d never have access to for future sales.
- There were two business people that brought up concerns. One went unnamed, but the other was from Art’s Deli. Please read this: As great of an event that CicLAvia is, some businesses will be affected by it. The manner both these gentlemen handled this was professional, wanting to support the event, but faced with losing thousands of dollars that day, such as Art’s with their catering business. Because they handled this with respect, please go out of your way to frequent Art’s Deli at CicLAvia or any other day and let them know that cyclists support them.
- There will be another community event at the North Hollywood Library on February 18th. The staff of Malia, Rachel and Henny did an excellent job addressing the crowd and need to share some of their public speaking tips to me.
Otherwise, it looks like people are excited for this event to come. Only 50 days away!