Ciclovia and Car-Free Events
Ciclovia means "bike path" in Spanish but it is also used in Latin America for temporary events that close streets to automobiles to allow non-motorized users to enjoy the streets.
Colombia enjoys the most prominent Ciclovia events. Every Sunday and holiday the main streets of Bogotá, Cali, Medellín, and other municipalities, are blocked off to cars for the event. From 7 am to 2 pm, walkers, skaters and bicyclists take over the streets. At the same time, stages are set up in city parks. Aerobics instructors, yoga teachers and musicians lead people through various performances. The largest is Bogotá with 2 million people attending (30% of citizens) on over 120km of car-free streets.
Watch this inspiring video of Bogota’s Ciclovia.
Find everything you need to plan your own Ciclovia event at this website that has captured the expertise of many experts: Ciclovia Recreativa.
World Carfree Day, September 22 each year, is also becoming very popular. And other, less prominent car-free events are gaining popularity such as closing off streets to enhance other bicycling and non-motorized events.
Kampala, Uganda enjoyed their first carfree day on December 10, 2011. Read all about it in their event report.
CicLAvia in Los Angeles, California is becoming another successful model that other cities are following.
After implementing Ciclovia events (sometimes referred to as "open streets") progressive cities are incorporating permanent car-free areas into their cities. So give it a try. Maybe your event will lead to a beautiful transformation of a section of your city, bringing a flood of new life and replacing motor noise with laughter.