Apr 4, 2014 4:15 PM by Brian White
TUCSON - Two questions consistently asked about Cyclovia Tucson are: what is it and how is it pronounced? Cyclovia Tucson derives its name from Ciclovía, (see-klo- VEE-ah), a Spanish term for “cyclepath."
More commonly the word refers to open streets events – a global phenomenon occurring in cities that close a network of streets to cars for a day and open them to people for other forms of transportation such as walking, cycling, jogging, dancing, roller skating, skateboarding and more. The first question – what is Cyclovia Tucson – is not so easy to answer.
Now in its fifth year, Cyclovia is a project of Tucson’s Living Streets Alliance, a non-profit advocacy organization with a mission to empower people to transform streets into vibrant places for walking, bicycling, socializing and play. “Cyclovia Tucson embodies everything our organization is about,” says Emily Yetman, Executive Director of Living Streets Alliance.
In a city whose landscape and urban form has largely developed around the automobile, Cyclovia Tucson is a chance to step out of the car and become reacquainted with neighborhoods, business districts, and a sense of community. Cyclovia Tucson has quickly grown into Southern Arizona’s largest fitness event, attracting more than 25,000 participants to two events in April 2013.
To Cyclovia Event Coordinator Kylie Walzak, “Cyclovia really is a day to celebrate Tucson and feel a sense of civic pride. We hear people say they often feel trapped in their own neighborhoods because they don’t have sidewalks or safe crossings to connect them to where they want to go. They feel obligated to drive, but what if you can’t drive, can’t afford to drive or wish there were more options for getting around? At Cyclovia you see tens of thousands of people smiling at each other, giddy, because they are permitted to be in the streets, in our largest source of public space, in a safe, positive, celebratory way.” Events like Cyclovia add to the quality of life and vibrancy of Tucson – and others are taking note. To Matt Ziegler and Rand Jenkins, Cyclovia Tucson was a major reason they chose Armory Park as the location to expand their Flagstaff-based Hullabaloo Festivals.
The two-day music festival will take place April 5th and 6th and is partnering with Living Streets Alliance and Cyclovia Tucson. According to Ziegler and Jenkins, “Hullabaloo is a community festival and a celebration of all things Tucson from its sunny climate to its rich and diverse community. Hullabaloo will unite the community for one special weekend showcasing local businesses, nonprofit organizations, restaurants, and artists.” For more information on Tucson Hullabaloo visit www.tucsonhulla.com Cyclovia Tucson will take place on Sunday, April 6th from 10 am to 3 pm and will connect neighborhoods in and around Downtown Tucson to the City of South Tucson, which is also planning its own festival that day. The Fería del Sur Tucson will take place from 12 pm to 7 pm along South 4th Avenue from 36th Street to 28th Street and will feature more live music, vendors and food carts, activities for children, dancing, and entertainment. For more information on Cyclovia Tucson visit www.cycloviatucson.org For more information on Living Streets Alliance visit www.livingstreetsalliance.org ###
Here's a map of the route:
So what is a Cyclovia anyway?
It's a Spanish word signifying the temporary closure of a network of streets to cars so that they become “open” to people. During Cyclovia anyone can bike, walk, skate and participate in fun, free activities. One of the first and largest cyclovias in the world is held in Bogotá, Colombia. Every Sunday and holiday, every week of the year, the city closes down over 70 miles of roadways to cars to invite people to bike, walk, talk, exercise, picnic, sunbathe, etc. in the streets. People from all backgrounds come together in this beautiful community-inspiring event.
Why have a Cyclovia in Tucson?
Because Tucson has a lot of streets and it’s not everyday that you can be in them car-free and care-free. Take your whole family out for this great opportunity to explore and experience Tucson’s roads without the presence of cars.Cyclovia gives people from the greater Tucson region the chance to enjoy great weather, see neighbors, friends and people from throughout the area, and get a little exercise – all on city streets that will be closed to car traffic and open to walkers, joggers, cyclists, skaters and all other forms of people-powered movement. Motor vehicles will be detoured from the route allowing everyone the freedom to enjoy “open streets” safely and comfortably. Cyclovia isn’t a race, parade or competition. Instead, it’s a chance to enjoy Tucson from a new perspective (outside of the car). Walk your dog, roller skate, blow bubbles. Have fun because during Cyclovia, the streets are yours!