CicloSDias Turns Pacific Beach Streets “Car-Free” for a Day

The bike/walk-only event promotes alternative transporation

It was “two wheels only” throughout Pacific Beach Sunday as San Diegans celebrated a unique sort of holiday: CicloSDias.

The event turned about two and a half miles of north Pacific Beach into a car-free zone, encouraging people to get on their bikes and ride.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., families were invited to ride, stroll or skip down Pacific Beach.

The San Diego Bicycle Coalition got the wheels turning for CicloSDias to promote more than 500 local businesses, livable communities and alternative transportation.

"People want events like this," said cyclist Mia Bolton. "They want to be out in the streets without worrying about getting hit by a car or not being seen in the crosswalk or having a big enough bike lane."

Last year, the San Diego Associated of Governments approved $200 million for projects to improve biking throughout the county, along with a half cent sales tax to build transportation infrastructure. 

This summer, the city is launching its first ever bike-sharing program. 

"Which means you don't even have to own a bike. You can just borrow one, take it to the next location and drop it off much like you have with Car2Go," said San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria.

Kickstarting the event, Gloria and other San Diego leaders like Congressman Scott Peters and San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman donned biking gear to give opening remarks.

The event stretched along Garnet Ave. from Ingraham St. to Mission Blvd., and Cass St. was closed from Garnet Ave. to Turquoise St.

Three “hubs” were located along the route, featuring showcase event sponsors, merchandise and a bicycle repair booth.

CicloSDias was inspired by the “Ciclova” (or bike path) events that started in Bogota, Columbia, in 1974. There, organizers were responding to the congestion and pollution of the city streets, according to the CicloSDias website.

Since then, car-free events have been riding into cities like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and now San Diego.

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