CicLAvia transformed the Iconic Wilshire Boulevard into a one-day open street event ‘where no cars go’ on Sunday, April 6, 2013.
The 20-minute kick-off ceremony, themed ‘Open Streets in Los Angeles and Beyond’ took place in front of the Berlin Wall installation, on the lawn of Wilshire Blvd. LA. The introduction of speakers who are open street leaders, car-free advocates, and public officials was led by Aaron Paley, Executive Director and Founder of CicLAvia. Non-speaking VIPS were likewise recognized and acknowledge.
Stana Katic, founder of Alternative Travel Project, and star of ABC’s Castle was one of the speakers. She spoke about Using Open Streets Alternative Travel Lessons. And here’s what she said (video courtesy of maximotv):
So, I’m Stana Katic. I’m the founder of Alternative Travel Project which a global initiative that encourages people to go car-free for just one day. I’m gonna throw a bunch of stats your way and if anything sticks, then I’ve done my job.
Do you know that if everyone on our planet went car-free for just one day, we would save 11.7 million tons of carbon-dioxide? How about this? It takes over a billion trees, 1 billion 700 million trees, to absorb all of that CO2. So one day car-free, 1 billion trees. We can affect our environment by making a different choice for just one day. And if you’re not bothered by the environment, how about saving lives? The British Medical Association states that cycling 20miles a week cuts the risk of coronary heart disease in half. That’s a disease that kills almost 400,000 Americans a year. If you’re not a fan of trees, and you’re not big on saving lives, let me tell you something that might hit you where it really hurts. American Public Transit Association estimates that those that use Public Transit in LA in 2012 saved almost $11,000 annually. Transportation is the highest household expense for the average American.
Maybe you thought that going car-free for just one day wasn’t such a big deal. It is. Making a different choice in our transit mode can affect our environment, heath and pocketbooks. It’s a choice that can have reverberating effects in our lives, in our communities and globally. So, today we get the chance to play with the idea what it means to have a lifestyle in which we cycle, we roller blade, we walk, skateboard and what-not to get around. Wouldn’t it great if this was the norm? If getting around our city was safe, active and fun and didn’t require hours in traffic? It is possible. It just requires us demanding more of our city and its transit infrastructure. So, join CicLAvia, join us at ATP and go car-free for just one day. It could change the world for the better!