Bring Your Bike Downtown for Cyclovia on March 18

March 1, 2012

Cyclovia Tucson will once again transform 5 miles of Downtown  streets into a car-free, family-friendly, vibrant place to move, play, explore, and meet your fellow residents, on Sunday, March 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cyclovia is a cycling event for anybody, any age

Cyclovia Tucson invites people of all ages and abilities to come out and participate in this free event via tricycles, bicycle, roller skates, running shoes, sneakers, skateboards, and any other non-motorized form of transportation imaginable.

The route will once again connect Downtown to South Tucson, leading participants through some of Tucson’s oldest and most flavorful neighborhoods. It goes down South 4th Avenue from 13th Street to 34th Street, over on 34th to 8th Avenue, up 8th Avenue/Convent Avenue; and then 14th Street back to Armory Park.

It features six main “activity nodes,” each focused around a great park, school, business corridor, or cultural resource: Armory Park/Tucson Children’s Museum; Santa Rita Park; South 4th Avenue “Restaurant Row”; Arizona Children’s Association/Mission View Elementary; Santa Rosa Park; and Ochoa Elementary.

Each node will feature activities for participants, food vendors, entertainment, music, and an information station.

Now in its third year, Cyclovia Tucson expects to attract nearly 20,000 participants, doubling its attendance from 10,000 last spring.

This year’s event will feature many of last year’s big hits: fur-your-bicycle station, bicycle rodeo, puppet show, jumping castle, climbing wall, mariachis, hula-hooping, Solar Rock, The Water Festival and more. In addition, the 2012 event will include new activities and partners such as fitness classes and kids’ activities by University of Arizona Campus Recreation, live performances on the City of Tucson Parks & Recreation mobile stage, guided rides to the event by GABA (Greater Arizona Bicycling Association), drum lines, DJs, marching bands, interactive murals, and more.

The event will start with a grand launch emceed by Ernesto Portillo Jr., featuring speeches by local elected officials and major sponsors from 10-10:30am.

Cyclovia Tucson, a project of Living Streets Alliance, is made possible through the generosity of its supporting partners, including the City of Tucson, South Tucson, Pima Association of Governments, and Pima County.

Generous support for Cyclovia Tucson is also provided by United Healthcare, Providence Service Corp., Tucson Medical Center, and TriSports. Sponsors include Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, Sparkletts, Greater Arizona Bicycling Association, MoiaGroup, Rocks and Ropes, Kimley-Horn and Associates, HDR, Poster Frost Mirto, and Ajo Bikes.

Cyclovia Tucson is the local version of an event that originated in Bogota, Columbia many years ago.

Today in Bogota, the city closes down 70 miles of roadway to cars every Sunday, for people to walk, bike, talk, exercise, picnic, and play in the streets. These “open streets” events have gained traction all over the world, including many cities throughout the U.S. such as Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.

Open streets events are a great way to encourage people to adopt healthier, “active” transportation habits.

Cyclovia Tucson has also been identified as one of the contributing factors leading to platinum level bicycle friendly community status.

“There’s no doubt in our minds that these kinds of [open streets] events are a game changer. They allow the entire community to experience their own neighborhood, their own backyard, in a totally different way,” says Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “Cyclovia Tucson has the very real potential to change the way people think about their community and the way they travel within it; suddenly walking or bicycling to the store, to visit friends, or to get to work or school seems like something they can do, and they can have fun along the way. Cyclovia Tucson can be the signature event that propels the community to the very highest levels of bicycle-friendliness.”

Cyclovia Tucson is a project of Living Streets Alliance, a local non-profit education and advocacy organization whose mission is to promote healthy communities by empowering people to transform our streets into vibrant places for walking, bicycling, socializing, and play.