Last Saturday, about 50 riders participated in Tour de Van Nuys, an exploratory feeder ride to Connect the Dots, one of Mayor Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative Challenge grant recipients. The LACBC-led 5-mile ride was designed for people to explore Van Nuys’ history, charms, and landmarks with local historian, Andy Hurvitz of Here in Van Nuys.
A group photo in front of the Valley Municipal Building, the Valley’s satellite Los Angeles civic center.
LACBC interns Matt and Zoe greet members and supporters.
HereinVanNuys‘ Andy Hurvitz shares stories about local landmarks that people would have missed otherwise at the Old Van Nuys Library (1927).
Fifty bicyclists arrived at the Valley Municipal Building where riders participated in afternoon workshops, like creating pop-up protected bike lanes on Van Nuys Blvd. (see images below)
While riders were rolling through streets of Van Nuys, Connect the Dots kicked off with opening remarks by Councilmember Nury Martinez and our LACBC Bike Ambassador and Van Nuys Neighborhood Council Board Member Quirino de la Cuesta.
The first design workshop began with kids from local schools, police officers, and residents chalk-painting dots to indicate underwater streams beneath the street surface. Participants learned how the underwater system works beneath street surfaces. And of course, Van Nuys Boulevard became much more colorful and pretty.
From the Arid Lands Institute’s recap:
“Workshop leaders asked participants, What is the future of your boulevard? Can bikes, cars, strollers, skateboards, and rapid transit all share it? And can it be designed to help solve LA’s water supply needs?“Led by the Arid Lands Institute of Woodbury University in partnership with Pacoima Beautiful, LA County Bicycle Coalition, Council District 6 and the Mayor’s Great Streets office, workshops challenged residents to imagine the Boulevard performing at its fullest potential: serving as engaging 24/7 public space; a healthy, active transit corridor in lively economic zone; and a strategic groundwater-recharge asset. Van Nuys Boulevard between Sylvan and Erwin was partially closed for the day’s activities.”
A skateboarder is enjoying the new open space.
LACBC and our partner Walk’N Rollers also ran a kids’ bicycle clinic on a plaza at Erwin & Van Nuys. Almost 30 kids participated in the bicycle rodeo and got a free helmet kindly donated by Van Nuys Neighborhood Council. Some kids even came back multiple times to ride their bikes through the obstacle course.
Kids learn and have fun at the LACBC + Walk ‘N Roller Kids Bike Clinic.
Look at the new Van Nuys Blvd!
After the second workshop, Van Nuys Blvd was reborn with safe, pop-up, bi-directional protected bike lanes with lots of greenery and pedestrian space. One of the highlight moments of the day was when all the kids on biked together on the protected bike lanes. We hope that this event inspired our next generation of kids to understand a new vision for streets and environment.
Kids feel safe riding on the pop-up protected bike lanes on Van Nuys Blvd.
The festivity continued even after dusk. Live music, light projection, Tai-chi class, and art installation by Tamarind Rossetti filled the Boulevard and the Marvin Braude Plaza.
We would like to thank to our team, Arid Lands Institute, Pacoima Beautiful, Anne Trumble, Tamarind Rossetti, Walk’N Rollers, Van Nuys Neighborhood Council, Andy Hurvitz, and all the volunteers who helped make this event happened.
To join LACBC’s San Fernando Valley Bike Ambassador group, please sign up here!