Viva Streets and Ciclovia

The word “Ciclovia” is a Spanish term for “Bike Parkway”, but I’m calling it a bicycle celebration.  Back in the early 80′s, the people of Bogata, Columbia created the idea of Ciclovia as a way to battle against the traffic congestion found in their city and to this date they still hold a 70 mile celebration each Sunday.

This idea has caught on around the world and here in North America most places have changed the name to Viva Streets. PortlandSan FranciscoMadisonNew YorkLos Angeles and other cities in the US have made this a part of their city’s culture and now Austin is holding their own Viva Street Celebration.  This Sunday (May 20th), the city will be blocking off Sixth Street between Brazos Street and Robert Martinez Jr Street so that it can be opened up to bikes, skaters, strollers, skateboards….or even some street yoga or hula hooping.

Our friends from Viva la Bicicleta will have a booth set up during Viva Streets (you just knew they had to be involved in something like this).  I’ll be roaming the event on my bicicleta and also hanging at their booth as well….come find me.

If you live in Austin or will be here that day, be sure to join in on this car-free and tobacco-free playground.  If not, check and see if your city holds a Viva Streets festival or plans on hosting one.  Give it up to the Columbians for coming up with such a great idea.

Have you ever experienced a Ciclovia or Viva Streets?  Let’s hear all about it.

  • Timo Forsberg

    Love the post on ciclovias, but must take exception to the claim that “here in North America most places have changed the name to Viva Streets.” We North Americans exhibit an exuberant heterogeneity in naming our events: Portland’s is Sunday Parkways, San Francisco’s is Sunday Streets, NYC has Summer Streets, LA has CicLAvia, and so on.
    But to be fair, our Latin American mentors use various names as well – Guadalajara has Via RecreActiva, Mexico City has the Paseo Dominical Muevete en Bici, Quito has the Ciclopaseo, etc.
    And for good reason – “ciclovias” means “cyclepaths” in Spanish. The Wikipedia article about active street events used to point to Mexico City’s cyclepath page . Whatever you call it, opening up streets to people is a great idea!

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks Timo. There was no intention of offending anyone with the comments, so I’m sorry that it came across that way. I agree, whatever you want to call it…opening up the streets to people is a fantastic idea.

  • Eric

    What a great idea. Have fun, but unfortunately I can’t make it over to Austin.

  • Karin

    We don’t have one of these in our city, but we should. It sounds like fun.

  • Bob

    Yes, I will be there and bringing my bike of course.