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At CicLAvia, many say they feel safe despite Boston bombings

April 21, 2013|By Matthew Fleischer

Despite being among a crowd of more than 100,000, a number of CicLAvia participants said Sunday they were not worried about their safety in the wake of the Boston bombings.

Downtown resident Goldy Lee, 27, and her fiance, Jeff Chinn, 26, said safety concerns were at the bottom of their worry list.

“This is such a local event. People aren’t really flying in from anywhere,” Lee said. “It didn’t really occur to me to be worried.”

“To be honest, I didn’t even think about it,” Chinn said.

Nearby on Central Street in Little Tokyo, 17-year-old Joey Wallack of Santa Ana echoed that sentiment.

“No,” was his response when asked if he had any security concerns about coming to CicLAvia. But he added, “I am going to be extra careful where I put my backpack. I don’t want to cause any problems.”

Others said the question of security had crossed their minds.

“It is in the back of your head,” Gus Vindell said as the 43-year-old Alhambra housing inspector stood with his bike near the corner of 2nd and Central. “We’re not going to let fear get the best of us though. This is our first CicLAvia. The idea of riding all the way to the beach is exciting.”

“You can’t live in fear,” Vindell’s Alhambra neighbor Noel Partida, 40, agreed. “You’ll never leave the house.”

During last week’s Boston Marathon, three people were killed and more than 170 injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line. One suspect in the bombings was killed in a shootout with police and another was arrested late Friday.

Tens of thousands of cyclists and pedestrians were expected to participate in CicLAvia, which will temporarily close 15 miles of streets to motorized vehicles from downtown to Venice Beach. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A map of the route showing crossings open to vehicles is at www.CicLAvia.org.

Venice Boulevard will be closed to vehicle traffic in both directions from Alvarado Street to Crenshaw Boulevard. From Crenshaw Boulevard in Mid-City to Grand Boulevard in Venice Beach, Venice Boulevard will be closed to westbound car traffic only.

There will be plenty of diversions along the way, including food trucks, DJs, a rock climbing wall, a marching band and various arts and crafts booths.

The event was inspired by Ciclovia, which has been staged in traffic-choked Bogota, Colombia, for 30 years.
The idea is to give people on foot and bikes a chance to experience the city from a different perspective.

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matthew.fleischer@latimes.com

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