Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The art of adding graceful value to the streets of a city yearning to be free: Ciclovia

"The exciting idea of closing streets to non-motorized activities for a few hours is catching on in progressive cities," writes bicycle commuter Maurice Loridans. "Just think of people on bikes, skates, or on foot strolling as far as they want to on a car free street getting exercise and socializing."

"If you've never heard of Ciclovia check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CiclovĂ­a. There's also a video: http://www.streetfilms.org/archives/ciclovia/.

Well, we can enjoy this right here in Shreveport, but, sadly, only during Mardi Gras season."

Adds the attorney, "I have for the past two years led a small group of cyclists along the Parade Route just before start time for both the Centaur and Gemini Parades. I think lots of cyclists and skaters would enjoy this. Even at a slow cruiser pace you can easily get to the finish zone on E. Kings hours before the parade does. The route is lined with tailgating and you have plenty of time to stop and visit folks you know.

One caveat. For some reason SPD won't let you on the parade route on Shreveport Barksdale in front of Shreve City. But the frontage road is fine there. You just have to get good at weaving around pedestrians.

This year I am going to dress in Mardis Gras colors and m-a-y-b-e decorate the bike a bit.

One big advantage is you don't have to start in the areas where parking is at a premium. You can start anywhere in Highland or Broadmoor and go to the Parade Route. Then travel towards the parade and turn around when you see the vehicles that clear the path.

I haven't tried this for the Highland Parade because I actually watch that parade and the route isn't lined all day with tailgaters but it could be fun to make a ciclovia out of that too."

And let me add that my masked krewe, Blanc et Noir Marching Society, also encourages participation of the sort espoused by thoughtful cyclist Loridans.

1 comment:

Harold said...

someone should mention this
to www.shreveportbicycleclub.org.