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Ciclovía in Bogotá

Ciclovía (/ˌsklˈvə/, Spanish: [θikloˈβi.a]), also ciclovia or cyclovia, is a Spanish term that means "cycleway", either a permanent bike path or the temporary closing of certain streets to automobiles for cyclists and pedestrians,[1] a practice sometimes called open streets.[2]

Origins in Colombia[edit]

The inspiration for Ciclovías is credited to Bogotá, Colombia,[3] although the National Capital Commission in Canada's capital Ottawa already organised open streets for active transportation in 1970.[4] The events have taken place since December 1974 when they started through the efforts of organizer Jaime Ortiz Mariño and others cyclist aficionados.[5] However, it was until 1976 when Bogota's Mayor Luis Prieto Ocampo signed the 566 and 567 decrees that Ciclovia became an official program promoted by the City government and supported by the Transportation Department.[6] In Bogotá, permanently designated bikeways are also known as ciclorrutas, while streets temporarily closed for that purpose are called ciclovías.

Each Sunday and public holiday from 7 am until 2 pm certain main streets of Bogotá, Cali, Medellín, and other cities are temporarily blocked off to cars allowing runners, skaters, and bicyclists to workout in a more comfortable environment. At the same time, stages are set up in city parks. Aerobics instructors, yoga teachers and musicians lead people through various performances. The great variety of traditional food[7] and drinks offered in snack stalls motivates many locals and tourists to go around the Ciclovía. Bogotá's weekly ciclovías are used by approximately 2 million people (about 30% of the population) on over 120 km of car-free streets.[3]

In 2007, a Colombian congressman, José Fernando Castro Caycedo, proposed a law banning Ciclovia, charging that it caused traffic jams. Ciclovia users protested the change, and received support from ex-mayors Peñalosa and Samuel Moreno, as well as several members of the city council and other congressmembers. The proposal was defeated.[8]

Ciclovía Schedule[edit]

Bogota's Ciclovia at Avenida Chile

The Bogota Ciclovía provides service from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm Sundays and holidays of the year by the main roads of the city, connected in a circuit of over 121 kilometers long and covers all sectors of the city.

This time space was born in 1974. Since 1995 its management was taken over by the IDRD. Since then and gradually, it has been constructed to reach its present appearance and acceptance among its thousands of users. Its infrastructure allows nearly one million (1,000,000) users leave their homes to safely practice different types of physical activities.

The Ciclovía was awarded under the II International Competition 2005 Active Cities Healthy Cities, through its contribution to the development of an alternative and efficient physical activity in the city.

Ciclovia routes 2016

Ciclovía in other countries[edit]

Bikepath to Weston Creek in the Suburbs of Canberra, part of the Australian Capital Territory


On the Gold Coast, Queensland, the City of Gold Coast held the city's first Ciclovia dubbed "Bike and Street Fest" on 4 May 2014.[9] A section of Varsity Parade, Varsity Lakes was car-free for a four-hour celebration of bikes and all forms of active travel. The event included food stalls, street performers, live music and a BMX stunt show and attracted approximately 5000 visitors. Bike and Street Fest was held for a second consecutive year on Varsity Parade, Varsity Lakes on 3 May 2015.[10] The event again included street performers, live music and a BMX stunt show and ran in conjunction with the "Ride. Run. Walk." event which hosted a number of fun runs and competitive bike rides. The event attracted an estimated 7500 visitors.[9]

In Melbourne, the Moreland city council has held two Cyclovia events, on 28 May 2006 and 13 April 2008. A 4-kilometre (2.5 mi) section of the busy arterial Sydney Road was car-free for six hours. Bicycles and pedestrians filled the road, and trams also flowed as normal.[11] A smaller (1.5 km long) section of same road is closed off to trams as well as motorised vehicles for the Sydney Road Street Party in the late southern summer each year.


Rosario was the first city in Argentina to hold an official Ciclovia, called Calle Recreativa. Each Sunday and holiday few important avenues of Rosario, are blocked off for the event to become carfree. From 8 am to 1 pm, runners, skaters and bicyclists take over the streets. Rosario's weekly ciclovías are used by approximately 30.000 people on over 13 km of carfree streets.[12] Buenos Aires started its Ciclovías network in 2009, and as of 2013 it covers more than 100 km and continues expanding.[citation needed]


Brussels hosted its first Cyclovia on August 21, 2011.[13] About 10 km of roads were totally or partially closed, with a course spanning from the Cinquantenaire Park throughout the centre of the city ending at the western boundary of the Small ring (Brussels). Another event is planned for September 11, 2011.The second Belgian Cyclovia will take place on the June 17, 2012.


Walkable city streets are commonly closed on Sunday in major cities, one notable example being Avenida Atlântica in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro. São Paulo opens 118 km of car lanes to bikes-only every Sunday and holiday from 7 am to 4 pm, one of the most extensive programs in the world.[14] The capital city of Brasilia also has a Sunday program with 16 km of lanes opened, complementing an extensive network of protected permanent bike lanes. Numerous other Brazilian cities have smaller programs.[15]


Halifax held an event called Switch Open Streets on September 9, 2012 and planned to hold three more in 2013, beginning June 9, 2013. [1] The first Switch attracted approximately 35,000 people and the event aims to create community ownership so that it may take place on more Sundays every year.[2] In March 2012, Gil Peñalosa visited Halifax.

Winnipeg was the first city in Canada to hold an official Ciclovia, on Sunday, September 13, 2009. The event saw thousands of people crowd Broadway on bikes, skateboards and on foot. The event was such a success that organizers, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, hope to make it an annual event.[16]

Vancouver held its first Ciclovias, called Vancouver LiveStreets, on June 26, 2011 and September 11, 2011. The events are a partnership between The City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC).[17]

Calgary, Alberta has hosted the Bow River Flow since 2009. Most recently, on August 21, 2011, it saw the opening of two lanes of the Memorial Drive Parkway for thousands of Calgarians to enjoy dozens of participatory activities in a non-consumeristic street festival Bow River Flow. Organizers have proposed larger scale multi-day events for 2012.

Hamilton is holding its seventh Open Streets event, based on the Ciclovia movement on June 23, 2013. The event is organized by a group of community partners and invites people to walk ride or roll down town through over 2K of James St. N car free.

Ottawa - Gatineau has been the site of Ciclovías-type street closures (for motorised vehicles) since 1970, organised by the National Capital Commission. Every Sunday morning from Victoria Day until Labour day over 50 kilometres of roads in the heart of Ottawa and nearby Gatineau Park are reserved for cyclists, in-line skaters, runners, and pedestrians. This initiative is called the Sunday Bikedays Program.[18] In 2021 the NCC converted Sunday Bike Days to Weekend Bike Days and added weekday closures on Queen Elizabeth Drive and Colonel By Drive to create more space for active transportation.

Toronto Is relatively new to this initiative and started in 2014 with annual event of weekend closures for the two main streets: Yonge and Bloor. Closed part of streets reached 10 km in 2016 and had over 80 000 participants. Event is accompanied by multiple "activity hubs" - nodes of active programming spaced along the Open Streets TO route. This annual event is named the Open Streets TO.[19]


Every Sunday morning 32 kilometres of roads in Santiago de Chile are reserved for cyclist, runners, skaters, etc. This is called "CicloRecreoVía" The program started in 2006 and meets every Sunday to 34,000 people 09:00 to 14:00.

In northern Chile CicloRecreoVía is implemented each Sunday in the city of Antofagasta on the waterfront along 4 km car-free.

Costa Rica[edit]

A 5.8 km long ciclovía was built in the city of Cartago in 2012.[20]


The first Ciclopaseo in Quito took place in April 2003 [3] when the path was only 9.5 km and 3,000 people participated. At that point, Ciclopaseos were only held on the last Sunday of every month but the event grew in popularity. In six months the route had grown to 20 km with 25,000 participants.

The Ciclopaseo is a project organized by the local organization Ciclopolis to promote urban cycling, sustainable transportation, and community building in Quito. A route of 30 km running from the North to South of the city is closed to traffic every Sunday from 8 am until 2 pm to give preference to bicyclers and pedestrians.

The project was partially inspired by the Ciclopaseo in the neighboring capital of Bogota, Colombia. The mayor of Bogota, Antanas Mockus, rode alongside Quito's mayor, Paco Moncayo, in the second monthly Ciclopaseo of May, 2003. [4] The Ciclopaseo of June was the first themed event that emphasized children, followed by the event "Quito is for Everyone" in June, which featured the winners of the Special Olympics.

The Ciclopaseo began 2005 by doubling its frequency to every fifteen days [5] and in May 2009 became a weekly event and takes place every Sunday. [6]


Guatemala City currently hosts the Pasos y Pedales event every Sunday from 10:00 to 14:00 on some of the municipality's main thoroughfares, in Zones 2, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13 and 14. Thousands of residents enjoy Pasos y Pedales each week. There have also been a series of permanent cycleways already built on major roads in Zones 10, 12 and 15, as well as several others. These are starting to appear already in other cities and towns nationwide, as well.


The Indian city of Bengaluru - the IT Capital of the country initiated the first sustainable awareness campaign called Cycle day in October 2013.[21][22] The planning for this initiative began prior to September 2013.[23] This initiative has completed 300 Cycle day events across the city of Bangalore conducted by 32 community partners in the span of 3.9 years.

Gurgaon introduced the concept in November 2013 under the name Raahgiri Day, taking place on Sunday mornings. Raahgiri has had a positive impact on local air quality, with measurements estimating that vehicular emissions were down by 49% on Sunday mornings in comparison to other days of the week. The Raahgiri concept was expanded into other cities, such as Delhi, Bhubaneswar, and Noida (under the name Happy Streets).[24][25][26]

The chief minister of Haryana announced financial assistance for expanding Raahgiri to all districts in Haryana [7]


Cyclists getting ready to ride at Kuala Lumpur Car Free Day event on October 28th, 2015.
Cyclists getting ready to ride at Kuala Lumpur Car Free Day event on October 28th, 2015.

Jakarta hosts a Car-Free Day (CFD) event every Sunday on Jalan Sudirman and Jalan MH Thamrin, two of the city's main thoroughfares, from 6am to 11am. Pedestrians and cyclists are free to exercise in the streets and sidewalks (which are normally blocked due to illegally parked motorcycles and food stalls) with more than 100,000 people participating each Sunday.[27] CFD was started in 2007 under the Fauzi Bowo administration and signed into regulation as a twice monthly event in 2010 and as a weekly public event in 2012.[28] Activities taking place on CFD must conform to one of four main themes: Sports, Health, Environment, and Cultural Arts.[29] CFD was suspended on March 15, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was reopened on June 21, 2020 to allow people to exercise only (street vendors were banned), but closed down again due to crowds not maintaining proper social distancing outdoors.[30]


Kuala Lumpur hosts a Car-Free Morning event on the first and third Sunday of every month from 7am to 9am starting at Dataran DBKL.[31] The streets of Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle (the city's main business and shopping district) are closed to vehicles to allow pedestrians and cyclists to utilize the space for exercising, skating, and cycling.[32] The program was introduced on September 22, 2013 and has around 3,000 at participants each event.[33] The event is sponsored by many companies including the title sponsor, OCBC Bank, which provides 140 free bikes for participants to use on a first-come, first-served basis.[31]


Mexico City has several circuits, the most important runs 59 kilometers from Polanco to Fierro del Toro; more information at the government's website. Guadalajara also has almost 60 kilometers of ciclovia routes named "Vía RecreActiva" (RecreActive Way) and growing established for use on Sundays 08:00 to 14:00. Every Sunday morning, Morelia's Centro Historico is a ciclovia route.

New Zealand[edit]

Waiheke Island, about 17.7 km (about 35 minutes by ferry) from Auckland, has had two ciclovia events, in 2009 and 2010, when groups headed by Cycle Action Waiheke temporarily closed The Esplanade, a gravel road between Blackpool and Surfdale, to motor traffic.[34]

Christchurch held its inaugural "Open Streets" ciclovia on September 29, 2013 (postponed from July 14 due to bad weather). Approximately 3 km of streets in central Christchurch were closed to motor traffic for six hours, to celebrate the re-opening of the CBD earthquake cordon. A wide range of activities and demonstrations were held throughout the day, including bike fix-ups, public art displays, bike polo, urban orienteering, a bike parade, and numerous musicians and entertainers.[35]

Auckland launched its inaugural ciclovia on February 8, 2014. The city's harbour edge from Britomart Place through to Silo Park in Wynyard Quarter was closed to publicise the ambition to turn Quay Street into a world-class boulevard, removing traffic from Quay Street and to encourage greater investment in cycling from Auckland Transport.[36]

Wellington held its inaugural Ciclovia on the Miramar Peninsula on February 16, 2014. 3.5 km of road were closed to traffic and opened to people on foot, bikes, scooters, skateboards and mobility scooters. The event showcased the Miramar Peninsula section of the Great Harbour Way/Te Aranui o Pōneke - a 72 km route around the perimeter of the Wellington harbour. Wellington's first Ciclovia was coordinated by the Great Harbour Way Trust, in collaboration with Cycle Aware Wellington, Living Streets Aotearoa and a local Rotary group. The event attracted 2,400 people and created support for future events. In February and March 2015, three more ciclovia were held, attracting around 5000 people in total.[37]


Lima now has a ciclovia. As one of the first programs undertaken by the administration of the Lima mayor Susana Villaran, the major road Avenida Arequipa is closed to motorized traffic every Sunday from 7am to 1pm, since February 2011.[38]

United States[edit]

Albuquerque, New Mexico held its first CiQlovía on September 21, 2014 and has since become an annual fall event with a different route each year. Programming has included healthy living, educational, and recreational activities including a bike rodeo, climbing wall, yoga and dance classes, artisan vendors and non-profit information tables, live music, and food trucks.

Atlanta, Georgia held its first ciclovia called Atlanta Streets Alive on May 23, 2010. Road closures, totaling just under 2 miles (3.2 km), included Edgewood and Auburn Avenues in Downtown Atlanta. Approximately 6,000 people attended. Atlanta has continued to host a series of closed streets events. Over 100,000 people attended an event in 2014.[39]

Austin, Texas hosted its first ciclovia event on May 20, 2012 called "Viva! Streets Austin".[40]

Baltimore, Maryland hosts regular Ciclovias.[41]

Brownsville, Texas hosts a number of ciclovias every year, entitled "CycloBia" where a 2-mile route is planned and coordinated by the local City government.[42][43]

Cambridge, Massachusetts has opened Memorial Drive to bicycle and pedestrian traffic only on Sundays from April to November since 1976[citation needed].[44]

Chicago, Illinois planned a ciclovia for two Sundays in October 2008.[45] Once a year almost the entire 30 mile length of Chicago's major non-highway busiest street, Lake Shore Drive, is turned over to bicycle-only traffic in the morning, called Bike The Drive.

Clearwater, Florida hosted Sunday Ciclovía on March 1, 2009, and again on April 26, 2009, after the first event was cancelled due to severe weather. The event was initiated by the city's East Gateway District in downtown to encourage social interaction and community building among diverse population groups. Sunday Ciclovía hours were 8am to 2pm and the route was 2 miles (3.2 km) in length.

Cleveland, Ohio hosted two ciclovia-type events in August 2006 which were attended by approximately 10,000 people. The event was spearheaded by two individuals, Lois Moss and Julia Sutter, and was funded by a grant from the Cleveland Foundation's Civic Innovation Lab. In 2007, Walk+Roll Cleveland coordinated five community street-closing events and in 2008 the Walk+Roll program expanded to Lakewood, Ohio. For 2009, Walk+Roll is being held in two additional Cleveland neighborhoods. The events have been held on Saturdays and on Sundays and are generally in the mid-day rather than very early mornings. Additionally, the Walk+Roll organization has been helping communities all across the U.S. by providing guidance, information and consulting services on how to bring ciclovias to new locations.

Denver, Colorado, plays host to Viva Streets Denver, created by non-profits LiveWell Colorado and BikeDenver. Since 2011, the 1-day, car-free event in August each year has attracted 10,000[46] residents. The event has taken place in Park Hill (2011, 2012) and the Berkeley Regis neighborhood (2013). The goal of Viva Streets is to introduce the public to the many benefits that come from increased walking and biking in local communities, and highlight safe and active transportation.

Durham, North Carolina started its first ciclovia in 2010. Bull City Summer Streets[47]

El Paso, Texas ran a ciclovía each Sunday in May 2007.[48] The program has since been renamed Scenic Sundays (the events occur on Scenic Drive) and runs April through August.[49]

Fort Collins, Colorado hosted two Open Streets events along two miles of Remington Street in 2015, on June 7 and September 20.[50]

Fort Worth, Texas held Open Streets Fort Worth on October 23, 2011 on Magnolia, 5th Avenue, and Allen, and on October 30, 2011 on South Main, Broadway, and Jennings.[51]

Honolulu, Hawaii hosted the state's first Cyclovia "Hele On Kailua" in 2012, which is now an annual event. [52]

Houston, Texas has hosted six "Sunday Streets Houston"[53] from June to December 2014 on various streets around Inner Loop neighborhoods of town.

Henderson, Nevada

Ithaca, NY started hosting bi-annual ciclovias in 2012 and the event has grown in popularity and has been embraced by the community and its local organizations.

Las Cruces, New Mexico started holding ciclovîas on the last Sunday of each month, starting in March 2008. They were held at the city's Meerscheidt Recreation Center in 2008,[54] and in 2009 moved to Young Park.[55] Activities include biking, walking, dance, Wii, Bungee Run, aerobics, and weight training.[56] The Las Cruces ciclovías are put on by a partnership of the New Mexico Department of Health, New Mexico State University's Southern Area Health Education Center, the Cooperative Extension Service from NMSU's College of Agriculture and Home Economics, the City of Las Cruces, Southern New Mexico Diabetes Outreach, and the Doña Ana County Diabetes Action Coalition.[57][58]

The first "Iconic Wilshire" CicLAvia. Los Angeles, CA June 23, 2013.

Los Angeles, California had its first CicLAvia on October 10, 2010, starting at 10:10 a.m.. CicLAvias have been held two to three times a year ever since with an expanding variety of routes. The route often has a hub in Downtown Los Angeles and generally branches out to iconic streets such as Wilshire Boulevard and Venice Boulevard. It is estimated that as many as 150,000 people attended the April 21, 2013 "CicLAvia to the Sea",[59] and it is considered the largest open streets event in the United States.[60]

Lincoln, Nebraska hosts an annual "Streets Alive!" event with health related vendors and entertainers along the route.[61]

Louisville, Kentucky hosts an annual event. cycLOUvia[62]

Madison, Wisconsin has continued to host the event twice each year since its first "Ride the Drive" event in August 2009. A circular path of streets is closed to automobile traffic and residents are encouraged to bike, walk, or rollerblade the loop. Family fun and fitness activities are offered at parks and businesses along the route.

Miami, Florida held its first ciclovia, called Bike Miami, [8] in 2008, as part of the City of Miami's Bicycle Action Plan. The event was created and hosted by the then-mayor, Manny Diaz, who decided to make it a monthly event. On March 14, 2009, the City of Miami became the first US city to host 5 cyclovias. The monthly event, called Bike Miami Days, is supposed to promote livable streets and community as well as cycling and walking.

Minneapolis, Minnesota held its first Open Streets [9] event in 2011, with the second in the following year.[63]

New Brunswick, NJ hosted its first ciclovia event on October 6, 2013 and is continuing to hold future ciclovia events.[64]

New York City currently runs a yearly ciclovia called SummerStreets. Started in 2008 and still-running as of 2018.,[65] almost seven miles (11 km) of road from 72nd st to the Brooklyn Bridge turns into a car-free route in the morning hours for three August Saturdays.[66]

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the non profit organization Bike Pittsburgh run OpenStreetsPGH three times each summer, typically opening up 4–5 miles of streets for bicyclists and pedestrians in different neighborhoods.[67]

Portland, Oregon has run several ciclovia, called "Sunday Parkways", having undertaken their first one on June 22, 2008, three in 2009, and five in 2010.[68] The City continues to host five Sunday Parkways events each year, one each month beginning in May. The event is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and takes place in a different neighborhood each month of the summer through to September.[69]

Princeton, New Jersey Sunday, May 6, 2018 from 1:00 - 4:00 PM. The Chasing George Ciclovia, a 10-mile bike ride, in the spirit of the route Washington took on January 3, 1777 to fight in what became the Battle of Princeton. 12:00 Noon - Meet at Mill Hill Park, Trenton 1:15 - George and “troops” reach Quaker Road. Bike, walk, or roll on Quaker Road. No cars will be allowed. Parking is available at the Quaker Meeting or Mercer Mall. Please visit for more information.

Roanoke, Virginia held its first Ciclovia in 2009.[70][71]

San Antonio, Texas has held several such events.[72]

San Francisco, California hosted its first Ciclovia-styled events in 2008. Sunday Streets San Francisco has grown to 10 yearly events 1–4 miles in length taking place in different areas of the city, with a focus on neighborhoods lacking open space and access to affordable recreation. Run by the nonprofit Livable City, Sunday Streets is presented in partnership with city agencies and regularly partners with community and cultural organizations to host events within the car-free Sunday Streets routes. Sunday Streets serves approximately 100,000 people with 15 miles of open space yearly.[73][74]

San Jose, California hosted its inaugural Ciclovia type event on October 11, 2015. Deemed Viva CalleSJ, the free event closed six miles of San Jose city streets, and brought the community out to walk, bike, skate, play and explore the city like never before. [10] [75]

San Mateo County, California holds an event named "Streets Alive San Mateo County"—participating cities include Belmont, Brisbane, Foster City, Millbrae, North Fair Oaks, Redwood City, San Mateo, and South San Francisco. See for more information.

South Padre Island, Texas held its first Cyclovia So Padre[76] event on May 2, 2015.[77] It included closing down Padre Boulevard, which is the main avenue of travel along the island.

Spokane, Washington held Summer Parkways on July 11 and August 22, 2010. The events were presented jointly by the City, The Parks and Recreation Department, and the SpokeFest Association. It linked downtown Riverfront Park with Corbin Park, up Howard Street, for a total of 3 miles (4.8 km) of car-free activities.

St. Petersburg, Florida held Open Streets St. Pete in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The event has taken place in three locations in downtown St. Petersburg, with the latest being Albert Whitted Park and the surrounding waterfront area. The events were held on Sundays, and the roads were closed to vehicular traffic and included activities along the route, food trucks and music.

Tucson, Arizona held its first Cyclovia Tucson event on April 18, 2010.[78] It included the closure to motor vehicles of portions of four main bicycle arteries (4th Ave, University/3rd St, Mountain and Seneca), along with a variety of activities along the route.[78]

Wayne County, Michigan has held ciclovias on the Edward N. Hines Parkway since 1983. Called "Saturday in the Park," six miles (10 km) of the parkway are closed to motorized vehicles between Outer Drive Road and Ann Arbor Trail. These events are held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on every Saturday from May through September.[79] Edward N. Hines was Chief Consul of the League of American Wheelmen (Bicyclists) Michigan Division during the 1890s and one of the most important innovators in road development.[80]


Cyclists ride down the deserted Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv on Yom Kippur.

While not an officially organized cycling event, traffic in Israel stops (except for emergency vehicles) in observance of Yom Kippur. Cycling enthusiasts of the Hiloni stream and other religions take advantage of this, and roads (except in religious neighborhoods) become de facto cycleways. The days before Yom Kippur are the busiest of the year in bicycle stores. During Yom Kippur, emergency services often report an increase in calls for treatment for people who combined the customary fasting with physical overexertion.

See also[edit]


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