It is the second such CicloSDias event — a free celebration open to anyone biking, walking, strolling or skating — to be held in San Diego. This will be the first to happen in Pacific Beach. The first-ever car-free day was held in August 2013 in North Park and South Park in mid-city San Diego.
Its purpose is to connect local communities and encourage mobility, according to organizers.
CicloSDias is co-sponsored by the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and Discover PB, the beach community’s business improvement district (BID).
Sections of streets in Pacific Beach will be closed to car traffic along Garnet Avenue from Ingraham Street to Mission Boulevard, including Cass Street from Garnet Avenue to Turquoise Street and from Turquoise Street to La Jolla Mesa Drive.
Street parking is affected at midnight the night before until 5 p.m. the day of the event to allow for street cleaning. Cars parked on the route after midnight will be towed, according to organizers.
In addition to the road closures for the route itself, side streets along the route will also be effected. Streets one block east (Dawes) and west (Bayard) of Cass Street will be closed to traffic and will be “No Parking” areas. Streets two blocks south of Garnet (Hornblower) will also be closed to traffic and parking.
“No Parking” zones are from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 30. Streets close officially at 9:30 a.m. and will reopen at 3 p.m.
The car-free day is an opportunity for people to experience Pacific Beach from a different perspective, said Sara Berns, Discover PB’s executive director.
“CicloSDias is a chance for local people, and hopefully from neighboring communities, to really experience a portion of our business district without the constraint of cars and to really slow down and check out all of the great businesses you might miss while driving by,” said Berns, who noted Pacific Beach businesses are encouraged to participate by being allowed to set up in front of their businesses for this one day only for any outdoor display or seating.
Berns said, however, that all health department, ABC and city regulations must still be followed. For example, no cooking outside is allowed by businesses, but setting up tables and chairs for people to sit and eat food ordered from inside is permitted.
“This is an opportunity to see some of the great movements in public space that are happening all over and show PB what could be,” said Berns. “We hope everyone comes out and takes a ride or stroll along the route with their family and friends to check out PB in a new way.”
Andy Hanshaw, executive director of San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, which spearheaded last year’s first CicloSDias, said the roots of the cycling event can be traced to Bogata, Columbia, which held similar pro-cycling events as a “response to pollution and traffic congestion.”
Ever since, non-motorized days have been embraced internationally, including in the United States. Hanshaw said five such events were held last year in the Los Angeles area.
Hanshaw said the goals of CicloSDias events are many.
He said the March 30 event should benefit Pacific Beach.
“It’s a great opportunity in the non-tourist season to get more people into the beach community, and for local residents to really see the community,” he said. “We’re excited to be working with the PB community. This is a great opportunity for people of all ages to come together and move about in an entirely different way.”
Moving forward, Henshaw said the idea will be to host CicloSDias events in different neighborhoods of San Diego to introduce residents to the advantages of non-motorized travel.
For more information, visit www.sdcbc.org or www.pacificbeach.org.