With the ongoing pandemic preventing CicLAvia events, CicLAvia and AARP – the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age – are emphasizing their partnership. Leaders from the two groups said they are eagerly awaiting the return of CicLAvia, which closes streets to car traffic and opens them for people to walk, skate, bike, play and explore parts of Los Angeles County.
“As an organization that represents people aged 50-plus and their families, AARP’s goals are to disrupt the notion of aging, create awareness and advocate for different ways that people can safely travel, and strive to build age-friendly communities across the region,” said Stephanie Ramirez, AARP Los Angeles’ associate state director of advocacy. “It makes perfect sense for AARP to partner with CicLAvia, an organization that sheds light on different people-powered transportation options for Angelenos whether it’s walking, biking or rolling. CicLAvia also offers people the chance to connect with family, friends and their community in a completely different way than our car-centric culture allows.”
“Ciclavia has always been concerned about ensuring it was accessible to everyone, regardless of age, physical abilities or location,” said Tafarai Bayne, CicLAvia’s chief strategist. “When CicLAvia was conducting its community outreach for a new Southeast L.A. route in 2016, the outreach team noticed a higher-than-average number of senior citizens walking around the community and at the many churches along the route. We realized that some of these residents would have trouble accessing the event, particularly those with mobility challenges.”
After some initial brainstorming, the two nonprofits formed a partnership. AARP sponsored a handful of pedicabs offering free rides so seniors and anyone with mobility challenges could access the Southeast L.A. event. Anyone who wants or needs one can take a pedicab – people who have injuries that prevent them from riding but who still want to participate, or a mom with a child with special needs, or someone who gets a flat tire and hails a ride to the next hub to get it repaired – no one is excluded.
“This partnership has been amazing for both of us, as we work to make more livable cities for people of all ages,” Ramirez said. “We want CicLAvia to continue as much as the rest of Los Angeles does. The institution that CicLAvia represents – the opportunity for Angelenos to come together – it’s unparalleled and will endure through this crisis. We will be right there with them when CicLAvia can resume bringing our communities together in person.”
For information, visit ciclavia.org.
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