10/7—CicLAvia returns to Little Tokyo

CicLAvia participants on Central Avenue between First and Second streets in October 2011. (Photo by J.K. Yamamoto/Rafu Shimpo)

Oct. 7—This Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., CicLAvia will return to Little Tokyo, as part of its temporary transformation of 9.1 miles of L.A.’s streets into a car-free, fun place for recreation and socializing.

This is a great opportunity to showcase the best that Little Tokyo has to offer, including its wonderful restaurants, shops, performers, and art galleries.

CicLAvia is a partnership of the City of Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and the CicLAvia organization, and one of its goals is to bring an economic boost to the communities the route passes through. With an estimated 100,000 attending each CicLAvia, most merchants along the route have been pleased to see an increase in business during and after the event. CicLAvia gives local merchants the opportunity to reach out to new customers from across the city and throughout the entire region.

Local businesses and residents are welcome to participate and maximize the “CicLAvia effect.” So this upcoming Sunday, plan on having a lot of foot and bike traffic through Little Tokyo. Here are a few ways to benefit your business.

First, if you aren’t usually open on Sundays, you are encouraged to consider opening this Sunday. You can draw attention to your business by hanging banners, colorful signs, flags, or placing sandwich boards along the sidewalk to encourage people to stop in. CicLAvia participants are eager to discover new places, so let them know what you have to offer.

Next, if you have a permit that allows you to use the space in front of your business, particularly along the sidewalk, bring some activity outside during the event. For the first CicLAvia in 2010, Mama’s Hot Tamales on 7th Street had a DJ play music on the sidewalk during the event, resulting in record sales. Bringing your business to the sidewalk creates a more vibrant streetscape and sends a clear signal to participants that you are open. (Note: Under the terms of CicLAvia’s permit, you do not have permission to place structures/chairs/etc. in the street itself.)

Lastly, offering discounts and other “CicLAvia specials” will tempt more event participants to visit your business — both on the event day and beyond.

Be aware that city crews begin setting up the street closures at approximately 8 a.m., with full closure in effect by approximately 9:30 a.m. At 4 p.m. the roads begin reopening to cars, and are fully open by approximately 5 p.m. CicLAvia works very closely with city staff to make sure that the event begins and ends on time. There will be a significant number of Los Angeles police and transportation officers responsible for traffic and crowd control along the route.

For more information, call (213) 365-0605 or visit ciclavia.org.