The last CicLAvia of the year took place along the “Heart of LA” downtown route last weekend, closing 7.5 miles of roads to bicycle and walking traffic, and proved to be as popular as ever. In looking at next year’s events, the CicLAvia organizers intend to bring the event back to the Wilshire corridor again, where in June of this year the day of cycling brought in many new participants to the crowd of 150,000 who cycled the Mid-City route.
A recent study by UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs conducted a survey of bricks and mortar stores along the Wilshire route and found that businesses saw a big bump in sales for the day, particularly if they made an effort to engage with the crowd via signs, music and booths.The researchers found that revenues increased by an average of $407 per business — $3,122 in sales on CicLAvia Sunday, compared with $2,715 on a typical Sunday. When extrapolated along the entire route, this translates into a total sales-revenue increase of $52,444 across the 128 establishments that were open during CicLAvia on Sundays in June. “These numbers demonstrate positive gains for local businesses, but they underestimate the event’s overall economic impact,” said J.R. DeShazo, director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and principal investigator on the study.
LA Observed reported that CicLAvia founder Aaron Paley hopes to bring the event back to Wilshire again next year, perhaps even extending the route into Beverly Hills. The CicLAvia website is asking visitors to consider a monthly contribution of $12 so that they may budget to make the event, normally held three times a year, become a monthly event.