ENCINITAS — Encinitas residents and visitors are invited to come out and experience Coast Highway 101 in a new way — free of cars.
The city is hosting its first Cyclovia event on Sunday, Jan. 12, where a half-mile portion of the highway from D Street to J Street will be closed off to traffic and open to pedestrians, bicyclists and non-motorized transportation.
“We are excited to create an opportunity for people to break out the bikes, boards and scoots and see downtown Encinitas at a different pace,” said Nick Buck, special events and projects supervisor for Encinitas. “Downtown has so many interesting shops, art, architecture, eateries, coffee shops and history to enjoy. Free of cars, we hope that people will come to Encinitas to explore and enjoy in a new, but old, way.”
The event will allow people to enjoy the city’s downtown and take part in activities like a bicycle safety rodeo, bike skills course and bicycle decorating station.
There will be music, kids’ activities, as well as bike racks and bike valets where people can safely store their bike while they shop and visit businesses, bars, and restaurants.
Participants can also stop by the parklet, outside of Better Buzz, and learn about planting trees.
Cyclovia, a Spanish term that means “cycleway,” is a local and global event to encourage walking and biking in cities and downtown areas.
“Cyclovia events have been happening all over the world since the 1970s from Belgium to Brazil along with hundreds of cities across the United States,” Buck said.
He said, locally, Cyclovia events are held in Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, Ocean Beach, San Diego and Pacific Beach. Cyclovia Encinitas will be the first of its kind in North County.
The event promotes clean and efficient transportation options and will include informational booths about how the reduction of gas-powered vehicle transportation can significantly help the city meet its Climate Action Plan (CAP) goals.
Buck said the CAP has set ambitious targets to reduce emissions: 13% below 2012 levels by this year, and 41% below by 2030.
The event is being put on by the city of Encinitas with help from the city’s Environmental Commission, Traffic and Public Safety Commission, San Diego Bicycle Coalition and Encinitas 101.
It is being sponsored by Coastal Sage Landscape Architecture, Seismic, KTUA, Bike Walk Encinitas and Electra Bicycles.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cardiff 101 is hosting a meetup and bike ride on the Coastal Rail Trail to downtown Encinitas at 7-Eleven in Cardiff at 9:30 a.m. and biking the Coastal Rail Trail to the Cyclovia event at 9:50 a.m.
Buck said they are hoping for a good turnout — they expect 2,000 to 4,000 people — and to possibly make this an annual event.
“For years, we’ve witnessed the magic of just visiting with friends downtown on the 101, before and after the Encinitas Holiday Parade,” he said. “We hope that the event creates that same fun vibe, in an active, wholesome and safe way.”