Bike, Walk, Run, Explore the Long Beach Grand Prix Track (For Free and Without Cars)
Photos by Brian Addison.
For a look into pictures from previous Grand Prix-views, click here.
Make no mistake: the first ciclovía Long Beach ever had wasn’t through a Beach Streets event but, rather, on the Grand Prix track. Way back in 2013, the City of Long Beach—with efforts led by then-Bike Ambassador Tony Cruz—asked the Grand Prix Association to briefly shut down the track typically catering to cars hitting 180MPH and, instead, open it to bikes, skaters, strollers, and runners.
For me, I believe a ciclovía holds this strange philosophical power–you invert a street to be used for people’s feet and bikes and skateboards, not cars–that when enacted, suddenly shows off a very tangible benefit–that our urban landscape thrives most when people are exploring it at a human scale.
And it’s back for the fifth year: Grand Prix-View 2017 will be held on March 28 from 11:30AM to 1PM, offering up a 1.5 mile stretch for all things non-motorized. The event will not permit a single motorized vehicle to enter the track (or your four-legged friends unless they are a service animal: after all, the last thing they need is someone who didn’t pick up after their critter in a space where cars will be hitting some crazy speed).
Despite the complaints of myself and others, the hours of the event have not expanded and it still runs in the middle of the week (on a Tuesday) in the middle of the day (because apparently people who work should be relegated to their office). While there have been previous efforts to score additional funding for the project via Metro, the City has yet to expand the accessibility event to, y’know, make it more accessible.
Bitching aside, as I once wrote, there is something more engaging and powerful here: “it shows off something very simple; it shows off the power of people using their bodies. For me, I believe a ciclovía holds this strange philosophical power–you invert a street to be used for people’s feet and bikes and skateboards, not cars–that when enacted, suddenly shows off a very tangible benefit–that our urban landscape thrives most when people are exploring it at a human scale.”
The Grand Prix-view will take place at the track on Tuesday, March 28, from 11:30AM to 1PM. The sole entrance point for the track are Hart Place and Seaside Way, just south of Ocean. Free event parking is available at the Terrace Theatre Parking Structure.
For more information, call 562-570-5333.