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Daniel Majewski June 1, 2011 Viability of a Cyclovia Event in Albuquerque, NM Key Concepts: Community building, obesity prevention, bicycle

and pedestrian awareness and advocacy, sponsorship opportunities, streets as public spaces History of Cyclovia: Cyclovia started in Bogota, Columbia in 1976. They were part of an effort to make the city friendlier for pedestrians and cyclists and reduce the dominance of automobiles. Though enthusiasm for these events had waned by the 1980s, Bogotas new mayor, Enrique Pealosa, helped to make the events more popular in the 1990s and 2000s. He also helped to stimulate a global Cyclovia movement. This movement has had the most momentum in America ( A great video, which goes into more depth on the event, can be found at this link on the Streetfilms website: Background: Obesity is a major problem in America and especially in New Mexico. According to the CDC, in 2009, New Mexico had an obesity rate of 25.1% ( Compared to other states, this is relatively average. However, it is no small number. Though poor diet is a major factor, inactivity as a result of our built environment is also a factor. Specifically in the Albuquerque metro area, large roads filled with cars prevent many people from integrating walking, running and/or bicycling into their daily routine. These types of activities can go a long ways towards encouraging physical wellness and reducing obesity. They are also great opportunities for community building and stimulating awareness for sustainable transportation. Examples from Other Southwest Cities: Tucson, AZ, El Paso TX, Los Angeles, CA and Las Cruces, NM have all held Cyclovia events. Since I live in Tucson, I am most intimately familiar with the events there. Tucson Cyclovia: In March of 2011, the second Tucson Cyclovia event was held. Thousands of people were in attendance and the event was deemed a success. The programming was diverse and the route included low income areas, as well as important local businesses. All parties appeared to receive benefit from this event. More information here: and here: Las Cruces Cyclovia: According to the Las Cruces Sun: The Las Cruces ciclovas are put on by a partnership of the New Mexico Department of Health, New Mexico State University's Southern Area Health Education Center, the Cooperative Extension Service from NMSU's College of

Agriculture and Home Economics, the City of Las Cruces, Southern New Mexico Diabetes Outreach, and the Doa Ana County Diabetes Action Coalition. Here is the only online accessible summary of the event online. It comes from the NM Dept. of Health, Community Wellness Program: html

*Phone Interview with June: I called June Donohue (575-522-0289) of the Dona Ana Diabetes Action Coalition. She is the main organizer of the Cyclovia events in Las Cruces. The idea to do a Cyclovia was a result of brainstorming to figure how to get people to be more active in the community. Originally, they worked with the City of Las Cruces to get some space and exercise equipment at a park, pro bono. When they presented the idea, city leaders, especially planners, really liked it. Nowadays, they receive official grants from the city and other partners to run these events. This year, they will be receiving $22,500 from the City of Las Cruces. For the past 4 years, they have been doing these events once a month, Sunday, from 10 AM- 2 PM for 10 out of the 12 months of the year. As of right now, bicycling is not a major part of the program. They said they had difficulty getting permission to close down streets to allow bike to roam freely. Current activities include volleyball, horseshoes, yoga, zumba, jump rope, Frisbee and more. It is essentially an event that is free and open to all, very family oriented. They also include cooking instructions so people can eat healthy once they get home. Free fruit and water + large trashcans for cups is offered during the events. Face painting is included for the kids. Volunteers from NMSU help a lot. There is always an EMT on duty and the instructors, as well as the EMT, get paid through the grant. They have also made t-shirts and Frisbees with logos from the event using the grant money. They have given away jump ropes and pedometers with the money as well. Promotion has been difficult but they recently received a big spread in the city newspaper. Attendance on good weather days averages around 400-600 people.

CycloviABQ: Albuquerque could benefit immensely from a Cyclovia type event. This current process is unique, as these events are usually organized bottom-up vs. top-down. People to Contact: The City of Albuquerque would be the primary group that would need to be contacted. They would have to assist with traffic control and safety for the event. Historically,

these tasks are usually accomplished by the police force in the given city (in this case, APD). In Tucson, residents and businesses along the route were also informed of the event. This is mandatory, as street closures affect access to businesses and residents. These events are generally held on Sundays in order to have the most minimal impact on traffic and access. Also, the route generally covers low traffic streets. Recalling the Tucson Cyclovia and talking to the Las Cruces organizers, the more people you talk to the better. This is especially true in regards to programming the route. UNM is a natural partner that could be used for help in this event. Who to contact would also depend on the placement and geographic location of the route. Here is the route map for the 2011 Tucson Cyclovia:

CicloviABQ Route: The route choice is very important. It could be the difference between this being a successful or unsuccessful project. Ideally, all of Central Ave. between Lomas and Washington would be closed to cars. This route would provide a large amount of diversity and allow for a variety of people and income groups to participate. However, failure to accomplish this closure could doom the project to failure. Accomplishing a closure of this scope would be extremely challenging. It will remain as Option 1.

Option 2: This option would go through the Nob Hill neighborhood. Since Central is route option 1, option 2 would cover the Silver Bike Boulevard corridor as well as the some of the surrounding streets in the area. This is a neighborhood that has had street festivals and community events in the past so the neighbor might be more receptive to something like this.

Option 3: This route would mostly go into lower income area, similar to the 2011 Cyclovia Tucson route. It would travel the length of Edith Blvd, anchored at each end by parks, which can both be programmed with activities. It would also pass through some interesting historic neighborhoods, such as the Hunning Highlands Neighborhood/Edo and Martineztown. This street would be relatively easy to close off, as it has no bus routes and relatively little traffic.

Conclusions/Viability: Cyclovia means different things to different people and municipalities. What originally started put as closing the streets to cars so people can walk and bike has become a multi faceted community building event with many side benefits. Essentially, this event can only work if there is a large amount of community support. Therefore, it is usually created through a grassroots process. However, I think if certain community members were sold on the idea this would definitely take off. Once people were educated on what this event really could be, I can see wide community support being formulated. It is truly a revolutionary concept so education and awareness will be the key to its success.

*Unedited Las Cruces info from phone call with June: Dona ana diabetes action coaliyion; help with health; worked with City of LC; it was inside; let them block off a few streets, but not many; machtract center; bike riding didnt take off; had to move to young park, much better spot, lots of space; 1 Sunday a month for 10 months per year; 2 different venues: instructurs, yoga zuma jump rope groups from the university, etc they do the exercises vs. the classes; set up volleyball horseshoes, etc water stations + trashcans; works well bowls of fresh uncut fruit; 10-2: 4 hrs; hard to get college kids lol; city, united way, pay, grant $; give away pedemoters, jump rope, t shirts; also facepainting lol; no for-profit groups; 4 years now ; fun and free ; tshirts, Frisbees with the logo ; lots of people cant cook healthy; home extension crew brings 4 recipies per month ; through NMSU, does cooking stuff; meet once a month to look at diabetes issues in the area ; poliece men come out and do bike rodeo to do safety stuff; bike coalition and did repairs ; el paseo improvements in the works for bikes ; true family oriented, community building ; attendance: 100 if its windy; 400-600 usually ; theyve done lots of promotion, done stuff in the newspaper; publicity has been tough, people always say they had a hard time hearing about it ; NMSU has been great, require kids to do service hours, very helpful; everything has to be set up; 8-12 volunteers, depends ; grants is all is the cash; instructors are paid; EMT on duty, also paid; morris health, city of LC, applied for it; 22,500 this coming year, met with city officials, planners, etc; unm med center, assessts; healthy kids program, border health, get some peeps, flyers at the schools; small flyers, bright colors, good stuff, 2 times per year

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