Ciclovias involve the temporary closure of roads to motorized vehicles, allowing for use by bicyclists, walkers, and runners and for other physical activity. Ciclovias have been held in urban and suburban communities in the United States and Latin America.
We evaluated the first ciclovia held in a rural, predominantly Latino community in Washington State.
Three blocks within a downtown area in a rural community were closed for 5 hours on a Saturday in July 2015.
The evaluation included observation counts and participant intercept surveys.
On average, 200 participants were present each hour. Fourteen percent of youth (younger than 18 years) were observed riding bikes. No adults were observed riding bikes. A total of 38 surveys were completed. Respondents reported spending on average 2 hours at the ciclovia. Seventy-nine percent reported that they would have been indoors at home involved in sedentary activities (such as watching TV, working on computer) if they had not been at the ciclovia.
Regularly held ciclovias, which are free and open to anyone, could play an important role in creating safe, accessible, and affordable places for physical activity in rural areas. Broad community input is important for the success of a ciclovia.