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Ciclovía Salinas, Monterey County’s Open Streets: Inaugural Event

Keep up with Ciclovía Salinas!
Go to for Ciclovía Salinas contact info; resources, including—in English y en español—the Ciclovía Salinas etiquette; a summary about Ciclovía Salinas (who, what, when, where); how it happens (volunteer opportunities); and history, including photo galleries and links to the inaugural year acknowledgements plus all other Ciclovía Salinas posts on the Bicycling Monterey website. See you at the next Ciclovía Salinas!

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The original version of the post below–about the inaugural date, October 6, 2013–was first published August 5, 2012, with subsequent updates as the Ciclovia Salinas proposal developed into reality.

An updated version of the information below was published on Sept 24, 2013: Ciclovía Salinas, Monterey County’s Open Streets  Short link: Streets

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Maybe you missed other amazing events in Monterey County history that are still talked about, such as Monterey Pop Festival. Don’t miss our county’s first Open Streets, Ciclovía Salinas! Visitors and locals will gather and celebrate in beautiful Monterey County on a 1.6-mile stretch of streets open to biking, walking, jogging, skating, and the like–people-powered, no motor vehicles.

This vibrant, family-friendly urban scene plays in the City of Salinas, against a backdrop of the Gabilan Mountains–the mountain range of Nobel-winning author John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and MenEast of Eden, and The Red Pony.

Since the first Ciclovía in Bogotá, Colombia in 1976 to nine Sunday Streets days in San Francisco in 2013, Open Streets days in Minneapolis and elsewhere across America are growing in popularity because of their many personal and planetary benefits.

Most of the “Why bike Monterey County” benefits are likewise found in a Ciclovía experience , whether you’re there on your bike or experiencing it another way. Not least of all, Ciclovía Salinas will be great fun!

When is Ciclovía Salinas?

This free event, open to the public and for all ages and abilities, is Sunday, October 6, 2013, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Click here for a poster.) This will be a very special day for Monterey County, its residents and tourists. Be part of this historic first! And you’ll surely want to come back for more, since Ciclovía Salinas is envisioned to be a recurring event in the Monterey County seat.

Why Salinas?

Salinas is not only the county seat, it is also Monterey County’s largest city. You’ve likely eaten many a meal that began as fresh produce from the fertile Salinas Valley, widely known as the Salad Bowl of America.

Savvy literary lovers, including musician Marcus Mumford (“Timshel“)–whose favorite American author is John Steinbeck–know that if you’re looking for Steinbeck, you don’t stop with Cannery Row. You also go to the heart of Steinbeck Country, Salinas! You explore the National Steinbeck Center; you visit his Steinbeck’s birthplace and boyhood home, the Steinbeck House (closed Sundays); and his gravesite at Garden of Memories.

And you can discover, as Steinbeck did, the pleasures found in the diverse neighborhoods of Salinas–from the Alisal to Creekbridge to Oldtown to Santa Rita, and more.

Salinas is one of Monterey County’s best-kept tourism secrets when it comes to bicycling! Few people know there are 95 miles of connected bikeways for travel throughout the City of Salinas. Patrick Brady alluded to the joys and ease of biking Salinas in “Red Kite Prayer: The Soul of Cycling.” In his report after riding the Sea Otter Classic Gran Fondo’s 96-mile Carmel Valley Route (which includes many miles of the Salinas Valley),  Brady wrote: “It boasts one of the prettiest Gran Fondo courses I’ve ridden….. The opening 40 miles [primarily Salinas Valley] were countertop flat…all the beauty with only 1/3 the suffering.”

Many Salinas streets are flat, and wide, including plenty of low-traffic areas. That’s great for biking, and on Ciclovía Salinas dates, you’ll be reminded that the local terrain is wonderful too for walking, running, skating, and more.

Additional features

On these special dates, experience these activities in Open Streets/car-free style. The public is welcome to participate in free, health-promoting activities right on the streets! Free bicycle valet parking service will be available, provided by Green Pedal Couriers and friends.

You’ll see people doing yoga and zumba, and there’ll even be open-air dance and fitness classes, along with a bike decoration contest, live entertainment, informational booths, art galleries, raffles, and more. A special area for young children will be set up at La Paz Park on Wood Street.

No car traffic?

That’s right, Where the streets are yours – ¡Donde las calles son suyas!”  During  Ciclovía Salinas hours (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.), selected streets will be temporarily  closed to motor vehicles and opened to the public for recreational uses.

Do you bike or walk with children or unsteady elders who aren’t at an age to be sharing streets with cars?  Ciclovía Salinas allows these and others to claim the streets!

Why? To promote physical activity and active transportation, to strengthen community interactions, and to stimulate economic development, among many other benefits.

Having a Ciclovía experience means more people are inspired on other days to bike or bike-and-ride, walk, jog, and use other transportation alternatives, with increasing benefits to personal and planetary health.

Good news for kids and others - Open Streets coming

“Did you hear what Mom and Dad said? There’s gonna be something called Ciclovía here in Salinas, where kids and grandparents and everybody can bike and walk and visit and rollerskate and play together without any cars in the road!”

How does it work? Street etiquette for Ciclovía Salinas

Ciclovía Salinas has approved etiquette guidelines for all participants, to establish a fun, safe event from the start. Get ready for Ciclovía Salinas by reviewing them:

Where in Salinas? Route for the first Ciclovía Salinas

  • The route for the first Ciclovía Salinas, October 6th, will provide 1.6 miles of car-free fun, extending down Alisal Street between Salinas Street in Oldtown Salinas and Sanborn Road in East Salinas/Alisal. Salinas Street and Sanborn will be open to motor vehicles.
  • A very few intersections along the route will also be open to vehicles, and these will have uniformed police officers directing traffic. All other intersections will be closed to motor vehicles, with barricades staffed by police-trained adult volunteers.
  • See a drawing of the route on the poster; click here

The children of Monterey Park Cycling of South Salinas can tell you: Experiencing the neighborhoods of Salinas from outside a motor vehicle is a wonderful way to really get to know the neighborhoods, and to love them! On future Ciclovía Salinas dates, it‘s likely the first route will be repeated a while, then later, the location would rotate to different parts of the City of Salinas. People would have this special way to get acquainted with the many varied neighborhoods of the Monterey County seat.

Cultural diversity

An added plus to Ciclovía Salinas is that Monterey County’s largest city has a predominately bilingual population (67% of Salinas residents five years or older speak a language other than English, usually Spanish). Ciclovía Salinas offers a special experience for tourists, language students, Monterey Peninsula and North/South County residents seeking a fun staycation, and others who are eager for opportunities to become better acquainted with the rich array of culture in the Monterey County seat.

“And we thought the bike parties were cool; this is going to be even better–no cars! “

Go, Salinas – Among the first dozen Ciclovía/Open Streets locations in all of Cali!

Ciclovía Salinas, Monterey County’s 1st Ciclovía /Open Streets is one of about a dozen now in all of California. The California Bicycle Coalition hopes to see 20 Ciclovía locations statewide by the year 2017.

Glenn Jacinto at SBP

All the people pictured in this post are biking Salinas–enjoying the natural highs of active transportation!

Be inspired by Bogotá, Colombia

Watch a video on the Ciclovía Salinas Go Fund Me page to learn how having  Ciclovía in Bogotá transformed their city!

 “You bet,  I’m inspired. See you at Ciclovía Salinas!”

I bike Alisal regularly. Without cars you say? Heavenly!

See Arvin Temkar’s stories in the Monterey County Weekly: Volunteers aim to unite Salinas with Zumba, cycling and car-free roads” and “Salinas Volunteers are Crowdfunding to Bring Zumba, Bicycling to Streets.”

More about volunteering:

It is because of a citizens committee of the Salinas Neighborhood Council that the Ciclovía Salinas movement began. Many youth volunteers jumped in to keep it moving. Additional volunteers of all ages are welcome and appreciated!  The public is invited to attend Ciclovía Salinas planning meetings; for meeting dates and location, check with volunteer coordinator Natalie Oliver, 831-262-1110 or other committee members (see contact info below). Will you be in a leadership role with Ciclovía Salinas? You’ll find helpful tips in the Alliance for Biking & Walking‘s tip sheet: Managing Volunteers for Open Streets events (click here).

More about donating:

Business sponsors, individual donors, and other financial supporters are essential to the success of Ciclovía Salinas. Whether you can help in a large way or small, please consider being part of this effort. Early support has come from fiscal sponsor Hartnell College Foundation; funds from Building Healthy Communities, a California Endowment project; and a  Neighborhood Grant from Community Foundation for Monterey County, and others. Follow their lead!

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How to contact

the Ciclovía Salinas Committee

and where to find them online

Learn more about Ciclovia Salinas

Related post at the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau / See Monterey blog,

Guest Blog: Ciclovía Salinas, Monterey County’s Open Streets – October 6, 2013 Short link:

Related posts at

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Note: The original version of this post was first published August 5, 2012 and has since been updated. Looking for some background on Ciclovia Salinas development? Click here.

This post was published on 16 July 2013. One or more changes last made to this post on 16 August 2021.

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