The Arroyo Seco Freeway has only been closed to traffic once since it was opened in 1940, and that was in 2003.
History is set to be made again on Sunday when the freeway closes to vehicular traffic for the first ArroyoFest in 20 years.
The event is free and family-oriented and allows participants to experience seven miles of car-free roadways – including part of the historic 110 Freeway – up close.
The different spans of the roadway will be broken up by how participants choose to get around; pedestrians are asked to use the southbound, west facing lanes, and those using wheeled devices are asked to use the northbound, east facing lanes to maximize safety.
“Another way to think about it [is] the west side of the parkway will be transformed into a giant sidewalk with two-way foot traffic, and the east side of the parkway will become a two-way protected bike and rollway,” the event’s website said.
In addition to the closed freeway, three distinct “Activity Hubs” featuring community groups, artists and family-friendly activities will be located along the route.
Also taking place on Sunday is the Lummis Day Festival in Sycamore Grove Park, which celebrates the art, music, dance and culture of Northeast L.A.
Participants will also have the opportunity to test ride GoSGV e-bikes at ArroyoFest. The GoSGV program offers San Gabriel Valley residents the opportunity to experience life with an electric-assisted bike, the ArroyoFest website said.
There is no dedicated start or finish line; attendees can access the event route via any on- or off-ramp from Avenue 26 in Lincoln Heights to Glenarm Avenue in Pasadena. The route can also be accessed via local Metro A Line stations (Lincoln Heights, Southwest Museum and South Pasadena).
All forms of active transportation are permitted, event organizers say, including walking, biking, skating, jogging, even “ambling” and “strolling” are encouraged.
“E-assist wheelchairs, bicycles and skateboards are also allowed; however, all event participants shall ride in a safe and courteous manner, yielding to slower moving persons,” the ArroyoFest website said.
Attendees are asked to bring a reusable water bottle to use at free refilling stations, and are also encouraged to bring money to support local businesses on the route.
Click here to find out more about the 2023 edition of ArroyoFest.