*This ride was published in 2021, and archived in 2023 after the removal of several pieces from public display.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, take a ride through Downtown Los Angeles and learn about Chicano/a/x history and communities through public art. Whether telling the story of a historic moment like Eduardo Carrillo’s El Grito or recognizing the continued challenges and surpassing resilience of those who migrate to the United States today in Alfredo “LIBRE” Gutierrez’ Transportapueblos: Los Resilientes, this route offers firsthand storytelling through art. Still, it does not tell the complete story of all Chicano/a/x or Latino/a/x people – we recognize the vastness and complexities of diasporas within these communities in Los Angeles County and beyond.
It is important to note that Los Angeles County and this bike route occupy the ancestral, traditional and contemporary lands of the Tongva, Chumash, and Kizh.
To learn more about connections between artists and murals in East Los Angeles and Downtown, and even glimpse a few murals which may no longer be there, check out the classic 1981 documentary Mur Murs by Agnes Varda available in the Criterion Collection.
For future adventures and to learn about other artworks in the Metro system, visit metro.net/art.
Let's Get Going!
- Safety first! Although not required, we recommend you bring a bike helmet along and wear it properly. Please ride courteously and be aware of your surroundings. Construction and other unforeseen changes may alter the route. Use your best judgment.
- Never leave your Metro Bike unattended. Always be sure to dock your Metro Bike and listen for three beeps.
- This route will take you past many public art pieces of different sizes, media, and spaces. Always use your best judgment and if you would like to stop and take photos or take in the art, please be sure to find a safe place, like a sidewalk, to pause.
Route conditions: Mostly flat, a 2-mile loop with some protected bike lanes and on-street sections. Conditions can change due to road closures – use your best judgment. Always follow traffic signals and ride courteously.
Bus and Rain Access (Metro Trip Planner):
- Metro Bus: Metro J Line, LAX FlyAway Bus, 2,4, 30, 28, 40, 45, 70, 76, 78, 79, 92, 704, 910
- Metro Rail: Union Station via Metro B, D, and A Lines
- LADOT: 431, 431B, 437, 437A, 437B, 438, 438B, 439, 448, 534, Union Station/Bunker Hill, Lincoln Heights/ Chinatown, A, B, D
- Exit Union Station towards the West Portal entrance.
- Release a Metro Bike at the station located near the pedestrian walkway in the parking lot.
- Using the pedestrian crosswalk, cross N Alameda St and proceed in the bike lane on Los Angeles St. up a short hill. On your left-hand side in Father Serra Park, you will pass the previous site of the Junipero Serra statue, which was toppled in 2020.
- Turn right into the plaza and follow the pathway right around the courtyard. Please ride safely, dismount if needed, and be courteous of pedestrians.
- Continue around the courtyard until you reach a pedestrian crosswalk allowing you to safely cross N Main St. Be courteous and mindful of pedestrians.
- Go straight through the courtyard – dismount if needed. You will see a mixed media sculpture Transportapueblos: Los Resilientes by Alfredo "LIBRE" Gutierrez on your left.
- Proceed straight to the pedestrian crosswalk to cross N Spring St. As you travel, you will see the LA Plaza Village Murals by Judithe Hernández, José Lozano, Miguel Angel Reyes, and Barbara Carrasco.
- Use the bike lanes as you turn left to proceed south on N Spring St. Continue straight in the bike lane.
- Turn right onto W 3rd. On your right-hand side, you will see Anthony Quinn or The Pope of Broadway by Eloy Torrez.
- Turn right onto S Broadway. You will pass a driveway to a parking lot. Pause just before it – on your right, you will see the mural El Nuevo Fuego by East Los Streetscapers.
- Continue straight on S Broadway. Turn right onto W 1st
- Turn left onto N Main St. Obey all traffic signals and use the protected bike lane.
- Continue straight. As you continue on N Main St and cross the 101 freeway, look to your right-hand side to see LA Freeway Kids by Glenna Avila.
- Turn right onto E Cesar Chavez Ave. You will pass the entrance to Olvera St.
- Turn right onto N Alameda St. You will pass El Grito by Eduardo Carrillo on your right. If you would like to admire the details, walk your bike in the small plaza. Within this same plaza, you will see a large statue of a man riding horseback, Antonio Aguilar by Dan Medina.
- Using the same pedestrian crosswalk from the beginning of your ride, cross N Alameda towards Union Station West Portal. Return your Metro Bike to a dock and listen for three beeps to confirm your Metro Bike is securely docked.
- If you are interested in seeing more art, proceed through Union Station and exit the East Portal entrance. Be sure to view Paseo César Chavez, La Sombra del Arroyo, and Guardians of the Track in Patsaouras Bus Plaza—all are part of Metro’s own, extensive art collection. Plan future art adventures by visiting metro.net/art.
Learn About the Landmarks:
- Transportapueblos: Los Resilientes (2020) by Alfredo "LIBRE" Gutierrez: Located at LA Plaza's Historic Paseo Walkway, Transportapueblos: Los Resilientes is a public art sculpture that recognizes the difficulties of many who journey from their homes in search of a better life in the United States.
- LA Plaza Village Murals: Murals by four prominent local Chicano/a artists — Judithe Hernández, José Lozano, Miguel Angel Reyes, and Barbara Carrasco adorn this mixed-use building façade. Judithe Hernández's La Nueva Reina stands seven stories tall overlooking the Hollywood Freeway on the west side of Broadway. On the opposite corner is Jose Lozano's Aliso Dreams at five stories tall. Family Tree by Miguel Angel Reyes welcomes residents and visitors. Finally, Barbara Carrasco's Movimiento is located at the future headquarters of The Cesar Chavez Foundation.
- Anthony Quinn or The Pope of Broadway (1984) by Eloy Torrez: A large mural of Southern California actor, painter and writer Anthony Quinn shows him in his "Zorba the Greek" dancing stance. The mural was restored by the artist, with assistance from muralist Art Mortimer, in 2017.
- El Nuevo Fuego (1985) by East Los Streetscapers: This mural links the 52 years separating the 1932 and the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles with the Aztec tradition of extinguishing all lights every 52 years, igniting a new torch to restore fire and light to the nation.
- LA Freeway Kids (1984) by Glenna Avila: A mural created in 1984 depicting seven children playing. This was restored by the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles in 1991 and then again in 2012.
- El Grito (1979) by Eduardo Carrillo: Celebrate the long legacy of Mexican Independence Day by visiting a large ceramic mural located in La Placita Dolores. The mural commemorates the famous call-to-action by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla to resist the Spanish colonial government, which is widely considered the beginning of the Mexican Independence movement.
- Antonio Aguilar (2012) by Dan Medina: This statue commemorates the life and accomplishments of Antonio Aguilar, a Mexican actor and singer who made more than 160 records and over 100 films.
Detours (these are destinations that will require you to dock the bicycle safely before entering; the nearest Metro Bike Share Station is Union Station West Portal):
- Museum of Social Justice: The Museum of Social Justice is dedicated to telling the neglected stories of the diverse people of Los Angeles. Admission is free. See their website for hours and COVID-19 updates.
- La Plaza de Cultura y Artes: LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes honors the past, inspires the future, and recognizes the enduring cultural influence of Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and all Latinas/Latinos in Los Angeles through transformative exhibitions, programming, and educational experiences. Admission is free. See their website for hours and COVID-19 updates.
- América Tropical Interpretive Center: This center is dedicated to the life and legacy of David Alfaro Siqueiros. His mural, América Tropical, continues to have a profound influence on the Chicano Muralist Movement in Los Angeles. Admission is free. See their website for hours and COVID-19 updates.
Related Metro Art in Union Station:
- Paseo César Chavez by Elsa Flores, Roberto Gil de Montes, and Peter Shire: Clad in colorful ceramic tiles, the sculptural seating areas, planters, and trio of fountains in this artwork create an inviting pocket park at the southwest corner of César Chavez Ave. and Vignes St.
- La Sombra del Arroyo (Patsaouras Bus Plaza) by East Los Streetscapers: The hand-painted ceramic tiles on the underside of the bus plaza's pedestrian bridge portray a tree canopy populated with birds and other animals that may have once inhabited the area.
- Guardians of the Track (Patsaouras Bus Plaza) by Michael Amescua's cut-steel screens feature anthropomorphic figures, celestial symbols, and graphic designs that reference the built and natural environments.
Need some riding tips?
We've compiled some tips for riding that should be a good place to start for new riders or just a nice refresher for our long time commuters.
Reminder: Always properly return your Metro Bike to end your trip. Never leave a Metro Bike unattended during your trip. Riders will be charged penalty fees up to $2,500 for missing or improperly docked bikes. Report missing or stolen Metro Bikes to 844.857.2453.