They’ve Got Us Surrounded!

Looks like they’ve got us surrounded, pardner…better get ready for some action.

By which I mean, some action to make Los Angeles take as much notice of the benefits of urban cycling as do the cities all around us, or so it seems. (Beverly Hills excluded for the moment, but you might join Better Bike Beverly Hills to help change that.)

Long Beach is coming damn close to being California’s Portland (and it’s about the same size), and Hermosa Beach had sharrows long before LA did.

Even Culver City is getting in on the act, though they haven’t got much more than a scatter of bike racks right now. Oh, and this:

Bioswale along Ballona Creek bike path

Little Culver City took a long stretch of the Ballona Creek bike path and not only repaved and landscaped it, but added a decorative gate at the entrance, and installed a bioswale to filter runoff from the adjacent asphalt schoolyard and so diminish pollution of our bay just a little bit.

A few thousand bioswales would not only help the bay regain its health, but would help prevent flooding, which is exacerbated by all our paving in LA, would recharge the aquifers that still supply a good bit of our water, and would add green space to a much too gray city. (Plus, they can double as motor traffic diverters for bicycle boulevards, as they are beginning to do in Portland, in spite of the usual mindless NIMBYism.)

Looks mighty fine on a breezy spring day, don’t you think?

Meanwhile, Santa Monica is expanding its downtown bike parking (though the rest of the city doesn’t offer much), has a good number of bike lanes, offers free bike valet for the Main Street Farmers Market, and now has one of these:

Sensor loop guide in Santa Monica

What is it?

Well, it’s a little graphic that tells you where to position your bike at an intersection so that the signal sensor loop will detect it and change the stoplight for you!

How many times have you been stuck at a red light that wouldn’t change because a car wasn’t waiting behind you over the sensor loop? Happens to me several times a week.

LA’s got good plans, too, and plenty of them, and it looks as though this time, with this bike plan, we might actually see some of them realized. There’s a new generation in place at both Planning and LADOT, but old habits die hard, and we still haven’t seen much. And to be fair, LA is eight time bigger than Santa Monica, Long Beach, or even Portland, so it is a little harder. (But don’t even dream that there isn’t a bikelash in Portland too.)

So join in with us to keep after the city till they do right by cycling in LA (which they owe us): join the Bike Plan Implementation Team by showing up at City Hall on the first Tuesday of each month and helping strategize LA’s move into the Bicycle Millennium.

We ought to be able to catch up with our little siblings soon, if you help out.

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  1. [...] place to walk and bike; than again, anything would be an improvement. Flying Pigeon says L.A. is surrounded by cities that are trying a lot harder. LA Brakeless will have a public opening party on Saturday the 20th to celebrate their new pop-up [...]

  2. [...] place to walk and bike; than again, anything would be an improvement. Flying Pigeon says L.A. is surrounded by cities that are trying a lot harder. LA Brakeless will have a public opening party on Saturday the 20th to celebrate their new pop-up [...]

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