A Wink from the West

You’d think the mighty (small) city of Santa Monica was teasing us by shimmying into the future with bikelane after sharrow after rack after hub, while LA stumbles along, seemingly never able to catch up, no matter how seductive the vision.

Metro recently released funding for Los Angeles to use to install two (count ‘em, two) bike corrals per council district. This is one corral per 160,000 residents–when and if they are installed. So far, one new corral has appeared, in the delightful Sunset Triangle–the city’s second one.

Meanwhile, the corral you see in the photo below was one of two that just appeared on Main Street in Santa Monica–the other being only about three blocks away. There’s been one at the main library for about a year, as well–in a city of 80,000.

Bike corral on Santa Monica's Main Street
I can’t even count the new sidewalk racks Santa Monica’s installed lately–and they had plenty before.

Then there are the two new bike hubs downtown (there are vague plans for four such hubs in vast Los Angeles), extensive sharrowing, and a rapidly growing network of bike lanes.

And a permanent, free bike valet service on Sundays for the Main Street farmers market.

No wonder Santa Monica’s streets are awash with bikes–and its shops and restaurants flooded with customers!

The city also deals with heavy traffic (most of it pouring in from LA) and a large population of homeless citizens (many of them also pouring in from LA), so they’re using some of their city budget to take care of our problems.

Meanwhile, they’re getting ready to build a transit plaza for the terminus of the new Expo Line light rail, due there soon. A bicycle and pedestrian oriented plaza.

Oddly enough, this has thrown a little business LA’s way–and pretty far, too. Practically every time I’m down there I see a cargo tricycle that sure looks like it came from the Mighty Pigeon of North East LA!

Still, it would be nice to be able to come home to some cozy bicycle facilities in the city of LA some day. We just need to commit….

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One Comment

  1. Posted March 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Wouldn’t that be nice if LA could commit to bike lanes?! I’m strangely excited that the city is painting bike lanes on a 3-mile stretch of road near my commute path. Of course the path is going to start where a park bike path begins and end in the middle of nowhere. So LA.

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