…Except for all the folks that do. Despite improvements, Los Angeles is still a city of largely unfriendly streets—unfriendly to bicycle riders and people walking, to be sure, but also unfriendly to motorists. The principle of “induced demand” has certainly been proven here: we’ve added roads relentlessly for nearly eighty years, and traffic is worse than ever. Even with total vehicle miles driven per year dropping in the US since 2004, we suffer traffic jams. No doubt it’s all those silly nudniks getting into their cars for the two and three mile “journeys” that comprise over half the trips driven in our city.
But folks are getting smarter…at least some of them: more and more Angelenos are beginning to venture out on bicycles to shop, dine, and visit. Just as everyday folks—not just sporty sorts—do in advanced cultures such as Denmark and Holland, countries with healthy, long-lived populations,thriving economies, and well-off middle classes. We could use some of that here, couldn’t we? The health, financial, energy, and land-use efficiencies of more urban cycling would certainly help bring that about.
So maybe the following photos will spark a glimmer of hope in our congregated hearts, in this time of reactionary ranting against bikes specifically and Complete Streets in general. Though why anyone should rant against healthier residents and busier businesses is beyond me…the advantages of streets that entice people to walk and bicycle more is thoroughly proven by now.
When we’ve built it, they do come…as you’ll see below:
The new bike corral on Larchmont Boulevard, in Hancock Park—dented by a car, but still at work (and now repaired):
Sidewalk racks at Midtown’s Paper or Plastik Café:
The ever-busy Trader Joe’s on La Brea and Third, serving Hancock Park and the Miracle Mile:
Just a sweet taste of the future….