Getting There

Colorado Boulevard woke to a beautiful dream last Sunday, as CicLAvia liberated Pasadena’s main drag from its usual clutter of heavy metal, and made room for hordes of people strolling, rolling, and smiling in a three-mile long celebration of simple joie de vivre.

I was there only briefly, as I had a book signing to go to in South Pasadena, but its bigger sister was definitely feeling relaxed and happy when I pedaled through the curb-to-curb smiles on my way to Fair Oaks Boulevard. I regretted not having more time to spend relaxing while exploring a street that’s usually a nervous mass of cars.

But more than CicLAvia impressed me: on the way over from the Miracle Mile, I hopped onto Metro’s Purple and Gold line trains…and I was far from alone: my subway car held eight bikes (and their riders, of course), along with a number of regular Sunday riders. On the Purple Line, there’s plenty of room, but I wondered what I would face when I transferred to the smaller light rail cars. The Gold Line, of course, feeds directly to Pasadena, and Metro had put up large signs in Union Station directing pedalers to “Gold Line–CicLAvia,” with handy blinking arrows.

I soon found out that even the less-roomy light rail trains have plenty of space for bikes, even with a healthy bike-free crowd also present. The photos show you the scene in my train car, looking both fore and aft. It seems like a tight fit, and it was, yet no one had any problems getting on or off, with or without a bike in tow.

This is an important lesson for LA’s traffic-harried residents: for bikes have the salutary effect of making transit systems more effective, by extending the reach of each stop to the distance the average Jane or Joe is willing to ride a bike—which is farther than they’ll walk.

The now-famous “First Mile/Last Mile” function.

Let’s hope the lesson takes. And that Metro and LADOT start putting more–and more secure–bike parking at train and subway stops.

As in The Netherlands, where a new train station in Delft features just under nine thousand bike parking spots.

Nine Thousand….

Union Station has about…twelve….

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  1. […] Rick Risemberg says taking the train from CicLAvia on Sunday shows how easily bikes can solve the first mile/last mile problem. […]

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