Literal meatballs, to start off with…I don’t know anything about them, being one a them annoying vegetarian types, but Pigeon Master “Giuseppe” Bray-Ali swears that you can’t do much better than the longstanding and very well hidden Eastside Deli, on a hill just north of Chinatown.

It’s also on Rollers’ Wiggle, a secret cyclists’ cut-through from Chinatown to Echo Park that we wrote up on this blog a few months back, so, following up on Josef’s assertion that there’s no better place to fatten up for your next double century, we figured there were enough bikey associations to the place that it needed a couple of parking racks.

We duly filled out LADOT’s Rack Request Form, and, in short order…LADOT ran out of racks.

Every week or so I’d ride past Eastside, noting the ever-more-forlorn looking orange blobs marking the location of racks as yet unborn….

Till this week. They have arrived!

So go forth and ride, park, eat, and ride some more!

We snapped the picture on our way back from a Bike Plan Implementation Team meeting (which you should have been at, by the way). This month’s meeting was a little less contentious than May’s, but still pretty raucous, and had its share of meatballs too.

A minor though unsettling thread that developed was the insistence by one fellow that, rather than try for the DOT’s preferred separated bike lane on South Figueroa, we should just go for cheap painted lanes because we could do them faster, and it wouldn’t hurt to put off the cycle track for ten years or so.

This right after the same person complained we weren’t doing as much as Long Beach–which just put in cycle tracks!

The big problem being that painted lanes (door zone lanes is what we’re speaking of) don’t get a lot of new riders onto the road. Buffered cycle tracks, such as proposed for Figueroa, do, and have done so, in city after city after city. Stripes just make life a little easier for people like me, who would be out there riding anyway; but they draw new riders only incrementally.

In other words, we would undermine ourselves with this cheap and dirty approach. I know there’s a subset of the cycling community here that thinks it more important to serve present riders rather than attract future riders–because they’ve told me so themselves–but keeping the bicycle’s mode share at 1% isn’t going to do much for the city.

I personally don’t need no stinkin’ bike lanes. I’ve been riding LA’s streets for forty-five years without much in the way of onstreet bicycle facilities.

But I wouldn’t mind a little company out there. I’d like everyone to feel they could get out on a bike to commute or shop or hit a bar. As so many say they would do, if only they felt safe.

Why shut the door before it’s even opened?

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