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10/10/2009: "Tale of One City"
whwdracks (55k image)A short course in rack placement, all on one street in one small enclave in LA.

The upper Crappy Cellphone Picture picture shows a good rack gone bad: the otherwise excellent "theta" design is so close to the wall that it's difficult to lock one bike to it, and impossible to lock two. I did secure my Bottecchia to it, so I could go into the adjacent hardware store, but it required a bit of contortion. This is in West Hollywood, and I mentioned this particular rack to Mayor Abbe Land when I consulted with her on bicycle issues a few weeks ago.

I took the lower Crappy Cellphone Picture a few blocks farther up Santa Monica Boulevard, still in West Hollywood at the West Hollywood Gateway; this is also a sidewalk placement, but perfectly done, with plenty of room beyond and between the racks for actual bicycles to use them. All the sidewalk racks are well-placed at the Gateway, and I use them on the rare occasions I need to go there.

There are also more racks as well as bicycle lockers in the parking structure under the mall.

I've also noticed racks by markets and bistros all over West Hollywood, so for a tiny (and quite oddly-shaped) city with an equally tiny budget, they're doing quite well. Mayor Land's interest in the economics of bicycle infrastructure, which we discussed at our meeting, bodes well for the future of rational transportation in that town.

They have added fairly good bike lanes to Santa Monica Boulevard as well--West Hollywood's first--and there is a comprehensive "Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Plan," which looks pretty good at a casual glance.

Not bad for a city that only came into official existence in 1984.

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