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05/01/2010: "Everywhere but Home...."
LA is our home, so while we're happy that the City Council approved our first bike corral last week, we're a little miffed that a the second-largest city in the US should be so appallingly slow in getting around to supporting urban cyclists with something so basic as parking.

I mean, how much would people drive if there were only one or two parking spots per block, and only, say, four or five in a mall or office tower?

They wouldn't, of course. As Donald Shoup's research has pointed out, free or below-market parking (in concert with highly subsidized roads) provides a huge welfare check to motorists, which induces more driving, which requires more paving and yet more parking, all of which requires yet more tax expenditures, in a vicious circle that is destroying not only the Earth's air and land surface but our human cultures, and our economies. (Not even getting into oil wars here....)

Giving a modest bit of support to cycling (and transit, but that's for another post) helps replace the vicious circle with a virtuous one: community is enhanced, environmental degradation is reduced or even reversed, and people actually shop more effectively by bike than by car, so local economies improve.

Other US cities get it. (Japan and Northern Europe got it thirty years ago.) Portland, of course, which has twenty bike corrals so far, with more on the way; but there are others as well. Here's a short list we culled from Twitter just this morning:
San Francisco
Long Beach
Also, NYC is planning to install a (possibly) 100-bike covered parking lot.

So quit dragging your feet, LA!

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Kent Peterson
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