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12/28/2010: "What We've Got So Far"
Bike lane on eastboudn Santa Monica Blvd. between Sepulveda and Century CityI snapped this photo Saturday on my way back from Santa Monica, mostly hoping to capture a bit of the fog and mountains in the far distance. Not quite enough telephoto for that, but it is a good depiction of the bike lanes on Santa Monica boulevard between Sepulveda Boulevard and Century City--the eastbound lanes, in this case.

I find these the most comfortable on-street bike lanes in Los Angeles--fast and smooth, with no parked cars to worry about. (Parking is on the frontage road you can see a bit of to the right.) Even though they were an afterthought--two neighborhood activists pushed for them to be included in the redesign of the street a few years ago, and had to fight hard for them--they do provide an effective bike commute corridor through a very busy part of Los Angeles. They also may provide an added impetus to Better Bike Beverly Hills's campaign to add bike lanes through BH's stretch of Santa Monica when it undergoes its own revamp in 2011.

But the picture makes me a bit sad when I look at it now. Because it's one of the finest bits of bicycle infrastructure we have...and it is so slight a grace, after all. You can barely pass a slower rider; a little more bike traffic than it presently gets would jam it up in short order.

The cars of course, get three wide lanes, and move along pretty fast there. Almost a freeway.

But it's a start. The city didn't even consider it at first, the community insisted, the battles were fought and won, the lanes are there, and cyclists are using them.

Let's make 2011 the year of building momentum! We're on the way, but there's still a long way to go.

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