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06/30/2011: "Fourth Street Takes Care of Its Own"
Fourth Street
A corner of Fourth Street
A few days ago, I was riding east on Fourth Street at tail end of the morning rush hour. I ride Fourth pretty often, as I live only a couple from it, and it provides a tranquil if slightly slower alternative to Sixth, third, or Wilshire when I need to go downtown, or to East Hollywood or Silverlake, or even just to Larchmont a few miles away. It's a gratifying ride, not just because it's pretty, but also because, despite minimal accommodation of cyclists, it usually boasts more bikes than cars in its narrow, bumpy lanes.

On this day, between Cochran and Wilton, I encountered eight cyclists going the other way, evidently (to judge from the hour, their attire, and their luggage) on their morning work commutes. What's more, five of them were women, the "indicator species" for good cycling infrastructure.

That doesn't seem like much, but I didn't count more than twelve cars in the same stretch--and it might have been fewer, though I didn't keep a strict count.

Not bad for LA. Fourth is slated to become a "Bicycle Friendly Street" soon--LA planning jargon for what other places call "bicycle boulevards" or (my favorite) "complete streets."

But nothing's been done to it so far, except to place sharrows and fill a couple of the nastier potholes.

Tuesday's Bike Plan Implementation Team meeting, which I hope to attend, will discuss the city's plan for the first few bicycle friendly streets, and I have heard that Fourth will be among the first, if not the first.

I look forward to seeing what they plan for it. It's done pretty well (for LA) on its own. And it has a tremendous potential

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