That's right--there are four fine, functional, and wide-open bike parking racks on this Venice corner in front of a popular neighborhood store.
And there is one bike there--chained to a telephone pole!
Those four racks can hold a total of eight bicycles quite easily. The store they serve is very small. The chances that eight bikes were locked up here when the one in the photo arrived, and that all but this one left subsequently, is rather low.
I've seen roadies ignore racks and maneuver their bikes behind sidewalk tables now and then, but that's because the roadie religion doesn't allow them to carry locks. But this bike is locked! (The chain is easy to see in the original image.)
I see the same phenomenon on Wilshire Boulevard near my apartment as well, fairly often: a perfectly good, quite empty rack, or two--and a bike locked to a meter, or a signpost, or a tree, not ten feet away.
Not just shabby old mountain bikes, either, but shiny new hybrids, or fixies, or fake Dutch bikes.
I take it personally, as I've gotten dozens and dozens of bike racks installed in LA by using the city's bike rack request form. Though I am happy to admit that most of them end up with bicycles actually locked to them.
But this widespread spurning of convenient bike racks just puzzles me to no end.
Well...I suppose it's of a piece with those moronic drivers who zoom past you repeatedly on residential roads, only to be caught at lights long enough for you to catch up to them on your bike, over and over again. But at least all that sound and fury gives the driver the illusion of gain. I really can't imagine what sort of misguided thrill rack-spurning engenders in its practitioners.
It's a conundrum....