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04/29/2012: "This Is More Like It!"
I rode all over the Westside today, from Brentwood to Temescal Canyon to Santa Monica to Culver City. While in santa Monica I dropped in at the Main Street farmers market where fellow bike advocate Eric Weinstein holds court most Sundays, and he tipped me off to a new section of bike path along the Expo Line. So (since I'd been complaining about said Expo Line's bikeways last week), I detoured a bit to take a look.

Now, this is more like it!

Expo Line Bike Path in Culver City

It's not officially open yet, but neighbors had pushed their way in, as had numerous cyclists (including, of course, me), so there were people happily walking and pedaling along it, often heading to the nearby Expo Line station for a free ride (Metro traditionally offers free rides the first weekend a new rail line opens).

The path is wide and smooth, well-marked, and fragrant from the bark chips that mulch the trailside plantings. Access points seem fairly elegant, though it's a bit hard to tell as they're still cluttered with chainlink gates and construction debris. There is a clear connection to a Culver City bike route, which itself has good wayfinding signage (something LA is just beginning to work on).

However, the connection to an earlier stub of path where the trail crosses Jefferson is not entirely lucid, and said stub leads directly to the very confusing intersection at La Cienega, which I've already complained about.

All in all, though, it looks pretty good for a Los Angeles bikeway. I don't know how far west it will retain this quality--it becomes a narrow onstreet bike lane heading east at La Cienega--but if the city (or the county, if Metro built it) can use this as a model for future bikeways, where there's room, we'll see a great many more Angelenos tempted onto two wheels real soon.

I look again when it's finally open to the law-abiding public.

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