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01/24/2013: "Rainy Day Cycling—in Los Angeles"
I had to pop over to the post office and my credit union today, both within walking distance, and in my short stroll up Wilshire and down Eighth, I noticed five people cycling to work through a light but steady rain.

At least I figure it was to work, given that it was a quarter to nine and that one was wearing a suit. (A tweed suit, in fact, which must have been pleased to find itself in its natural rainy habitat at last.) At least one rider was a snappily-dressed young woman.

I was also pleased to note six or seven more bikes parked in front of office buildings.

This was all within a very short distance in the Miracle Mile, which was—O irony!—originally designed as the country's first automobile-oriented business district, with huge parking lots occupying the back half off each block and front doors behind the buildings.

Well, now cars have crowded themselves out of contention in the transportation matrix: Metro's Rapid buses carry 20% more passengers through the Mile (and along the full length of Wilshire) than all the cars combined, and more and more people are choosing to bicycle into the district in all weathers.

And as stores open up sidewalk entrances, street life is becoming more and more convivial.

I must admit that the extensive bike corral maintained by one more modern building was less than half-full today, when it is usually packed. Still, it's a good showing for LA, and it's very good to see the city growing up. LA has long been developmentally-challenged, but the cure is starting to take.

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