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02/05/2013: "Everywhere You Look...."
Everywhere you look, you see bikes in the city now. Los Angeles is becoming a bike town, and although additions to infrastructure have helped, it seems to be a natural process. In fact, some parts of town that have bike lanes don't have all that many riders, while other parts of town that a re bare of velocipedal amenities see plenty of riders. My neighborhood, the Miracle Mile stretch of Wilshire, is one such. Larchmont, to which I pedaled for a yoga class yesterday, is another.

The two neighborhoods do have a few things in common, though:

One is that they are both destinations, with plenty of shops, eateries, and jobs. Wilshire has numerous office buildings, and Larchmont is near a major studio complex.

Another is that they are embedded in residential neighborhoods. Larchmont's is mostly single-family houses, but Wilshire's is divided between houses on the south and a mix of classic and newer apartment buildings on the north, as well as brand-new condo blocs on the boulevard itself.

And a third similarity is infrastructural: Plenty of bike racks! When Larchmont switched form parking meters to pay stations, thirty-three of the old meter posts were retrofitted with post-and-ring bikestands to supplement the ten or twelve staple racks that had been there before. And on the Miracle Mile. LADOT has placed nearly twenty racks over the last couple of years, in response to my suggestions. (The Mile is at the end of the popular Fourth Street bicycle route as well.)

So, let me contradict myself: while the bicycle infrastructure isn't obvious, it is there. And it is helping nurture what seems to be an organic growth in cycling that might peter out (as it did in the 1970s) without a little love from the powers-that-be.

Fortunately, we seem to be getting that at last....

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