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08/03/2014: "Faking It"
pseudo_bike_parking (114k image)

I suppose it was inevitable that the "bike parking" included in this Los Angeles outpost of the CVS drugstore chain should be so entirely inadequate. Apparently the thought was simply to put a bike rack in, any bike rack, with as little forethought as possible. Tucked away in a corner where it ends up blocked by pallets, stacks of flattened cardboard boxes, or, as in this snapshot, a huddle of shopping carts and a cart carrel. And of course it's pretty much out of sight in a shadowy corner of a parking area. Note also that it's placed so close to one wall that only part of would be usable if it were accessible.

The only thing that's been done right is that it is near one of the store entrances, right by the handicapped parking stalls. However, since it is never actually available, that doesn't help much. I walk by here several times a week, and always check on it, hoping against hope that one day it will be clear and that someone will actually have locked a bike to it.

It's been about a year, and no luck so far.

When will Americans begin to realize that symbolic actions such as this have little if any effect on real life? This is a talisman of accommodation, so that someone can flatter themselves that they "did the right thing," while doing it in as perfunctory a way as is possible.

I have called into the city to have a public bike rack installed on the sidewalk outside the store; that one will certainly see use, once it's in place.

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