Saturday, May 06, 2006

"Pedaling Away" in Los Angeles

From Steve Lopez's "Points West" column in the L.A. Times, May 3, 2006:

And as my colleague Steve Hymon noted in Monday's paper, Jaime de la Vega, L.A.'s deputy mayor in charge of transportation and mass transit, drives a Hummer....

Our destination, 15 miles away, was a diner in Playa del Rey, and when I wasn't gasping for breath, the experience was altogether lovely. So what about it? Could Los Angeles and other Southern California cities lay down more bike lanes that don't force you to put your life on the line and pry more people out of their cars?

It's a tricky challenge, Riordan said, because a lot of major byways just don't have the width to accommodate bikes. He said he used to cycle along Olympic to downtown Los Angeles but gave it up because it was downright dangerous and about as enjoyable as a City Council meeting.

But sure, Riordan went on, a smart mayor could redo the landscape, pedal to work on occasion and encourage others to do the same, if not take the bus or train, telecommute or carpool.

What Riordan means by his "tricky challenge," I think, is that the major byways don't have the width for bike lanes without removing a lane of traffic for bicycles.

Lopez writes well. I'll let the rest of the article speak for itself.

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