Today’s ride, in which bike friendly Santa Monica actually was

I confess.

I’ve been known to criticize Santa Monica’s bike-friendly city status once or twice. No, really.

Hard to believe, I know.

But to be fair, I also feel I have an obligation to point out when they do something right.

And today, they did.

One of my biggest complaints about the beachside city — aside from the perpetually tourist and pedestrian clogged Marvin Braude Bike Path — is the frequency with which the bike lanes that helped Santa Monica gain its bike-friendly status from the League of American Bicyclists are blocked for some ridiculously needless reason or another.

Like movie crews who put orange cones in the bike lane to keep anyone from getting close to their trucks, even though they don’t extend far enough out to pose a risk to anyone. Or the utility crews who block bike lanes even though their work area is several feet away.

Which means that cyclists are regularly forced out into the traffic lane, where too often, drivers aren’t willing to concede an inch of their precious roadway.

So today, I was pleasantly surprised as I was riding back up the bike lane on San Vicente Blvd, headed inland from the coast, and saw this:

Amazingly, all the signs have been carefully placed outside the bike lane.

Instead of blocking the bike lane, as most road crews inevitably seem to do — regardless of necessity — this particular crew had clearly taken great pains to keep their signs out of the bikeway. And kept the lane clear for riders working their way uphill.

So, Mr. or Ms. Road Crew Sign Placement Guy or Girl, thank you.

Your efforts didn’t go unnoticed.

And they were appreciated.

Not one sign even partially blocking the bikeway. Seriously.

……….

In L.A., even homeless people hate bikes. Danceralamode, a frequent commenter on this site, offers up some lucid and insightful observations in response to the Times’ brief article about the hit-and-run death of Ovidio Morales. Bikerowave is throwing itself a third birthday party this weekend; also this weekend is C.I.C.L.E.’s Creek Freak Bike Tour. The Times takes note of Pasadena’s new bike plan. Streetsblog is now accepting donations to provide more complete coverage of L.A. transportation. A call for shared bus/bike lanes in L.A. A San Francisco writer asks if cycling is really getting more dangerous. Braess’ Paradox says that closing streets can reduce traffic congestion. Biking to work with Seattle’s bicycling mayor. The three-foot passing law passes in another state, as Maryland becomes the latest to give riders an enforceable cushion. It’s the Year of the Bike in Riverside; no, the one in Illinois.  London begins work on two cycling superhighways. A Kiwi rugby legend prepares to join the English charity ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats — sort of like riding from Key West to Seattle, but much shorter. Speaking of Kiwis, a New Zealand man asks the High Court to allow naked bicycling on public roads. Prepare to step through the looking glass, because in Budapest, right-wing politicians actually support cycling. Finally, in what could spell the death of Critical Mass, a New York judge rules that large group rides must get a parade permit; a ruling that may migrate to the Left Coast.

4 comments

  1. Bryan says:

    A while back my girlfriend and I were riding down Broadway and came across some guys doing roadwork. What they were doing actually did require blocking the bike path. So what did they do? They created a temporary path slightly to the left in the street with cones. It was so nice, I really wish we had stopped and taken a photo. And the funny thing is we moved out into the street out of habit before we even saw the temporary path and got a sad look from the lookout guy as we rode past. We laughed and thanked him as we passed so hopefully it didn’t discourage them from continuing the practice.

  2. TheTricksterNZ says:

    Just a note:

    Many of our bike routes feature bus/bike lanes. On the most part they’re pretty good and unless you run into one of the rare truely psycho bus drivers they’re pretty safe too.

    Also, Zinzan was a legend on the field, but he was an (unconfirmed) muppet off it. His brother, another very good player however is a confirmed muppet as he recently got taken to court for groping a 15yr old girl and then punching a 17yr old guy who took him to task about it when holidaying in Fiji.

  3. Hahaha, “lucid and insightful”…thanks…that will be the only time some one ever says that about something I say.

  4. Too bad UPS, USPS, and other delivery trucks, movie shoot vans, overly wide SUV’s & trucks, and idling SMPD cars all still regularly impede on the bike lane in my daily Santa Monica commuting.

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