We’ll ignore the fact the Orange County is, well, a county. Not a city.
Or if you prefer, a lot of cities, even if they do tend to blend into one another at times.
But O.C. and L.A. have made the League of American Bicyclists list of Bike Friendly Cities, if only just barely. Both were named Honorable Mention, a step below the Bronze designation, in recognition of the steps each has made.
And just how far they have to go.
Los Angeles makes its claim on the basis of the new-found support from City Hall that has resulted in a widely praised new bike plan — which is just starting to result in new paint on the street — as well as the groundbreaking bicyclists’ anti-harassment ordinance.
But as Bikeside’s recent survey suggests, local cyclists face far too many unfriendly streets and drivers to deserve a higher ranking; I would read this more as recognition of the possibilities, rather than what’s already been accomplished.
Sort of like Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize. And I’ll let you decide how that’s turned out.
If — and it’s a big if — the city manages to stay on course, it may legitimately deserve a bronze designation next year.
Meanwhile, someone else who actually rides there will have to address whether the collection of cities and towns behind the Orange Curtain deserves its designation.
There seems to be an unfortunate tendency to blame rude and scofflaw cyclists for the county’s unacceptably high fatality rate, including a crackdown on the victims — even though the overwhelming majority of Orange County fatalities have been the result of careless, drunk or distracted drivers, rather than lawbreaking riders.
And at least one OC city seem to have an inexplicable fear of sharrows.
But there must be progress being made; Irvine and Huntington Beach have already made the list as Bronze level cities, joining northern neighbors Long Beach and Santa Monica.
So maybe there’s real hope for L.A. and O.C., after all.
We’ll just have to wait a few years and see.