Morning Links: Bikeshare finally comes to DTLA, and bike-friendly LA city council candidate Jesse Creed

Just a short update today, as my diabetes seems compelled to knock me on my ass following a busy day.

I’ll try to be back tomorrow with a full report for the weekend.

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It’s true.

Los Angeles finally has a bikeshare system.

LA Downtown News takes an early Metro Bike test ride, and finds the bikes comfortable, but with a shortage of safe places to ride them.

A $75,000 grant, matched by $25,000 from Metro, will help make bike sharing more accessible to underserved communities. Note to LA Weekly: That photo from CicLAvia has nothing to do bikeshare; it’s like using a photo of private cars to illustrate a story about taxis.

The LA Times questions whether Los Angeles will embrace bikeshare, while Mayor Eric Garcetti mimics William Mulholland by saying “Here they are. Use them.”

The Times also provides a detailed explanation of how the Metro Bike system works, along with a nifty little bikeshare music video.

The Daily News says Los Angeles has big plans for the bikeshare system to expand to nine regions, starting next year with Pasadena, Venice and the Port of LA.

LAist offers a full report from the kickoff event, while noting riders proceeding along Grand Avenue were greeted by multiple signs reading “Bike Lane Closed.”

KTLA-5 offers a video report, including a brief interview with the mayor, in which he says he looks forward to taking one of the bikes out to go for lunch.

KPCC explains how to use the bikeshare system, which is currently only available to pass holders; walk-up users can rent a bike using their TAP card beginning August 1st.

It's (LA) Time(s) for bikeshare in Los Angeles

It’s (LA) Time(s) for bikeshare in Los Angeles

A massive fleet of Metro Bikes waiting to be deployed

A massive fleet of Metro Bikes waiting to be deployed

A crowd of a few hundred people turned out for the event

A crowd of a few hundred people turned out for the event

Metro CEO Phillip Washington addresses the crowd of soon-to-be bike sharers.

Metro CEO Phillip Washington addresses the crowd of soon-to-be bike sharers.

LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis

LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis looks forward to eastward expansion

Proof that I really was there, courtesy of the Eastside Riders

Proof that I really was there, courtesy of the Eastside Riders

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds helps lead the ride off from Grand Park

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds helps lead the rideoff from Grand Park

Riders roll out with LA City Hall as a backdrop

Riders like this should be a common sight at LA City Hall and throughout the Downtown area

The loneliest Metro Bike awaits in front of the Grand Central Market, with the Million Dollar Theater and the Bradbury Building in the background

The loneliest little Metro Bike awaits in front of the Grand Central Market, with the Million Dollar Theater and the Bradbury Building in the background

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If you need a place to ride your new Metro Bike, the LAPD invites you to attend a People and Pets Safety Fair tomorrow at the still-unnamed LAPD Headquarters in DTLA.

LAPD People and Pets

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Following the Metro Bike event, I had the pleasure of meeting with Jesse Creed, who’s running against incumbent Councilmember Paul Koretz in LA’s 5th Council District.

Before I even met him, he had my qualified support under the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” doctrine.

But after talking with him, I can remove that “qualified” and say he now has my full support.

I found him to be youthful, energetic, personable and highly engaged, with a clear understanding of the problems facing Los Angeles, and the belief that we can and should do better.

A bike rider himself, his commitment to sustainable transportation goes beyond mere words, including riding his bike for short trips instead of taking the car. And working to represent the entire community to build Complete Streets that benefit everyone, as opposed to arbitrarily blocking them as his opponent has done.

He’s also open to new perspectives. When I recommended a book on how to make government work better, he pulled out his phone and bought it on the spot.

We still face four months of nasty campaigning leading up to this fall’s presidential election, and the inevitable voter fatigue that will follow before LA’s city election finally rolls around in the spring.

But we could do a lot worse than electing Creed to represent the people of the 5th District.

In fact, we already have. And we’re paying the price for it.

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On a related, and belated, note, I’ve been remiss in my failure to note that Josef Bray-Ali, owner of the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop in Northeast LA, now has a fundraising website set up.

If we can elect Creed and Bray-Ali next spring, we’ll be well on our way to making this the livable city it can and should be.

And if #bikeLA finally gets off its collective ass and gets out to vote, we will.

………

Once again, construction closes a section of the LA River Bike Path. And for the next three years, no less.

But at least this time, they’re doing it for our benefit, in order to lengthen the path and improve access at Riverside Drive.

LA River bike path closure at Riverside Drive

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The LAPD has captured a suspect in the string of bike-riding Hollywood parking lot robberies.

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Reuters looks at the South LA lowrider bicycle scene, including a talk with Manny Silva of Manny’s Bike Shop, considered the godfather of lowrider bikes.

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Finally…

Leo Tolstoy was one of us.

 

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