“Oh but what about the nice weather, the beach, the movie stars, the abundance of avocados??”.
No. None of that makes up for the huge inequalities, lack of humanity and compassion, and the bad air quality.
Sure, there’s a cute, livable, walkable bubble here and there, but they’re too far apart to make LA feel like a cohesive city. As a whole, Los Angeles blows.
First step to creating change is to complain and create a ruckus, let folks know you’re not happy. That involves, well, a whole lot of complaining. More cyclists (and Angelenos in general) need to complain, on a regular basis. Stop going straight home after work to your TV shows, it’s making you lethargic and impassive.
But while you complain as loudly as you can, you should concurrently try to find out why things aren’t the way they should be. That’s what I’m hoping to accomplish here. Why does my daily commute to work feel so unsafe?
Let’s start with one of the most obvious offences. The reason so many cyclists’ commute through Beverly Hills and the LA Country Club sucks is due to the fact that they have to avoid the few streets that are direct routes through this area. Sunset, Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevard. Further south, we have Olympic and Pico. Sure, if they’re bold enough, they chance it anyway and deal with the fast moving traffic and bad pavement. In some lone cases, even a dead-ending bike lane.
Sunset has some decent stretches. But once it starts winding around those blind curves north of the Country Club, you’re using up an extra life riding on a street with no shoulder and no sidewalk to bail out to.
Santa Monica Bl is great throughout West Hollywood, that short-lived bike lane is the best part of my commute. Slightly better than Wilshire when crossing through Koreatown or Mid-City, but still not a pleasant ride.
Wilshire. Oh Wilshire. Potholes the size of craters. Maybe one day I won’t feel like Don Quixote on a bike, fighting against the rapid buses, and dueling with fast cars with no license plates. I keep hearing about this bike/bus lane of epic proportions – I’ll believe it when I see it.
Beverly Hills is part of the problem. I don’t want to be the next Brandon Chau. We need more enforcement, more accountability – why can’t the police and judicial system be biased in the cyclists’ favor for once?
Whomever is in charge of the Gauntlet on Wilshire is part of the problem. And we’re not the only ones with a shitty street by that name. A major part of the problem is the sheer size and placement of the Los Angeles Country Club. Why is that monstrosity even there?!? It feels like a slap in the face of riders commuting through there.
Residential streets are not an option – I’ve tried it enough to know that the more you turn off a street and onto another, you increase your chances of getting hit by a nonchalant unattentive motorist. Therefore, these major thoroughfares must be made safer to ride.
From what I can tell, Los Angeles has been sucking for at least the past 30 years. All of its major problems still haven’t been dealt with. Regardless of what cards we’ve been dealt, we can’t let it get any worse. If you give a damn about this city, you better complain every chance you get.
LA get your standards up!