Wall Street Journal Takes a Look at LA Bike Commuters


Wall Street Journal Celebrity Stephen Box at Bike Not to Work Day in 2007

Was there ever a subject that you talked about all of the time and thought you knew just about everything there was to know about it, then someone you don’t know has an opinion and all of a sudden you’re fascinated with what they have to say?  Well, that’s how I feel about a Wall Street Journal article about Los Angeles’ bike culture. 

The main focus of the article is on the perils of bike commuting in the urban jungle that is LA.  Riders have to fend off automobiles when on the road and deal with a lack inadequate bike racks on Metro buses when they try and get off the road.  The Journal talks to commuting cyclists from throughout the county about their concerns and injury history while painting a picture of bicyclists as normal people that are no different than other commuters.

None of this is news to the hundreds of us who use our bikes on a daily basis, but what is interesting is who the Journal chose to speak with and quote.  When you look at LA bike culture from a distance, who and what stand out?  For example, they talk to Stephen Box, discuss the Bike Writer’s Collective and the Crimanimals but not the LACBC and the Midnight Ridazz.  Michelle Mowery might be the most controversial government official in LADOT as far as bicycle activists are concerned, but the Journal talks to Lynne Goldsmith, bike coordinator at Metro.

In the end, the article concludes that LA is becoming more of a bike town everyday.  With the high cost of gas prices, more people have turned to two wheeled transportation despite the challenges that Angeleno cyclists face.

Photo: ubrayj02/Flickr

  • I knew that image looked familiar! Creative Commons FTW!

    The Wall Street Journal article has a well worn path in journalism about bikes: “bike riders have it bad, and it is dangerous to do what they do”.

    I much prefer the “gas has put these poor saps on bikes” angle, myself.

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