LA’s DIY Bike Culture Featured in Bicycling Magazine

5_30_09_bicycling_magazine.jpgThis is the cover of the one you want to buy.

The Los Angeles bicycling scene has always demonstrated a "Do It Yourself" mentality from a thriving group ride scene exemplified by the Midnight Ridazz to the trio of bicycle co-ops sprinkled around Los Angeles.

Now the collective DIYness of our bike scene is taking its star turn in the July issue of Bicycling Magazine available in news stands everywhere.  The article, not available online, discusses many names that Streetsblog readers will recognize, and many of the events we’ve talked about the last couple of years.  It centers around the "DIY Bike Lanes" that appeared and dissappeared on the Fletcher Bridge last July, but also discusses the freeway bike rides, the 4SBB campaign, and the LADOT’s response to these issues.

In short, it’s a great read; and not just because it calls Streetsblog an "influential transit blog," although that helps. The timing of the article, appearing in subscriber’s inboxes days before the city releases its plan to paint official bike lanes is ironic or hilarious depending your take.

One of the downers in the article comes from LADOT Senior Bike Coordinator Michelle Mowery’s response to the Fletcher Bridge DIY Lanes.  She’s quoted as saying:

It lost goodwill, and it put riders in danger with a lane that is too narrow.

First off, I’m no expert in bike lane size and I have never ridden on Fletcher Bridge.  However, the end of the article shows that even though the formerly white DIY lane had been painted over with black paint; drivers and cyclists were still respecting the line and it was creating an orderly way for both motorized and non-motorized vehicles to share the road.

Second, I’m confused how a group of people painting a DIY Lane "lost goodwill."  Are all cyclists lumped together so that the actions of the "DIY Department" effects the lobbying efforts of another, unrelated, group of people?  If that’s the case, I have a lot of stories about bad, and far more deadly, behavior of drivers.  Maybe that user group could "lose goodwill" too and we can spend all our transportation dollars widening sidewalks.

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