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Recapping the Wilshire Rush Hour Sprint

1:45 PM PDT on August 13, 2012

To go to the map, click on the image.

It was a warm night last May when four racers gathered at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Amherst Boulevard to race. The race would take them east, for three miles to the corner of Wilshire and Beverly Glen Boulevard. The goal? To prove that even during Wilshire's legendary rush hour, that our chosen mode of transportation was the fastest, the most efficient, and quite simply, the best.

The race teams departed at 6:15. Representing bike riders everywhere was Austin Sos, a UCLA graduate student. Sahra Sulaiman walked for pedestrians, while I rode the Wilshire Rapid on behalf of transit riders everywhere. Mike Gran, a regular Wilshire Boulevard commuter took his truck.

We honestly weren't sure how the race would turn out. I'd love to tell you we were trying to make a point about bicycles and transit, but we weren't. It was a real race. We aim to repeat it when the Bus-Only Lane is completed in two years to see how the transit striping changes the traffic patterns.

Thirteen minutes later, the race was over when the first racer arrived at the northwest corner of the finish markers, where we agreed to meet. Four minutes later, the silver medalist arrived. Ten minutes after that, the bronze medal winner crossed the street. After that, it was another 15 minutes before our runner up arrived at 6:57 pm.

Before publishing, I went back to Wilshire and repeated the race at the same time and same places to see if the race was accurate. To see what order people finished, read on after the jump.

Go!
At the start, Mike runs to the truck.
Mike gets a laugh as Damien and Sahra scoot past in the early going.
Mike enjoys the comfort of the truck. DId you know choosing transit over truck ownership can save you $11,000 a year.
Mike witnesses how traffic backs up at the V.A. and 405 entrances off Wilshire.
Cracked and broken sidewalks greeted Sahra in everywhere but the areas with stores or high-rent residential.
At the start, Austin stayed to the right. He spent a lot of the race on the sidewalk, which was double ok. Once he got near the Veteran's Administration Hospital, there were hardly any pedestrians.
In first place, Austin Sos, and the bicycle!
By the time I got to the finish line, Mike had parked his truck and beaten me to the spot.

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