Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Crap L.A. cycle paths

The Bike Paths designed and built in Los Angeles are unsafe, secluded, isolated, disconnected from meaningful destinations, and show a municipal desire to remove cyclists from the traffic mix.

In LA, the Bike Paths are often segregated from the community with walls, fences and shrubbery that create a closed off, hostile environment. The sound wall on the Orange Line protects the neighbors from the sound of the Metro buses but it also means that a cyclist who needs help can't be heard by the community.

Rape, gang attack, punching, mugging, assault and murder are just a few of the incidents that happen on Bike Paths, and these incidents happen at any time of the day. Bike Paths that have chain link fencing, sound walls and landscaping that offers hiding places are not safe. Adding to the risk is the fact that if something happens and a cyclist uses a cell phone to call for help, what's the address? Metro tunnels have markers, hiking trails have markers, why not the Bike Paths in LA?

Cyclists won't find Bike Paths that take them to employment centers, schools, entertainment opportunities, museums, shopping centers, city centers, or any of the other places that people in cars, on buses, on trains and on foot go to on a daily basis. Don't cyclists have places to go to? If so, why don't Bike Paths go there?

In LA the Bike Paths are not "integrated" with traffic, meaning that there are no triggers for traffic lights. One must become a pedestrian to push the crossing button. Oftentimes, one has to dismount when leaving the path to become a pedestrian to then mount the bike again to get back into regular vehicular traffic.
(What would drivers say if they would have to get out of their cars when exiting the freeway, push the car all the way to the end of the off ramp only to then get back into the car, start it up and slowly turn into the urban traffic flow.)