Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No matter where I am, all I see is bikes

New York, Chicago, Sun Valley. I've been working and relaxing all over this country recently, and I constantly found myself comparing the way these places handle urban design as it applies to cyclists and pedestrians, and what lessons Los Angeles could learn from them.

NEW YORK

New York Traffic

Wow, this town is going full retard for bikes!

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Everywhere you look, there are green bike lanes carefully carved out of pre-existing car lanes (are you listening @mobilitymaven?) and sprinkled with amazing patio spaces for people to dine and relax behind giant planters overflowing with flowers...in the street!

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For all the talk about how crazy New York traffic is, I found cyclists, pedestrians and drivers were able to co-exist rather peacefully.

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The streets seemed to be in much better condition than Los Angeles, where I sometimes prefer the comfort and safety of a full suspension mountain bike when navigating the million potholes of the city.

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They also have trees that provide shade while managing not to tear apart the sidewalks, imagine that!

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And the police don't seem to need gas guzzling Harleys for every situation. They've embraced the concept that radios outrun any vehicle, not that I'm calling these Vespas slow.

NYPD's finest on Italian muscle scooters!

Zebra stripe crosswalks are safer and smarter than the average crosswalk. Does LADOT need to spend a year studying that?

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CHICAGO

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Here's a city like L.A. that has a river running thru it.

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However, instead of turning it into a large hidden concrete open sewer known only to trivia buffs, homeless fishermen and a few daring kayakers...

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there are wonderful parks along it's banks, with runners, walkers and cyclists enjoying the meandering waterway that defines the geography of the city.

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Gorgeous riverwalk in Chicago

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Everything is so green and beautiful, and there are parks with public art that inspire and cool the people!

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Chicago Skyline

SUN VALLEY

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What can I say, this place is paradise!

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A bike path runs along the river taking you anywhere you want to go, while keeping cyclists seperated from car lanes. In town, the speed limit is 20 mph, a speed designed for people and civic vitality, not to maximize the number of cars per minute. Some of the best mountain bike trails are right in town.

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Or you can head into the back country if you so desire.

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If you're lucky, you'll end up at a remote hot spring!

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If hikers, horses can cyclists can learn to share these trails, why can't Angelenos in Griffith Park do the same? Oh wait, because someone decided for us that we're not allowed to share. Too bad, these trails are appealing to all sorts of users...







See you on the streets! Los Angeles Critical Mass is this friday!

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1 comment:

Vivier said...

beautiful pictures, alex. i want to go to chicago!
i want to go to sun valley!