Life Without Wheels: Chronicle of a Car-Free Lifestyle
 
One of my favorite bicycling blogs is Ted Rogers' Biking in LA. His viewpoint on cycling issues and policies empathizes with the cyclist while being realistic about the world we live in--one dominated by cars. It's not uncommon for me to engage in the discourse in the blog's comments section, as I did with his post "Two-wheeled second class citizens on LA's Metro rails."  

Below is my comment:
"danceralamode Says:
January 22, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Reply


I quite frequently take the Red, Purple, Green, and Blue lines with my bicycle. Regarding the limitations during rush hour, I’ve never seen any bus driver or train driver enforce them, and I’ve never worried about it. Regarding this two per train car rule…I’ve been on the train with people crammed up against me and my bike and there are three other bikes in that car. I have never seen any enforcement of these rules.

So if they aren’t enforced, why are they even rules? What really irks me is the bike racks on buses that have only two spaces. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to let two or three buses pass me because there was no room for me, including on New Year’s Eve, at 4am. The bus driver politely stopped and opened her door and just stared at me. She asked me if I was getting on, and I said “Well, I can’t get on with my bike, can I? And your rack is full.” And she just stared at me like I was just going to leave my bike on the sidewalk. So at 4am on New Year’s Eve I had to brave the streets with speeding drunk drivers (people-including PD-doing over 60mph on Wilshire Blvd according to the speed scanner posted there).

I’ve been meaning to write Metro a letter. I feel very strongly that they put me in a precarious situation (and yes I know I had options, but the option of lock my bike on the street in Santa Monica until I can come and get it, when I live on the other side of LA is not really an option)."
Ted suggested I write a letter, and he would post it. Therefore, I am up at 3:40am, because words have been floating through my head, writing a letter to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The only other time I have written a letter to an elected official (aside from form petitions online) is when I wrote to Senators Feinstein and Boxer as well as former President Bush regarding ratifying a document that solidified the US's stance against equal rights for women throughout the world. I had read a story about a woman in a 3rd world, civil war ripped country who had to undergo unspeakable horrors, and I felt that our country could take a definitive stance towards this kind of treatment of women. Without going into details, the woman's story infuriated me to the point where I dropped everything and started writing my representatives. 


This situation is different: this actually happened to me. And the more I think about it, the more angry I should be. I was put in very real danger. How many stories have we read recently about cyclists being mowed down by drunk drivers? And here I am, basically forced to brave the streets of LA on New Year's Eve. I guess it's time to stop talking and stand up and actually SAY something. So here's to telling your story!
 


Comments

01/23/2010 05:15

The move to limit cyclists to two per rail car failed. There is no limitation at this time.

As for Buses, you write of your New Years experience saying...and I said “Well, I can’t get on with my bike, can I? And your rack is full.”

Actually, you can. It's based on the bus operator's discretion and at 4 am, with a less than capacity bus, you simply go to the rear entrance and load your bike on the bus.

Join me at the next Metro Board meeting if you think there is a need to address the Metro's bus operator training. 4th Thursday at 9:30, One Gateway.

Stephen@thirdeyecreative.net

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