Sorry, L.A. Times, Bikes Are Not to Blame for Santa Monica Traffic
14th St. Sharrow Markings In Santa Monica
Gary Kavanagh | Flickr Creative Commons
The Los Angeles Times recently ran an essay by an angry long-time Santa Monica resident who was unhappy his city was working to boost infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, claiming cyclists were the cause of Santa Monica's unbearable traffic.
How? Apparently the city had marked some lanes as bike-friendly. And encouraged people to live in neighborhoods where they could walk or bike instead of driving for all their errands.
I know, right? How despicable of Santa Monica.
Honestly, I'm having a difficult time grasping the fact that I have to explain Los Angeles traffic to a 29-year resident of Santa Monica, but here goes:
Commuting in L.A. pretty much sucks - whether by bus, foot, bike or car. This isn't news. But what is news is the novel theory that commuting by car is so terrible because all those gosh-darn cyclists hogging the road.
This reminds me of how, while once driving down Lincoln Boulevard in a friend's car to go buy some gluten-free fair-trade bagels or mustache wax or something, some jackass riding his bike on the side of the road forced me to take the time to create about four feet between us before I could safely pass.
This maneuver probably added about one second to my commute, and I still hate that guy.
He must've been a part of that "gantlet of empowered cyclists" mentioned in the article. As if driving through Santa Monica is comparable to walking through a militant feminist convention with a can of Veet. Next time you meet a "gantlet of empowered cyclists" in Santa Monica, please let me know. Sounds like something I might be into.
Would you prefer these "empowered cyclists" drive cars instead? As if they then wouldn't contribute to traffic at all? It's almost as if you forgot that the leading cause of traffic is traffic. More specifically, motherfucking cars.
Also if it's taking "two hours in the car to drive the 18 miles to Disney Hall," then perhaps it's time to use the freeway instead of surface streets. I know, I know. L.A.'s freeway system is new and scary to you, but at least there is a guarantee of no bike-related traffic on the 405. The backups there are almost entirely caused by cars - huh, sounds an awful lot like Santa Monica.
Oh wait, hold on. Disregard my entire argument. I didn't realize Santa Monica residents are being "forced to take a back seat to a few thousand smug urbanites and cyclists." Because it's commuting time first, safety second here in L.A. But if you really think getting to Disney Hall 10 minutes sooner is worth more than human lives, then holy shit, dude, what the fuck is wrong with you!?
It's time to stop blaming other people for L.A.'s traffic woes and time to start doing something about it. But how, you ask? Ohhh, I don't know. Maybe ride a bike?
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