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Good for the Ride, but Few Places to Park

By Eric Richardson
Published: Sunday, June 17, 2007, at 06:34PM
_DSC4070 Eric Richardson [Flickr]

People often ask me what I think of riding a bike Downtown. I tell them that I love it. Cars are often moving at a speed where I can keep up with them, and the back and forth can provide a bit of competition.

One major issue, though, when it comes to cycling Downtown is the severe lack of bike racks. Particularly in the Historic Core, there just aren't many places to lock up. Often times you'll see bikes locked up to one of our plentiful parking meters -- as the above shot from Thursday's Downtown Art Ride can attest -- but you might be surprised to learn that this behaviour is illegal in Los Angeles. Municipal Code section 88.10 states:

It shall be unlawful for any person to attach anything or to allow a bicycle, newsrack or any other article or thing to lean against a parking meter or a parking meter standard.

As we attempt to remake Downtown as a less car-dependent place, we very soon need to take one of two tacts: either we need to get busy installing bike racks, or we need to explicitly change the Municipal Code to make meter-attached parking legal. Forcing cyclists to rely on the infrequent enforcement of the law simply isn't good enough.

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