6054RE: Bike-Friendly Cities in the U.S.
- Jul 20, 2003I lived in Chicago for 5 years and rode my bike everywhere, even when it was
zero degrees and everyone else was on the CTA. I would say Chicago is a very
bike-friendly city, but you do have dense traffic and (on-road) bike lanes
that are not maintained or just ignored by motorists. Moving to California
in 99 I found biking extremely easy in low-density Irvine, CA where few bike
for 'transportation' purposes. I now live in Los Angeles, and I'm certain
that most folks could never imagine this place being a bike-friendly city. I
would say it is to an extent. I travel all over Los Angeles using a
Cannondale touring bike (sometimes using my Bike Friday folding bike) and
though it can sometimes take 2 hours to get to my destination, I feel I have
quite an interesting lifestyle. I would get soaked all the time in Chicago
and the many careless urban drivers almost did me in more times than I can
mention. Los Angeles has great weather and you can use the MTA with your
bike (they allow you to place your bike on the front rack of the busses).
L.A.'s sister-city Pasadena is also a very bike-friendly city and there is
almost no bike-theft. Everybody is driving.
I know that Los Angeles has a problematic future due to its size and its
resource limitations, but it is a city that is fast becoming
bicycle-integrated (bit by bit). By no means is it a walking city (on the
whole), but it is a city suitable for bicycle exploring, travelling and
commuting. Most of the people who know I live in L.A. without a car think
I'm totally nuts. But, I have no car payment, no gas expenses, no insurance
costs, no auto-related expenses, and little stress derived from commuting.
And, I have a knowledge of the city that few motorists can aquire.
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