The art of transit

Photo by Austin Robinson, via submission

Here’s a pic of a phenomenon I’m curious about: why are all these locks attached to the closed pedestrian underpass? The photo was taken at Hollywood Boulevard at New Hampshire Avenue. If you can explain, please leave a comment. I’m guessing it’s just one of those things I’m too old and un-hip to know about (there are many of these type of things).

To submit a photo for the Art of Transit, post it to Metro’s Flickr group, email it to or Tweet it to @metrolosangeles with an #artoftransit hashtag. Many of the photos we’ve featured can be seen in these galleries on Flickr.

4 replies

  1. Some of the locks seem to make a pattern.
    –There are 7 dark key padlocks, almost in a vertical line, starting at the top of the stairs, one for each stair,as if they are going up and down the stairs.
    –Four combo locks in a diamond pattern to the left.
    –Three vertical combo locks, tracking a vertical rust stain on the stairwell wall.
    –Were these patterns made by a serial lover, who brings each new conquest to the gate with a new lock– each love never suspecting that he or she will be dumped for a new one, their fleeting love forming love part of the unfolding pattern?

  2. It is weird. Someone’s trying to make a statement with all those padlocks. Still weird on my weird-o-meter. Great pic btw.

  3. They’re most likely locks of love. You’re supposed to lock it to the fence, gate, etc. and throw away the key. Voila, ever-lasting love.

    The first time I saw it was on the Ponte Milvio bridge in Rome. It seemed a little bit morbid before I knew exactly what it was.