If you follow Metro on Instagram or Snapchat (@metrolosangeles), you’ve probably seen us incorporating Metro Bike trips into many of our stories set in DTLA. In the process of making these trips I’ve started to notice a few things, namely:
- I feel more comfortable riding a bike around DTLA.
- I feel safer on a Metro Bike than on a regular bike.
Point one speaks to the fact that the more you do something, the easier it gets. In figuring out how to ride from Point A to Point B for all these trips, I’ve learned which streets have bike lanes — or, in the case of streets with no bike lanes, which ones have less potholes or more manageable traffic. And with each trip my comfort level in biking around DTLA grew.
Point two speaks to the fact that Metro Bike bikes are heavy and extremely easy to spot. At 35 pounds, pedaling a Metro Bike is always a light workout, but they are sturdy and ride like a stately ship. I’m not worried I’ll run over a curb and flip over, or that a car will zoom by me and cause me to lose my balance.
And because the bikes are big and distinctively marked with bright green and the Metro M logo, I feel effortlessly visible. When bike lanes weren’t available, it wasn’t a big deal to be in a car lane. Even straddling the bike in the middle of an intersection, waiting to make a left turn, I wasn’t nervous a car would touch me.
Interestingly enough, I drew these conclusions on my own before reading this article about a study that found that bike share riders have very low accident rates.
So to that end, it’s been nice having bike share around. I definitely wasn’t riding a bike around DTLA at all one year ago, but now it’s actually an option. And at the end of the day, that’s all anyone wants, right? More options.
If you’re still a little hesitant about giving Metro Bike a spin around DTLA, check out this starter guide on the best streets to ride. And we’ll have more guides coming out as Metro Bike launches in Pasadena, Venice and Port of L.A. this summer. If you’re looking for tips on where to ride, please check out our Instagram and Snapchat! We’ll show you how to go places — on Metro Bike, regular bike, bus, train or foot.
There is no such think as a “Car Lane”. Per Metro’s own riding tips page: https://bikeshare.metro.net/how-it-works/riding-tips/
“Every lane is a bike lane, people on bikes may use a whole lane.”
I am really glad to read this (after your early skeptical tweet critical of bike-share.) Bike-share is definitely comfortable, safe and awesome.
I would also say that there can be a different mindset being on a shared bike versus a personal one. A personal bike endorses a pleasant sense of freedom that can lead to a feeling of entitlement and risky behavior; forging your own way and taking your own risks. A shared bike is more of a community asset, and may engender more feelings of integration toward being a responsible and cautious member of a regulated system. We’re often better behaved at our neighbor’s house than our own. The effect may be slight and subconscious, but could make a difference in a close call.
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