For Some A Barrier; For Others Brilliance Dear Ballona Creek Bike Path Impeder Authorizers of Culver City Whoever You Are,

I just want to thank you for the foresight and intelligence in installing this low locked gate pictured at right that makes me stop and get off my bike and lift it up and over when entering or exiting the Ballona Creek Bikeway at National just inside the border of your fine incorporated city. At 10 miles into a 14-mile commute its always nice to have your momentum slammed to a complete and total halt. Stop and smell the sewer, I always say, And if nothing else, the delay adds anticipation making getting to the bikeway that much sweeter! Climbing upramp to leave it, not so much. But that’s OK. Mostly it’s what my probation officer would call a “win-win” so I’m down with that.

Every time I’ve gone through the motions of stop-dismount-lift-stepover-drop-remount-go so I’m always impressed and in wonder at how it is you planners could have have known that the last thing I want or need after successfully avoiding becoming roadkill on bottlenecked Jefferson at La Cienega is to enter your fair municipality and then smoothly transition off that dreaded stretch of asphalt and onto the calm and quiet bikeway below.

It is nothing less than precognitive genius and I say a pox on those who might hastily argue against the barrier’s necessity in making the access point safer for all of us self-propellers (be we on foot, skates, scooter, skateboard or cycle). Why, I’m surprised and not a little shocked that the entrances to the bikeway all along the Los Angeles River aren’t similarly equipped especially with all the pedestrians I’ve seen and dodged there.

Speaking of which, I haven’t seen that many here. But I’m sure you have mountains of data to dispute those who claim the gate is a waste of metal and a good lock. Over the many years it’s been in service stalling everybody and saving lives I’m sure you’ve tallied and surveyed the vast number of pedestrians who might otherwise be dead or worse if it wasn’t there. Me? I’ve only been accessing the bikeway at this point for about a month so my data sample is certainly of no help — at least not yet. Not by a long shot. All I’ve seen in that time are cyclists coming and going. And stopping. And getting off their bikes. And lifting them up and over. And getting back on them. And going. But I’m sure those pedestrians are out there. Somewhere.

So thanks again for implementing this deterrent to continuous motion. Any timetable as to when you’ll get downcreek and install them at the Sepulveda and Overland entrances to the bikeway that seem to have been overlooked for some reason? I can’t wait!

7 thoughts on “For Some A Barrier; For Others Brilliance”

  1. Just a thought here… maybe the gate is intended to deter motorized access to the bike path as it is far less likely someone would dismount, lift their motorcycle over the gate and then ride as it is obvious a cyclist could do it easily.

    Without proper signage, we may never know.

  2. These low hanging gates have been in place for as long as I’ve lived near and biked on the creek (5+ years). I understand the thought that it’s in place to keep mopeds/motorcycles from encroaching the path (though I have seen those noisy, dirty, gasoline-powered bike/scooter contraptions on the path). Every once in a glorious while (usually a weekend, but rare) I’ll arrive to the Overland entrance, the gate will be open, and I’ll fly on through.

    Props to you for biking Sliverlake to Westchester.

  3. Over at the Overland entrance, someone’s peeled back the fencing to the right of the gate so riders can keep rolling.

    I’m just happy Ballona Creek is available as an east-west route — the Venice bike lane is a dangerous mess.

  4. they have these same goofy gates along the river in Silver Lake too. They are pretty goofy.

    while on the topic… its there some site that maps out all these paths?

  5. I had to look at that photo to make sure it wasn’t photoshopped before I believed this – has there been a stupider idea in the history of ever? (Don’t you dare say “the Bicycle District” Will Campbell!) I mean, really, I want to talk to the person who thought this was a good idea. What an idiot.

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