January 4, 2014 at 2:02 pm in Biking in LA
This may seem meaningless to most of you who travel in fossil-fueled and four-wheeled conveyances, but for those of you who bike this city with any kind of regularity, I trust you can recognize how awesome it is when you discover a better route of travel no matter how long or how short it is — especially if it’s been there practically under your tires all along. The only thing better than discovering such trajectories is sharing them with the one or two cyclists out there, who, like me, didn’t already know the new route already. So here it is:
For years and years and years, to pedal the relative shorthop from Beverly Boulevard to Hoover Street I’ve traversed the route shown on the right (click it for the bigger picture) that mainly utilizes Commonwealth Avenue. It is problematic for four reasons:
1) The ridiculously deteriorated asphalt on the Bureau of Street Services-forsaken stretch of 2nd Street between Hoover and Commonwealth, which probably rivals the infamous rugged terrain that can be found on the famed Paris-Roubaix race.
2) That’s then matched by the crappy roadway extending from 6th Street to Wilshire.
3) Between 6th and Wilshire in the morning you also have to deal with an epidemic of craptastic double parking as people load and unload passengers, most of whom are bound for the nearby court building.
4) The reeeeeeaaaally long wait on Commonwealth at Wilshire for a green light.
So yesterday, now that I’m back in the fully employed saddle again, and getting off the a good start towards keeping my New Year’s resolution to bike more miles than I drive, I was riding south on Vendome approaching Beverly, but instead of going straight across as I’ve done for so long, I decided to go left and see what it would be like getting to Hoover from there via an alternate route.
As shown in the second image at left, I turned right from Beverly onto LaFayette Park Place and not only does it get me to where I want to be with less turns and twists, but it’s also less congested, wider, and the pavement is billiard-slate smooth. And while the green light to cross Wilshire is probably as long as the one mentioned in No. 4 above at Commonwealth, I can at least turn my less-stressed head to my right and say good morning to the statue of the Marquis de LaFayette standing in the corner of the park that’s named after the hero of the American Revolution.
Once across Wilshire, it’s a left turn onto Hoover and I’m on my way, left only to wonder how and why it took me so long to figure out this better way to go.