These bikes came up in my Google Reader today, via Design Sponge. Usually I’m not one for cruisers but these bikes are too irresistable to well… resist! They remind me of bikes used as transportation in old European cities, the kind with cobblestone streets that you can ride down with bike baskets filled with Italian food or French fromage. The kind of streets that are wide enough for about one and a half cars. Where said cars park a little on the street and a lot on the sidewalk. The kind of streets where tiny old ladies walk around carrying baskets of bagguettes or flowers with lace scarves covering their curly grey hair.
I then started thinking about my own city in this way, Los Angeles. I’m pretty sure it would take nothing short of a miracle for Los Angeles to become European Cityesque, but what if it did? What would that look like? What if Los Angeles: VAST AND WIDE FRONTIER OF THE WEST was more like Los Angeles: the city of cities?
I wonder if we could ever learn to put the cars away, take the bikes out and use them as our main mode of transport? The less we have to carry around the better. In my mind there are two main parts of LA, The East Side and The West Side. The East side consists of Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Echo Park, and Hollywood. The West Side is Venice, Santa Monica and Culver City. Imagine each of these neighborhoods or groups of neighborhoods operating as self sufficient towns. They each have their own entertainment, their own restaurants and markets, they have their ownThen connect east side and west side with trains.
Would streets be more or less crowded? People would probably be happier. Communities would be more tight knit as you would see members of your community every day out on the street. I wonder what this would do for crime and racial segregation. I’m sure a lot of Americans would see this as a step backward. They would never want to get rid of their cars. I wonder if there is a particular neighborhood that would be willing to carry out this kind of experiment.