At Long Beach City Hall there is a sculpture of an old-fashioned bicycle (the kind with the huge front wheel) pegged to the wall right by the main entrance. Below the sculpture reads the following: "Long Beach, the most bicycle friendly city in America".
I'm not here to rigorously evaluate that claim, although I'd say it's more a statement of aspiration than a statement of fact. Despite the attention the LBC has been getting, most streets in the city are still ruled by cars. So if Long Beach is the best America can do for bikeability, I think I'm going to need some cheering up.
However, I did get a chance to participate in a wonderful thing in Long Beach this weekend: bike traffic, specifically along the beach bike path which connects Downtown to Belmont Shore. People were passing and waiting. There was even some bike road rage. It was an eerie experience. Is this the future we're heading towards?
I hope so. America could stand to loose some weight and emit a lot less CO2. Maybe someday the traffic we'll be stuck in will be giving us exercise, saving us money, and emitting no pollution. And since bikes are so much more compact than cars, maybe we'll even beat the traffic :)