A couple of years ago bike sharing came to Washington D.C. when I was living there. At first the concept confused me until someone explained that it’s like a taxi, designed to get you from one point to another. With enough stations it can be a convenient, healthy, and cheaper method to get around town.
I ended up using them everyday for about a month and loving it. Now, that same service is coming to Los Angeles:
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will unveil a $16-million bike-share program Sunday that aims to put thousands of bicycles at hundreds of rental kiosks across the city.
Initial plans are to add 400 stations and 4,000 bicycles over the next 18 to 24 months in areas around downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Playa del Rey, Westwood and Venice Beach.
The private investment from Bike Nation will not need any city money, according to the mayor’s office and the company. Bike Nation has agreed to a minimum contract of 10 years.
“This is exactly what L.A. needs,” CicLAvia organizer Aaron Paley said. “If you take the bus, or you take the train, or you’re walking out of your house and you need to get somewhere, how do you accomplish that short trip in between? Bike share is definitely the way to do it.”
Of the many photographs in a new history of UCLA, one is especially arresting. The photo, from April 1929, shows the school’s first four buildings on its soon-to-open Westwood campus with little else around for miles but rolling hills and a few houses. “The campus is so far out in the country that it’s obvious only farmers will ever be the students’ neighbors,” the caption reads, quoting a not-particularly-far-sighted journalist at the time.
Clearly, the growth of UCLA and surrounding Westside neighborhoods was never a given. The school’s unusual journey to academic prominence — with political intrigue and student unrest along the way — is the basic narrative of “UCLA: The First Century,” a lavish 360-page coffee table book by Marina Dundjerski.
Pushing against the Berkeley-centric education establishment, Southern Californians undertook…