Caltrans Bike Bike Racks (2012)

Bike racks in front of Caltrans District 7 Headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles.

When I saw this group of bike racks, I thought it was one of the many works of public art on display throughout Downtown. But when I looked for information about the work and the artist, I discovered that they are actually commercially-available “Bike Bike Racks,” made by the Dero company in Minnesota. (The picture title is not a typo.) Dero says these racks are designed to minimize obstruction, by forcing bikes to park parallel and close in to them. I suppose that might particularly appeal to officials of an agency devoted to controlling the flow of traffic.

The Caltrans building and the adjacent Eli and Edythe Broad Plaza have numerous signs prohibiting bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades, and scooters anywhere near those premises. Given Caltrans’ apparent antipathy toward non-motorized transportation, and its reputation for schedule slippage, it’s not surprising that these bike racks were installed three years after the building opened.

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