In America’s most congested city, commuting is a necessary evil. We all have jobs, appointments and a myriad of life events we must attend, all while navigating options of travel. Trains, buses and taxis are legitimate options but trains and buses require effort to reach boarding locations and run on a schedule often inconvenient to our plans, not to mention the crowded conditions. Taxis are, well….expensive.
The most popular choice of travel in Los Angeles is still a personal vehicle “automobile”, adding to the congested freeways and surface streets. An even smaller population chooses a faster, more convenient and economical form of transportation, the two wheeled form.
Motorcycles offer a huge advantage to riders navigating the congested roadways. One such advantage is the ability to bypass sitting traffic by squeezing between the stopped or slow moving lanes of autos. Known as “lane-splitting”, it is legal and allowed in California, the only state that allows this practice.
“Lane-splitting” will be covered in detail in a future blog. On freeways lane-splitting allows the rider to move between lanes of slow or stopped traffic, always an occurrence during commuting hours and often during any hour of the day as well. Never having to stop affords a rider a much speedier commute.
Using this strategy can allow a motorcycle rider to travel distances at half the time or greater than that of car drivers during high traffic times. On surface streets, moving to the front of the line at stop lights also greatly reduces travel times as well as maneuvering between traffic in a manner an automobile simply cannot.
With parking at a minimum in Los Angeles, a motorcycle again offers an unfair advantage. The compact size of a motorcycle allows it to fit into tight parking spots that a car won’t, as well as offering free parking in gated parking structures as a motorcycle can simply go around the gate and are often not even acknowledged by parking attendants as a result.
Parking is not the only way a motorcycle saves money. Motorcycle fuel economy tends to be far superior to that of the average passenger vehicle, in addition to their waste accrued sitting in traffic or circling the blocks seeking a parking spot.
Motorcycles are also more evasive of police radar as the size of the vehicle makes it much more difficult to track by speed guns and other monitoring methods providing an added defense to those expensive moving violations so prevalent in Los Angeles.
The advantages of riding a motorcycle in Los Angeles are many; however the pure joy of simply riding itself could be the greatest advantage of all.