Los Angeles has a bike plan, and it's a fine idea. We have quite enough cars and quite enough drivers, thank you very much, and the counter-stereotypical truth is that we also have thousands and thousands of bicyclists who would gladly leave the car in the garage (or not buy one in the first place) and take to the pedals if only we could make enough room for them on the pavement.
That's the idea behind the mile-and-a-half or so of green-painted bike lane that runs along Spring Street downtown. By itself it's not much, but as the anchor of a bikeway network, it's an inviting path.
Of course, bike lanes are nothing new, although they always seemed to work out well enough without being painted a garish color. And this green is just so, well — green. Kind of a gimmick, right? But whatever. It's not like it does anyone any harm.
Except that it apparently does. That mile and a half of Spring Street turns out to be the most filmed stretch of street in town. Or rather, it was until about last November, when the green lane spoiled the shots that made Spring the perfect stand-in for Anytown, USA. It was the perfect street for car commercials, the perfect backdrop of stolid bank buildings, the perfect mix of marble columns and Art Deco spandrels, the perfect modern or 1920s downtown — until the wide green stripe appeared.