Trading Bike Parking for Time
Seal Beach has been hit by a couple tragedies lately. The burning of the buildings at the end of the pier, being the most recent and dramatic. But a far more insidious tragedy is the loss of bike parking to make way for a big clock, and those obnoxious bricks with the names of donors engraved into them. It has been a while since I last rode down to the Beach so I can't be sure when the transformation took place, but you may remember photos from the past, or witnessed the scene in person, showing rows of racks, often full of bikes, especially during the summer. From what I could tell, most of those bike rack users seemed to be locals who would ride over from surrounding, or more far flung neighborhoods, park, lock up, and spend the day at the beach.
Now what have you got? An empty, unused space. They even took out the benches. What a waste. So what are you supposed to do there? I watched people for a while, they would walk out to the end, look out over the parking lot below, turn around and walk back. Others would walk up to the clock, look at it, pull out their phone to check the time, turn around and walk back. While it is prime real estate, it also seems to be, mostly, dead space. I suppose people can lock up to the railing, as you see some do. At the same time I suspect that is more the outcome, rather than the intent, and wonder how long it will be before the "do not lock bikes to railing" signs appear. Like all these beach cities, streets are crowded with cars, especially during the summer, and parking is limited, so how does removing parking for bikes make that situation any better? Where is the sense in it? And why for a big clock which, quite frankly, could just as easily have been placed just about anywhere?