The crowds start to grow around the viaduct
The bridge was supposed to have closed right after the New Year’s holiday weekend. Luckily for us, the project has still been lagging. Giving us a few more weeks with our condemned landmark.
As the project has been pushing dates back and back, no one is exactly sure when the demolition process will really start. Though with the date quickly approaching for the bridge’s permanent closure to traffic, people have been coming out in large numbers to capture a few final pictures. With the largest crowds coming around sunset.
Though the daytime exploits have also been really exciting too. Watching as many classic cars and lowriders have been coming out for some final rides. Though to be honest, many of them are just here for some final pictures too. With many guys even bringing out their absolutely finest cars on flatbeds, and not even riding them. Just to get a few good shots from this classic bridge.
And as the evenings turns to dusk it has even become common for everyday motorists to stop their car in the middle of the bridge and start snapping off pictures, standing halfway from their doors to capture the downtown horizon.
This is what can upset the police the most, the stopping of traffic. That is right up there with people climbing the arches.
Now climbing the arches was a pretty rare thing until the past year or two. It all started happening a while back after people started posting their arch-top pictures on Instagram, which went viral. After that a steady stream of urban explorers and hipsters started coming to capture the experience for themselves.
The problem is that people do get stuck up there occasionally and have been found stuck hanging on top of this main traffic artery. So the police do sometimes come and shut down traffic in both directions while they get them down and ticket them.
All of the while for our the locals, who are trying to get to and from the places of their busy lives, are they stopped dead in traffic on the bridge. Tired, exacerbated and cursing motorists stuck behind the wheel.
However, for the most part it has been pretty orderly around here. With car clubs and scooter crews having their fun on the bridge, with their presence well-coordinated and not really impacting traffic too much.
The car clubs have been pretty good about coordinating their rides and directing traffic, even if they are stopping traffic. Often the clubs having members temporarily get out and stop traffic for both lanes in order to get their make their procession and grab their photo ops. Then quickly restoring the flow of traffic without incident.
It has been wonderful seeing how the Whittier Blvd cruise clubs, which was only really revived the old classic cruise route last year, have been coming out in full force.
Even the scoots come out for a lasts ride
Also most interestingly, during our last days we also encountered the Hive Crew scooter club of East Los Angeles. This local scoot club was also started just last year in 2015.
As I approached the bridge I just had to put down my six-pack of Guinness and start to record these guys riding their Vespas together in group, riding back and forth over the bridge. And occasional stopping to line up at the arches.
As the day grew later and as the lowriders started coming out in larger numbers, it became harder for both the lowriders and the scooter club to keep flow.
Now as both a big fan of both the scooter and the lowrider subcultures, it was amazing to see both of these worlds collide for me, and to see them rub elbows with each other!
Update: Recently I was checking out the Hive Crew website and saw this amazing picture captured from this same event as the video above. Right between their helmets and the words Los Angeles here, you can see my skinny ass in the distance!
Screen capture from the Hive Crew website.
I encourage everyone to support this local club and encourage scoot culture in our area, by coming out for their Swarm LA Scooter Rally the weekend of July 15-17, 2016 and by 0rdering one of their rally packs.