By Zein Amari. Version en español.
Two Metro Bike stations were vandalized near the intersections of Mateo/Industrial Street and Mateo/Willow Street in the redeveloped and ritzy downtown Arts District sometime before Tuesday morning.
In front of one of the bike stations, “FUCK METRO! FUCK HIPSTERS!” was written in red paint. Metro, the transportation monopoly of Los Angeles County, is resented by the masses of Los Angeles due to the construction and development of its rail lines through working-class neighborhoods, often displacing residents in the process.
There’s notable controversy around Metro Bikes, as they tend to only pop up when working-class neighborhoods are undergoing gentrification. The new Metro Bike stations are billed as a “bicycle sharing system,” giving the impression that they are a community-oriented solution to transportation issues, when in reality they are nothing more than short-term bike rentals for gentrifying hipsters and tourists.
Gentrification follows Metro development as part of “transportation-orientated development,” according to the analysis the anti-gentrification organization Defend Boyle Heights (DBH), which disrupted a Metro community meeting back in late January. Prior to that, DBH also protested against a temporary Metro Bike station at Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights.
As developers, city officials and agencies like Metro continue gentrifying Los Angeles, there will undoubtedly be continued resistance.