Reliquary/Relic Wary: Look What My Archive File Spat Up!

Did you know that back in the day if cyclists in Los Angeles dared to want to bring their bikes aboard any of the MTA’s trains (which back then consisted of the Blue Line, the Green Line and a Red Line that only ran between Union Station and the Wiltern Theater), the MTA wanted to know all aaaaaaaaall about them by insisting that a signed and completed invasion of privacy application be submitted in order to obtain an official “Cycle Express” (whatever that means) permit that featured the cyclist’s name and address and photograph, documentation of which they were then obligated to maintain possession of despite its inconvenient un-wallet sized dimensions of 3.5″ x 4″.

And the kicker? If so demanded, permit holders were required to present the permit — not just to fare inspectors or law enforcement personal but “any Metropolitan Transit Authority employee” when mass-transiting with their two wheelers.

If that’s not ridiculous enough, the permits were issued with expiration dates, necessitating a stupid renewal process.

How do I know all this? Because I was the recipient and holder of MTA Cyclist Permit No. 3046, which expired 11 years ago last September (click thumbnails of the front and back to enlargify):

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It’s no wonder this insulting, discriminatory and invasive program was canceled, but it’s absolutely amazing that it was ever implemented.

UPDATED (04.18): I also found my Metrolink Bike Permit, which didn’t expire (there’s an expiration date line on the front but it was left blank), and its rules on the back were a little more well-thought out (i.e. permits must be presented only to fare inspectors upon request — not just any old employee like the MTA permit):

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."