Due to Los Angeles City Council leadership and community advocacy,
bike corrals may soon be coming to Los Angeles. The April 14th meeting
of the city’s Transportation Committee is scheduled to hear a council
motion on implementation of a pilot corral in Northeast Los Angeles.
Here’s the backstory on how that came to pass.
Matt Schodorf is a bicyclist and a small businesses owner. He and his wife own Cafe de Leche – a coffee shop at the corner of Avenue 50 and York Boulevard in Highland Park.
York Boulevard, a former streetcar right-of-way, features old-school
Main Street type buildings – very walkable with very little car
parking. Schodorf noticed that many Cafe de Leche customers (and
staff) arrive by bike and by foot. He got the city (LADOT) to install
three of their standard inverted-U bike parking racks. Those racks fill
up, with both bikes and dog leashes, so Schodorf kept thinking about
how to increase the supply of local bicycle parking.
Matt’s brother, Marc Schodorf, a car-free New Yorker, introduced Matt to Streetsblog. Matt learned about bike corrals from this Streetfilms video. Further internet research showed internet images of a bike corral in front of a Stumptown coffee shop in Portland Oregon.
At the urging of Schodorf, Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar introduced a motion
requesting that the city install a pilot bike corral on York Boulevard
in Northeast Los Angeles (NELA.) The council motion was introduced in
July 2009. Then C.I.C.L.E. convened its campaign for a bike-friendly NELA, bringing together various folks including interested individuals and many groups in NELA – Bike Oven, Flying Pigeon, Highland Park Chamber of Commerce, TERA – The Eagle Rock Association, and the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition. Read this LACBC blog article for an overview of the initial campaign meeting.
The NELA bike campaign chose two top priority issues: implementing
the pilot bike corral and implementing bike lanes on the "four corners"
of NELA – York Boulevard, Eagle Rock Boulevard, Colorado Boulevard, and
North Figueroa Street.
Various folks involved in the campaign wrote letters to the city’s
Transportation Committee chair Councilmember Bill Rosendahl requesting
that he schedule the corral motion at his committee. One example
support letter is from Yolanda Nogueira, president of the Highland
Park Chamber of Commerce, who wrote "We are confident that bike corrals
will greatly enhance Highland Park and neighborhoods citywide. Los
Angeles needs to better accommodate walkable streest and promote green
Councilmember Rosendahl has scheduled the motion to be heard at the
2pm April 14th 2010 meeting of the City Council’s Transportation
Committee. C.I.C.L.E. NELA campaign participants are urging folks –
especially business owners and building owners – interested in bike
corrals to attend and speak in favor of the motion. Once approved by
council, the NELA pilot corral could take at least a few months to
implement. It will be an important precedent for implementing corrals
at appropriate locations throughout the city. Thanks to Councilmembers
Huizar and Rosendahl for moving this forward, and to their respective
deputies, Edel Vizcarra and Paul Backstrom.