Los Angeles Dedicates its First Bike Corral

This morning, a crowd of over a hundred people assembled to celebrate the opening of the city of Los Angeles’ first bike corral. The event took place at the corner of York Boulevard and Avenue 50, in Highland Park – in front of Cafe de Leche and directly across from Bicycle Doctor.

This is it! Photo: ##http://yfrog.com/h7ztz2j##BevarUs/Flickr##

The city-installed corral was championed by City Councilmember Jose Huizar, who, at today’s grand opening, proclaimed his support for Los Angeles overtaking Long Beach’s leadership in becoming a truly bike-friendly city. Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s Acting General Manager Amir Sedadi echoed the Councilmember’s commitment to making the city bike-friendly. Sedadi announced that the city is applying for Metro Call for Projects funding to build at least 30 additional corrals throughout the city. Representatives from local businesses, and from bicycle advocacy groups C.I.C.L.E., LACBC, and CicLAvia also welcomed the new bike facility.

In responding to television reporters questions, LADOT’s Sedadi stated that the York Boulevard bike corral cost between $3,000 and $4,000. The corral removes one car parking space, replacing it with ten bike parking spaces. The community campaign for the bike corral included a diverse coalition of local stakeholders, including business owners, property owners, chamber of commerce, neighborhood council, nearby Occidental College community members, C.I.C.L.E., LACBC, the Bike Oven, and many others. Alongside the recently-striped York Boulevard bike lanes, the brand new bike corral gives Highland Park locals a glimpse of what a bike friendly future looks like.

21 thoughts on Los Angeles Dedicates its First Bike Corral

  1. Congrats to LA on moving forward with bike corrals. First rate.

    As to that cheezy proclamation of surpassing Long Beach as the best bike city around here…

    NEVER!, NEVER!, NEVER!

  2. Sheesh. I like what Long Beach has done with its downtown transit, and I like that Los Angeles is starting to take bicycling seriously.

    But this isn’t the Super Bowl. Or Wrestlemania.

  3. @Charly Gandy

    Long Beach is a non-starter if their police force is going to use it’s tactics to harass cyclists. Long beach may have some nice bikey stuff but their leaders are lacking at wrangling in their attack dogs.

  4. @the dude abides: Long Beach recently repealed the city requirement for bike licenses ($3 a piece, per year) after complaints that they were too hard to get and didn’t do much good. So, the city is responsive.

    I will admit that LA’s new bike plan looks better than Long Beach’s 10 year old bike plan… but Long Beach has been doing a bunch of great stuff that wasn’t even in the last plan (like the Vista bike boulevard, and protected bike lanes / cycletracks on 3rd and Broadway, downtown).

    I’m going to the meeting this Saturday in Long Beach about the bike plan, if I can. I expect the new plan to be awesome, even better than LA’s, and enough to actually make Long Beach “the most bike-friendly city in America”, as claimed.

  5. Not to be a debbie downer, but I’m very confused about all the hubub over a single bike corral. Does this signify a change in policy on LADOT? Do they have plans to roll out hundreds or thousands of these in the weeks and months ahead? If so, then I get it…that would be huge. Otherwise, this just seems totally overblown.

  6. Chris L, you are not being a Debbie Downer.

    There is a change afoot in the City of LA, and this (and other projects in the City) have the cumulative effect of getting bike advocates very excited.

    Let’s just rack them up: 4th street got sharrows, Valley streets got bike lanes, York got bike lanes, bike corral, bike harassment law soon to be on the books, $10 million more/year from Measure R (plus $7 million city already gets in special funds for bike and ped projects).

    The tactics and the energy are working, and little by little a better city for bicycling is emerging. We are years off, and there are still huge political battles to be fought, but like CicLAvia this was a moment to really look back at the misery of attending so many god damned meetings and rallys and rides and talking writing, photographing, filming, editing, posting, etc. and finally here we are – SOMETHING FINALLY HAPPENED.

    I look forward to the day when it is de riguer that a cafe gets these installed out front, when nobody really gives a shit because this is just how you build a city – with proper accommodation for cyclists.

    We are not there yet, but we are one small step forward.

  7. Huizar also mentioned immediate plans for 30 more corrals. That’s not a bad start, especially considering how community funds, which come from taxes, have withered away after forty years of “starve the beast” philosophy from the right.

    Roads, sidewalks, street parking (including for bikes), libraries, schools, fire & police, the justice system, building & safety, Metro, etc. are all things that the private sector has never done well. The fact that we’ve gotten this much for bikes during the hardest times in 70 years is pretty good. (It’s also a measure of how much the social, financial, and physical efficiency of cycling has come to be common knowledge, at least among policy wonks, in the last few years.)

    Thank you, BTW, enlightened citizens of LA for voting measure R taxes on themselves (including me) to support healthy community infrastructure!

  8. I’d say one corral is a big deal. Most cities are gonna be cautious with roll out, no matter how aggressive plans are. (Even though they know they work in other cities.) I wouldn’t worry, the first one goes and it will get its media coverage cause it is new and people will make their comments and observe and then it will be a success and a whole bunch more will go in. It’s how the system works.

    Just think, you put one in: all the networks and papers come out and cover the new “thing”. It seems harmless to have a couple parking spots changed, no big deal. Then they do dozens more and there isn’t as much coverage.

    But what if they did install, say, a couple dozen at once? THen the media will love to alarm people, talk about how this is being forced on residents. You’ll have ample voices in each of those neighborhoods that voice dis-sastifaction.

  9. Chris L,

    I think the other part of the “big deal-ness” is that so often bike advocates run up against a wall of “it’s never been done before in LA so we can’t do it.” I think that was a big issue with sharrows. LADOT wanted to study it for a decade.

    Every time you get a new type of bike infrastructure installed, it gets easier to do it again.

  10. I’d say a little friendly competition on the bike “friendly” situation between Long Beach (who rarely gets any broad regional love or attention except for crime and crashes until the bike story came along, let’s be honest) and L.A. is a great thing. Why not?

    Long Beach is the second largest city in LA county by far (480,000+) and we’ve got a lot in play + the city is updating the bike plan. If LB and LA both go for bike friendliness not only cyclists will win in the region, but those who walk, and ride transit. Let the competition begin! And kudos to streetsblog for keeping us all updated.

  11. Congratulations L.A.! I almost want to cry. You are now beating NYC 1 to 0 in bike corrals.

  12. Niiice…. all of the energy that people have in LA for cycling is fantastic, who knows, one day soon, cycling in LA will become as common place as it is in Seattle (where someone stole the mayors bike ;-)

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