(Update, January 17: The City Council passed the ordinance without any discussion at yesterday’s full meeting. It now awaits the Mayor’s signature to become law. – DN)
It’s been over 15 months since it seemed the city was poised to enact a progressive bike parking ordinance that would dramatically increase the amount of bicycle parking required in new developments. In that time, the ordinance was sent back to City Planning for a handful of technical corrections, before it re-appeared in front of the City Council Planning and Land Use Committee hearing earlier today.
With Committee Chair Ed Reyes not in attendance, acting chair Jose Huizar put the motion on the consent calendar. THe ordinance could be voted on by the full City Council as early as later this month. The transportation committee already waived consideration of the ordinance after holding hearings last year. The Council also passed a “negative declaration” last year, meaning the city found that increasing bike parking would have no negative impact on the city’s air quality.
“This is a huge milestone in further establishing cycling as a legitimate mode of transportation in this City,” writes Bill Rosendahl, Chair of the City Council Transportation Committee.
“If you were to travel by car and knew at the end of the trip there was a high probability that your car would be vandalized or stolen you would think twice about making that trip. The same rule applies to those who travel by bicycle. And just as we have automobile parking standards for private development, we will now have bicycle parking standards for private development. It’s about equity and encouragement. You simply can’t expect people to travel by bicycle unless you provide safe, secure and available bicycle parking at the end of the trip.”
The ordinance, once approved by the full Council and signed by the Mayor, includes a swap of car parking for bicycle parking at commercial and residential developments. Up to 30% of auto parking can swapped for bicycle parking within a commercial nonresidential project and 15% of auto parking can be swapped within a residential project that is near a major bus or transit station. This could be particularly crucial for the transit oriented developments that pop up as a result of the new train lines that are coming online as a result of Measure R.
The ordinance also provides a mechanism to add more bike corrals to city streets. These on-street public bicycle parking spaces offer an opportunity to provide ample bicycle parking without taking up pedestrian space on sidewalks. Bike corrals have been proven to increase bicycle usage in areas where they are installed, as they encourage residents to travel by bicycle around their neighborhoods to do their shopping and errands. The corral at Cafe De Leche in Northeast L.A. was part of a pilot program that was succesful enough that the LADOT and City Planning are comfortable enough to let them flourish city-wide.