With All Eyes on L.A., Villaraigosa Signs New Bike Parking Ordinance

Moments ago, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed a new bicycle parking ordinance into law which requires more bicycle parking at new developments and even allows a small swap of car parking for bike parking in certain approved development plans. The ordinance was on the verge of being signed last year before a series of small technical changes were added and the legislation had to go back through the City Council Committee structure.

Villaraigosa at the bike plan signing, March 2011. Photo:##http://lacbc.wordpress.com/tag/mayor-villaraigosa/##LACBC Blog##

“The city is undergoing a transportation renaissance and we are changing the way Los Angeles moves,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, before signing the bill. “We have made unprecedented investments in the city’s bike infrastructure, with more bikeways and bike parking spaces than any time in the city’s history. The bicycle parking ordinance is another step in making it easier for Angelenos to navigate the city on two wheels.”

The ordinance  goes into effect on March 13, 2013.

Under the new law, 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. Recently, LADOT announced that they have funding for more bike corrals and want businesses to apply to get one in front of their establishment.

“What is also noteworthy about the Bicycle Parking Ordinance is the collaborative effort that took place between my office, the LACBC, the UCLA Urban Planning Graduate Program and of course our partners in City Planning and LADOT who all came together to make this happen with such scarce resources at our disposal,” writes Bill Rosendahl, Chairman of the City Council Transportation Committee. “A big thanks to former LACBC Policy Director Alexis Lantz and especially Rye Baerg, MA Urban Planning, UCLA, who took this project on as a graduate student.”

  • Rob Alleman

    Hmmm… It’s more of a symbolic step than an actually beneficial one I think… Finding a place to lock my bike up is sort of low on the totem pole of issues that I have with biking around this city.

  • Ubrayj02

    Would it be possible to provide the Council File number for this ordinance? I would like to read it!

    The last copy I saw had some (I thought) bad language that would mandate essentially the same amount of area a car parking spot would take to be used instead for bike parking. The economics of car parking has to do with the paved surface being created for cars. Bike take up less space, therefore they cost less to include in your development plans, and thus the project has a lowered sticker price.

  • Ssman396

    How about fixing all the holes on the roads first, so the we don’t have to swerve into traffic to avoid falling into the bottomless pits  on Washington blvd. or Alameda St……  and some bike lanes would be nice 

  • I see this as plucking some low-hanging fruit before going after more ambitious goals.

  • word

  • He’s recovered well since being knocked out 

  •  It would be nice to do that too!  Fortunately, these are not competing goals.  This new law is about what developers need to include when they make a new building.  The holes in the street and the bike lanes are done by the DOT and bureau of streets, rather than private developers.

  • Ubrayj02

     Jeff, thanks very much.

    Am I the only one reading this and thinking: “Do we get to replace one car space with one bike space?” OR “Do we get to replace the area of one car parking space with an equivalent area of bike parking?”

    Is this spelled out somewhere in the document I am missing?

  • Anonymous

    The new provisions make sense and are sensible. This being said, I hate the “feel good” egocentric ‘holier than thou’ attitude of the bike crowd related to its passage. 

  • Eric B

     Josef, It’s 1:4 if I recall, so there is some square footage saving.

  • danaPointer

    Ubray02, it’s 4 bike spots per car, so, helps, but 1 to 1 would have been a game changer and lot less car centric, but he is a politician, it’s the art of the possible…

  • Ubrayj02

    What the f^&% are you talking about?

    This is a great idea for lots of reasons. It lowers the price of development – making small and medium sized property owners more likely to invest in their buildings. It creates citizen cyclists – something we have collectively gone to the polls and voted for with multiple sales tax initiatives. Go ahead, read Measure R and Proposition C. The State of California has the following passage in its law books:CALIFORNIA CODES
    STREETS AND HIGHWAYS CODE
    SECTION 885-886885. The Legislature hereby finds and declares that traffic congestion, air pollution, noise pollution, public health, energy shortages, consumer costs, and land-use considerations resulting from a primary reliance on the automobile for transportation are each sufficient reasons to provide for multimodal transportation systems.I hate mindless scorn for a group that has worked its collective butt off to get our city moving in a better direction. Holier than thou? My a^%.

  • Dennis Hindman

    Let’s see who really feels that they are “holier than thou”.

    Drivers are allowed to move down a street in a vehicle that has enough room inside for people to sit side-by-side. Compare that to bike lanes which are usually only wide enough to ride single file and the bicycle rider has to watch out for parked car doors taking up most of that width as its swung open in front of them.

    Drivers also are allowed to store their vehicles on a busy arterial street and yet when the suggestion is made to remove those spaces in order to move people on bicycles they loudly object how unfair that would be.

    Drivers are also allowed to turn right into a crosswalk when pedestrians are given a walk signal.

    There are also left and right turn only lanes for drivers and yet those do not exist for bike lanes in this city.

    Pedestrians have walk signals and yet there are no dedicated bicycle signals in Los Angeles.

    There are over 5,000 miles of streets with sidewalks in Los Angeles that protect pedestrians from motor vehicles and yet there are only about 55 miles of bike paths. Are people on a bicycle any less vulnerable to getting physically injured from motorized vehicles than a pedestrian is?

    Drivers will protest loudly if the suggestion is made to take away a motorized travel lane to create bike lanes on a arterial street. Wouldn’t it be equitable to give an amount of space on the total arterial lane miles exclusively for the use of bicycles that is equivalent to their modal share?

    There are 1,400 miles of arterial streets in the city of Los Angeles with perhaps an average of at least 5 ten-foot lanes per mile. That’s 7,000 lane miles. If bicycling is only a 1% commuting modal share that would require that 70 miles of those motorized travel lanes should be bike lanes. Currently, there are less than 10 miles of arterial street lanes that have been changed to bicycle lanes.

    The LADOT is asking to take away an additional 40 miles of motorized travel lanes on arterial streets this year in order to create bike lanes on both sides of the street. Needless to say the underprivileaged drivers will protest loudly of how unfair it will be for them to give up any more time out of their day in order to make it safer to ride a bicycle.

    Putting in at least 40 miles of bike lanes this year will raise the modal share for bicycles as it makes riding more attractive. That in turn will require more motorized travel lanes to be taken away on arterial streets in order to create space for bicycles that is equal to their modal share.

    Bicycles should get on-street parking equivalent to their modal share. If that is a 1% modal share then that would require that bicycles receive one out of every 100 vehicle parking spaces and at least 8 bicycles will fit in one parking space.  Yes, but shouldn’t shouldn’t people using these on-street spaces for parking their bicycle also be required to pay into a parking meter? No, a bicycle and its rider does not have enough weight or speed to do any significant damage to the road as the much faster and heavier motorized vehicles do.

  • moustachio

    didn’t that corral at cafe de leche get run over? park at your own risk

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