Posts from the "Bike Parking" Category
Yesterday, the City Council Planning and Land Use Committee directed city staff to draft a final ordinance to ammend the city’s parking ordinance to require more bicycle parking and provide incentives to increase bike parking beyond the minimums. The Bike Parking ordinance was item #5 on yesterday’s agenda.
The current bicycle parking ordinance only applies to developments over 10,000 sq ft. By eliminating this qualification new parking facilities will begin to sprout up throughout the city whenever new multi-family residential, commercial, and industrial developments are proposed. Cycling advocates hope that more bicycle facilities will create a more visible and viable transportation alternative.
Alexis Lantz, programming director for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, made the case for change simply, “The ordinance that currently exists has failed to provide adequate bicycle parking.”
The proposed ordinance also includes a swap of car parking for bicycle parking for both commercial and residential uses. 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.
The change in the parking requirements is part of the planning changes required by the Bike Plan which was signed into law earlier this year. While the Bike Plan was approved by the City Council and Mayor’s Office, but individual policy changes need to be voted on individually. This is the first policy change included in the plan to get serious consideration from the Council. Glenn Bailey, the Vice-Chair of the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee reported that the ordinance enjoyed the unanimous support of the city’s official Bicycle Advisory Committee.
None of these changes sparked much debate, in fact the only concern about the bike parking ordinance came from Studio City Neighborhood Council Member Barry Johnson who complained that bikes on the lawn of multi-family dwellings create clutter that is an eye sore for neighbors in single-family houses across the street who lived there for years. “Bike parking should not be allowed in the yards of the multi-family units…Adding clutter to the front yard is something we shouldn’t be doing.” Read more…
(This is the last part of our Bike Week 2011 Series on people’s biking experiences in different corners of L.A. County. Our last entrant is from our “Pasadena Correspondent” Brigham Yen, who is a little different than our other writers this week in that he doesn’t represent a formal biking organization but still brings a wealth of information to his writings. – DN)
I rode my bike over to US Bank, located at Colorado and Oak Knoll, the other day and found myself scrambling to find a place to lock my bike as there were no bike racks on the block. I wasn’t alone. There were numerous other bikes haphazardly locked against anything resembling something solid, such as tree trunks and lamp posts. I assume most of these bikes belonged to people who were patronizing Sabor² Cafe adjacent to US Bank.
I eventually found a bike rack inconveniently around the corner in the back on Oak Knoll (by the entrance to a parking garage) and had to walk back to the bank, which made me wonder why there weren’t bike racks in front of the building to begin with (where the businesses were located). Read more…
The City of Los Angeles is pushing ahead with a pair of hearings on the progressive “draft parking ordinance” that would change the landscape when it comes to providing ways for people to safely and quickly store their bikes. Streetsblog reported on an earlier draft of the ordinance back in early February, but as the city moves forward, it seems likely that were going to see more bike parking at businesses, residential buildings and just on the street in the near future. Details on the meetings can be found at the end of this article.
There are several ways the proposed ordinance is an improvement over the city’s current bicycle parking requirements. Currently, there is no requirement to provide bike parking when creating a residential development less than 10,000 square feet and the bike parking for commercial developments is basically one space per 25,000 square feet. The ordinance only applies to new developments.
The proposed ordinance is an improvement in several ways. Most obviously, it will increase the level of bicycle parking required for new developments to bring the number of spaces per development in line with those of New York and Portland. It also expands bicycle parking requirements to multifamily residential buildings. Residents of apartment buildings need long term storage for their bicycles that is easily accessible and provides a secure place to store their bicycles. Residents should not be expected to store their bicycles in their apartments or leave them locked in places where they can be vandalized.
Alexis Lantz, the Planning and Policy Director for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, points out that while the proposed changes are good, this is not a “bikes v cars” debate. “it’s important for folks to understand that this ordinance is about increasing bike parking not decreasing car parking. This does incentive developers to swap out car parking for bike parking but if we want to have a parking maximum instead of parking minimum this isn’t the ordinance for that.” Read more…
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.
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.
At this week’s meeting of the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, the Planning Department’s Rye Baerg outlined some proposed changes to the city’s bike parking ordinance for new developments that should go public this Spring.
Currently, the City only requires bicycle parking for commercial and industrial buildings over 10,000 square foot at a rate. For most commercial uses this results in one space being provided per 25,000 square feet. For many cyclists, this requirement leads to chaining a bicycle to the closest parking meter while out and locking it on the balcony or backyard at home.
The City Planning Department is drafting an ordinance which, if approved by the Planning Commission, City Council and Mayor’s Office, would change how developments create parking for bicycles. Their proposal would raise the minimum parking requirement, require both short and long-term parking, and create standards for design, signage, lighting and access. In addition, the requirement would also apply to residential developments, not just commercial and industrial. Read more…
Here’s a quick rundown of the major votes by today’s Metro Board. Each of these five motions were discussed at Streetsblog over the last couple of weeks, and links to those stories can be found at the end of each summary. Streetsblog will have links to all news reports on today’s meeting tomorrow.
Westside Subway Locally Preferred Alternative/Environmental Studies
As expected, the Metro Board of Directors unanimously voted to approve the Westside Subway “Locally Preferred Alternative” as the 9 1/2-mile route to the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Brentwood from the current end of the Purple Line at Wilshire/Western in Koreatown. Despite over an hour of public comment from the Beverly Hills’ NUMBY’s, there was no decision made on whether the subway should have a stop on Santa Monica Boulevard in Century City or Constellation Avenue.
Yaroslavsky’s motion, which seemed to place the concerns of Beverly Hills regarding the Constellation Avenue/Santa Monica Boulevard debate ahead of those of other communities, was amended by the author to urge the staff to provide a detailed account of the impacts of both alternatives through the Westside. This would have happened regardless under the Final Environmental Impact Statement that the Board approved funding for today. For background on this motion, read yesterday’s Streetsblog story or an update on today’s vote from LA_Now.
Regional Connector Locally Preferred Alternative/Environmental Studies
The Metro Board also approved the “Locally Preferred Alternative” and funding for the environmental studies needed for the Regional Connector. The debate was dominated by Little Tokyo business groups concerned that “cut and cover” subway construction would disrupt the community and cost them business. Downtown interests and LA City Councilwoman Jan Perry also expressed concerns about the exclusion of the 5th and Flower stop from the LPA. The Board narrowly voted to exclude the 5th and Flower for now, but left the door open to include it in the environmental studies, if local businesses raise the roughly $2 million needed for that part of the study. For more background, read this story at Streetsblog or an update on today’s vote from Blog Downtown.
“BikeWood” Hub at Hollywood and Vine Read more…
Allison Mannos from the LACBC’s City of Lights Program and Allison Mannos and
Councilman Ed Reyes Install Bike Parking at the CARECEN Day Laborers Center
How long does it take to install a bicycle rack? Once you have a place selected, all the tools, and funding to install it, installing a bicycle rack takes about 5 minutes. Of course, getting all of those things can take well over a year.
Earlier toady, the LACBC’S Award Winning City of Lights program, the office of Councilman Ed Reyes and the LADOT celebrated the installation of four bicycle racks at the CARECEN Day Laborer Center in the Pico-Union District of Los Angeles. City of Lights began working to empower immigrant communities to advocate for bicycling infrastructure and help them learn how to ride safely just over a year and a half ago. One of their projects was to bring better bicycling infrastructure to the community and today’s installation of safe bike parking at CARECEN was the first victory in the quest for better infrastructure for the day laborer community.
Before the location for these racks was selected, City of Lights worked with the immigrant community in Pico-Union to walk the streets and select the places most in need of bicycle parking. They presented their findings to the LADOT who checked the recommended areas to make sure they met city criteria. LADOT Assistant Bicycle Coordinator Chris Kidd estimated that dozens of more racks would be going in the area surrounding CARECEN. LADOT is ratcheting up its bike parking program and has the goal of installing 100 new racks around the city every month.
(If you don't like my formatting, you can download this article as a pdf., here - DN)
Last month I wrote an article about how important bike parking is in our urban environment. As long as there is no standard in bike parking in our city, riding a bike will continue to be considered a sport not a transportation solution.
Since there are so many varieties in bike rack designs and so many ways that bikes can be locked up, I thought it might be a good idea to address the how-to's of bike parking. These tips might not only help those who consider installing racks, but also cyclists, who don't want to take a chance on their bike being stolen or damaged.
Locking up your bike:
When you arrive at your destination, you will need to lock up your bike. Very few places in Los Angeles have bike parking so sometimes we have to be creative if there are no inverted U-racks. Instead, find a rail, a pole or a tree that is stationary. Make sure that whatever you choose is high enough that your bike can’t be slipped off (parking meters are not ideal unless you have a U-Lock). If possible, find a place to lock your bike where the frame and the front wheel are both protected.
Always important, select a location that is visible to the public, that is open and allows "eyes on the street" to serve as a deterrant. Avoid locations that are hidden, tucked away, discrete and remember that it's not just the bike that is vulnerable, that you also need to avoid locations that prevent you from being aware and in control of your personal safety.
How to lock up your bike
I love riding my bike, even when it gets tense on the streets and even when I experience conflicts with motorists who don't respect my space and come too close, cut me off, or endanger my life with their reckless driving. When I ride, I feel everything. Not just physically, when a small rock hits my leg, when a gust of wind throws me to the left or into the door zone, or when it rains, but also emotionally. I feel fear, anger, frustration, as well as freedom, joy, and playfulness.
When I get to my destination, oftentimes all that feeling turns into frustration. Frustration because of parking.
Motorists are quite vocal about their rights to a parking space, be it free or cheap, and it is the rule to accommodate motorists in communities, in developments, at businesses and on the street. It's normal to provide parking facilities to those who arrive in a motor vehicle. I think motorists take it for granted. I don't think they realize how great they're actually having it. Drivers can find parking at any major destination without any problem since LA's building codes specify how much parking is needed for each planned land use, from barber to butcher, from motel to mortuary. There is also a municipal code for bike parking and what the bike parking must look like, where it needs to be located and how it needs to protect the bike and how it needs to be installed, but that is overlooked and not adhered to, so cyclists are typically an afterthought, an intrusion, an unwelcome guest with an inconvenient parking problem - a bike!
So this is why when I get
to my destinations, I usually feel frustration and anger and sadness
because I'm always being inconvenienced and then treated as if I am the