City of Lights Success: New LADOT Bike Parking at Day Labor Center in Pico-Union
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.
Reyes addressed the importance of bike parking to the day laborer community during the press event. You can watch Reyes deliver his bi-lingual statement by clicking here.
This is one of those events that speaks to how this city is changing its culture…It might seem rather simple and insignificant, but for folks like day laborers, folks who are working, this is very important. Now they have the means to secure their bicycles, their only means of transportation.
Before the event I took a brief tour of the CARECEN center and counter ten bicycles scattered in the area around the center. Most of them were hastily chained to parking meters, the center itself or even trash cans.
City of Lights has also created Spanish language educational workshops and materials, and worked with the Bicycle Kitchen to open a bike repair space. To learn more about City of Lights, visit their website at http://www.la-bike.org/cityoflights\