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TOD Turnaround: Bike Wood Coming to Hollywood and TOD Standards Coming to Everywhere

9:59 AM PDT on October 25, 2010

A 3D Rendering of a Future Bike Room in the Hollywood and Vine Development

When Legacy Partners' Metro-Certified "Transit-Oriented Development" opened on Hollywood and Vine earlier this year, advocates weren't able to contain their disappointment with several aspects of the project.  Among the complaints was that the development was too focused on providing space for cars and not access for cyclists and pedestrians.  However, that disappointment has led to opportunity.  As the months passed, activists were frustrated as developers, elected officials and even staff at the Metro Bicycle Roundtable Meetings were explaining why the Bike Room wouldn't happen, not how to make it happen.

But things change and now The Hollywood Bike Hub appears to be on its way, and Metro is poised to make better bike facilities a part of its Transit Oriented Development standards.  Activists and Metro Board Members are lauding each other for making the Hollywood Bike Hub happen and Metro staff is talking about what they can do to make the Hollywood Bike Hub a major part of the Hollywood Community.

Not willing to take "no" for an answer, a coalition of bicycle, transit and community activists kept working and lobbying on behalf of a true Bike Hub at Hollywood and Vine.  Now their work has paid off, and a proposal to create such a space is on its way to the Metro Board of Directors.  At a meeting of the Metro Planning and Programming Sub Committee, Board Member Richard Katz added language to the proposal that would require the Metro staff to create formal T.O.D. standards which could have gigantic ramifications around the county as Transit Oriented Development is viewed as the key for Los Angeles real estate to rebound and for the county to grow.

The Hollywood Bike Hub proposed for Hollywood and Vine would offer secure parking, maintenance facilities similar to what exists at the co-ops, showers for commuters, information for tourists and new Metro users and perhaps even a bike-share and rental program.  Perhaps best of all,  Legacy Partners has given space to the HUB for a street-level, high visibility storefront property.  There won't be a rental fee for Metro to maintain and staff the facilities.Over the phone, Metro Bike Coordinator Lynne Goldsmith noted that Metro could spend up to $100,000 to turn the 1,000 square foot empty space on Vine into a suitable Bike Hub.  The above rendering by Jeremy Grant is not the final design for Hollywood and Vine, but was used and is being used to give vision to Metro Board in advance of this Thursday's vote.  It is incumbent on Metro staff to take Grant's vision and create something close to it for the residents of Hollywood and commuters who wish to use the facility.

Four months ago, when the ribbon was cut at Hollywood and Vine, this development seemed more than unlikely and it's a credit to Grant, Enci and Stephen Box who were relentless in advocating for this promised bike facility for their community over the last nine months, Bart Reed for working behind the scenes and Metro and city staff for receiving the vision.  In his victory lap at Soap Box, Stephen Box points to Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Jaime De La Vega and Metro Board Director Katz for making this happen.

Box also explains the value such a Hub presents to the greater Hollywood Community.

The Hollywood Bike HUB is a bike shop for locals where cyclists can work on their bikes as well as store them in a secured environment. The Bike HUB would also offer a Bike Share for residents and a Bike Rental for tourists. In addition, the Bike HUB would serve as a Visitor's Center for tourists who simply need info on the neighborhood. The Hollywood Bike HUB is good for cyclists, good for residents, good for tourists, good for business and great for transit, offering Metro passengers a "last mile" option.

While the addition of the Hub is a good development, the direction that Metro create standards for its Transit Oriented Development program is a great one.  Too often we've seen developers benefit with lavish developments that offer little to the community.  If Metro develops strong standards for community design for future projects developed on Metro land, it could be a sea change in the way that Los Angeles grows.

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