Wrap-up on Yesterday’s Bike Parking Ordinance Hearing

March 31, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Posted in Bike News | Leave a comment

Highland Park Bike Corral

Yesterday LA City Planning held a hearing to take public comment on the proposed new Bicycle Parking Ordinance. This is a part of an expanded public process initiated by City Planning to gather more public input before they draft their staff report. The goal of hearings like this is to allow Planning staff the ability to better address the public’s concerns before going to the Planning Commission with a final ordinance and staff report.

Unlike a traditional hearing, where the staff would give a report to a decision making body and the public would make comment, yesterday’s hearing allowed Planning to present to the public and take questions on the proposed ordinance. Then an additional staff member or hearing officer took notes while the public made comments.

In addition to LACBC, Glenn Bailey and Jeff Jacobberger from the Bicycle Advisory Committee were on hand to give comments, as well as one multi-family and commercial building owner, Latham & Watkins a law firm that represents numerous developers, and a few homeowner association and neighborhood council folks, although most of them were there for the next Planning Hearing parking issue.

For a review of some of the comments from yesterday click here. We also submitted a comment letter to Planning reiterating and expanding upon our comments from yesterday.

You can submit written comments to Planning until April 19th. Email Tom.Rothmann@lacity.org. This ordinance will likely go before the City Planning Commission on April 28th up in Van Nuys. We’ll keep you posted as we get closer to that date.

Bike Valet Victories

March 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved, LACBC Events | 4 Comments
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Bobby here with an update LACBC’s growing Bike Valet program. (What the heck is Bike Valet? Check out this post). Woody and I have built new Bike Valet racks that take our whole program to the next level of bike awesomeness. We set out with the goal of building a system that would be easy to run completely with bike trailers, obviating the need for any dastardly infernal combustion engines. We’ve settled on a design that breaks down into light aluminum tubes. A few weeks ago we rode up to Industrial Metal Supply way up in the Valley to pick up some more aluminum:

Woody hauls his ladder trailer up through the valley

When we got there we shopped around for remnants, and picked out our aluminum:

shiny new aluminum

After haggling a little bit, we made our purchases and loaded up the trailer. We turned down some offers of rides in trucks from friendly construction guys. I still think we got back to LA faster in the rush hour traffic!

Woody straps the tubes down to the ladder trailer

Woody and I took turns hauling the trailer on the way back. It is surprisingly fun to haul 200 pounds of weight! Back at the ranch, Woody and I chop-sawed the tubes:

choppin through the aluminum

And here are the resulting racks – super strong:

Bobby tests out the racks

We use these cool snap-buttons to hold them together. The whole shindig breaks down into light tubes that can be strapped to a trailer:

easy break down!

We built this new set just in time for the CicLAvia fund raiser on March 5th, which was a smashing success. We parked over 200 bikes – which was a third of the total attendees at the event:

Bike Valet volunteers Allan and Chris help out a client

Thanks to Allan, Chris, Janet, Sinar, Janina, Henry and Carlos for volunteering with team Bike Valet. Everyone had a really great time, and it was a good warm up for the REAL CicLAvia coming up on April 10th. We will be running a Bike Valet for all the restaurants and merchants in Little Tokyo, so I’m looking for some volunteers. I’ll be running two shifts, one from 10AM to 12:30PM and 12:30PM to 3PM, so you’ll still be able to enjoy riding around the CicLAvia. If you’re interested in the fun times email me at bikevalet@la-bike.org


City of LA Bicycle Parking Draft Ordinance Now Available

February 18, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | 12 Comments

In this time of limited resources and ever shrinking city staffs – LACBC is harnessing the talents of urban planning and public policy graduate students from our local universities and linking them with cities to take on many of the bicycle and pedestrian planning and policy issues faced by cities and provide them with much needed research. We’ve already begun working on tackling some of the policies and programs outlined in the City of LA Draft Bike Plan utilizing several graduate student researchers/interns.

LACBC Researcher Rye Baerg

Rye Baerg, UCLA Urban Planning Masters Student, LACBC researcher and City Planning Intern, is currently working with the Code Studies division of the Los Angeles Department of City Planning to implement a revision of the bicycle parking ordinance in the Los Angeles Zoning Code. Currently the City of LA only requires bicycle parking for commercial and industrial uses at a rate of 2% of automobile uses in buildings over 10,000 sq. ft.  For most commercial uses this results in one space being provided per 25,000 square feet.  So, if you’ve been wondering why there never seems to be adequate bicycle parking when you need to lock up, now you know.  Rye and City Planning have drafted a proposed ordinance with input from various city departments and are now soliciting input from all of us and the broader LA community on the draft.

The highlights from the draft ordinance include:
•       Expanding existing requirements to multifamily residential buildings
•       Requiring a minimum for both short and long-term bicycle parking
•       Raising the level of required bicycle parking
•       Expanding design and siting criteria including lighting, signage,
and access requirements
•       Including definitions for both short and long-term bicycle parking

As of today Planning has a discussion draft of proposed ordinance available for public comment for the next 60 days. Planning will be holding a public hearing on March 30th at City Hall in room 1010, where they will provide a presentation on the ordinance.  In early April Rye will be presenting to the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) on the ordinance.  Over the next few weeks Rye and City Planning will schedule some additional outreach meetings with stakeholders and at the end of the 60 day public comment period Planning will then revise the draft and present it to the City Planning Commission.

We plan to publish Rye’s research report in late June on our website.  Rye’s report will examine bicycle parking policies and best practices from around the country – we hope his research can influence better bicycle parking ordinances in cities across the county.

To view the purposed ordinance click here: Bicycle Parking Public Notification Packet

To submit comments on the ordinance contact Tom Rothmann at LA City Planning:

tom.rothmann@lacity.org – 213-978-1891

Highland Park Celebrates LA’s First Bike Corral

February 18, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved, LACBC Events | 7 Comments
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Café de Leche and the Bike Corral

Today, in front of the popular Café de Leche, the community of Highland Park, the city of Los Angeles, Councilmember José Huizar and the bicycling community celebrated the cutting of the red ribbon on Los Angeles’s first bike corral.

There was a great crowd that came to Café de Leche to show their support for this momentous and exciting occasion. The bike corral has taken the place of a parking space, but instead of just one car, the space can now accommodate ten to twelve bikes, which ultimately helps local businesses and promotes walking and bike riding. Also, the bike corral offers riders a clearly visible place for them to park their bikes.

Councilmember Huizar hopes to turn Los Angeles into the “largest bike-friendly city in America.” Following, other groups and supporters, C.I.C.L.E., Joe Linton, and the Highland Park Chamber of Commerce, including our very own Alexis Lantz, spoke as well and expressed our aspirations for more bike corrals and bicycle and pedestrian-friendly progress in the future. It’s something we will definitely be holding the city to.

In addition to the groups and people previously mentioned, this bike corral could not have  been installed without the support and hard work of Flying Pigeon, the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council, Ramon Martinez, and LADOT Bikeways staff.

It’s almost been a year since the Los Angeles Street Summit and it’s incredible to see that the future we envisioned last year is coming into fruition. Later this year, we are looking forward to the 4th Street bike boulevard being implemented.

Right after the Councilmember Huizar cut the red ribbon, the crowd roared with excitement, as eager bike riders jumped on the opportunity to be one of the first to chain their bicycles to the corral.

This would not have been able to be achieved without the support of the bicycling community. More positive change will happen in the future, especially with the upcoming passing of our Bike Plan.

LA’s 1st Bike Corral Finally Set to Open in Highland Park!

February 11, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Posted in Bike News, LACBC Events | 5 Comments
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Perhaps you’ve heard that LA’s first-ever bike corral is set to debut in Highland Park next week! Well we want to celebrate! There will be an official ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 AM on Friday, February 18, at the new bike corral, located in front of Cafe de Leche on the corner of York Blvd and Avenue 50.

A rendering of the future bike corral by Matt Schodorf

This historic event has been two years in the making, and at certain points, it seemed like the project might never move forward. Last April, we reported the unanimous decision by the LA City Council to install this bike corral but were cautious about celebrating too early. There were still plenty of obstacles to overcome, including LADOT’s own concerns about the project. But thanks to the efforts of the corral’s advocates—including Matt Schodorf and Cafe de Leche, City Councilmember Jose Huizar and his staff, C.I.C.L.E., Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council, Flying Pigeon, LACBC, Ramon Martinez, and Joe Linton—the first ever bike corral in Los Angeles will finally be open for public use!

To celebrate, a few rides are being organized around the area, starting around 8 AM and ending at the new corral in time for the ribbon cutting ceremony at Cafe de Leche with Councilmember Huizar.

The Event:

LA’s 1st Bike Corral Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

When: Friday, February 18, 9:00 AM

Where: Cafe de Leche – 5000 York Blvd., Los Angeles

The Rides (see map of meeting points):

LACBC will lead a ride starting from the Bicycle Kitchen at 706 N. Heliotrope Drive (cross street is Melrose). Meet up with us at 7:30 AM, and we’ll be departing at 7:45 AM. (Facebook Event)

The Flying Pigeon will host a ride starting at their shop at 3714 North Figueroa St. Meet up with them at 8:00 AM, and they’ll depart at around 8:30 AM. (Blog)

C.I.C.L.E. will host a ride that will pick up riders at 3 points: 1) Memorial Park in Pasadena (Gold Line stop) at 7:15 AM, 2) the Pasadena Mission Station (Gold Line stop) at 7:30 AM, and 3) the flag pole at Figueroa and York Blvd at 8:00 AM. (Facebook Event)

Come join any of these rides, or lasso your friends together and create your own ride to celebrate LA’s first bike corral at the dedication ceremony!

Pico-Union Neighborhood Scores More Bike Racks!

November 29, 2010 at 11:00 am | Posted in Bike News | 2 Comments
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After a year and a half of working with Councilman Reyes and LADOT, more and more bike parking racks are being installed around Los Angeles. So far, a large amount have been installed in the neighborhoods of MacArthur Park and Pico-Union, thanks to LACBC and City of Lights’ advocacy efforts. As discussed in previous blog posts, the neighborhoods that needed racks the most frequently lacked racks, a common environmental justice issue.

We were very excited to see the installation of racks in front of CARECEN Day Laborer Center last month, as well as the recent installation in front of the IDEPSCA Downtown Community Job Center where BiciDigna is hosted. We had requested these two sites, in addition to the Van Nuys IDEPSCA Day Laborer Center. Yet, we don’t want to forget that this was a neighborhood wide campaign. The goal was to get bike parking racks not just at worker centers, but also at widely used stores, consulates, immigration services providers, and other key community sites in the area.

LACBC is proud to let you know at least 45 racks will be installed in the area, with potentially more, once installation backlog clears. We had originally only requested 35-40 locations (click for entire list of requests here), but thanks to LADOT’s strategy of blanketing an intersection directly adjacent to an approved request, we were able to leverage our requests and bring 28 additional racks to the neighborhood than we had initially imagined.

That is a 62% increase from our requests! ¡Órale!

More statistical goodness: Almost 100 (73, to be specific) racks are actually hitting the streets of a low-income neighborhood! Click here for Westlake locations where LADOT has recently (as of Summer 2010) installed racks.


What We’re Thankful for This Thanksgiving

November 24, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Posted in Bike News | 1 Comment
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photo by Gary Leonard - courtesy http://ciclavia.wordpress.com/

We have so much to be thankful for this year! First off we want to thank our wonderful volunteers, supportive members, and dedicated interns. You are what keeps LACBC moving and grooving! It is because of you that we have been able to expand our efforts, events, and our staff.

We are thankful for an amazing and ever-growing bicycle community, for collaborations with other advocates, social justice and environmental organizations all working to make positive changes in Los Angeles for people who need or chose to bicycle.

In the City of Los Angeles we are especially thankful for the 10% Measure R local return set aside for bicycle and pedestrian projects, a very successful first CicLAvia, the Give Me 3 Poster Campaign, sharrows on our streets, the largest River Ride yet, the new LA River Path extension, 73 bike parking racks in Pico-Union, all the fun social rides, and so much more.

We are thankful for the work of Heidi Sickler from Mayor Villaraigosa’s office. She has been a behind-the-scenes champion for bicycle improvements and CicLAvia, and has worked on addressing many of the issues brought forth at the Mayor’s Bike Summit and through the Bike Plan process.

We are thankful for Chief Beck making a commitment to changing LAPD’s relationship with the bicycling community and for the work of Sgt. Krumer.

In the County of Los Angeles we are thankful for seven south bay cities working together towards bikeability and the passing of the Culver City Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. We are thankful for our regional partners; Santa Monica Spoke, the Culver City Bicycle Coalition, Better Bike Beverly Hills, the South Bay Bicycle Coalition, Long Beach Cyclists, West San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Coalition, and all of the local groups working to make their communities more bike-able.

At the county level we are especially thankful to Mayor Villaraigosa for pushing through ten bicycle program directives to make bicycle connectivity with transit better and to increase the amount of funds available to cities around the county for bicycle projects through Metro Call for Projects. We also want to thank Metro staff and leadership for creating the Metro Bicycle Roundtable program and for working to address the issues the bicycle community has identified and to accomplish the Mayor’s directives.

Finally we want to thank all the people riding bikes in Los Angeles County everyday – each of you contributes – just by riding your bicycle – to making Los Angeles a better and more bike-able county. Thank you for riding your bike!

We want to hear from you – what are you thankful for this year?

Behold the New and Improved Bike Valet Program!

November 2, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Posted in Bike News, Get Involved | 7 Comments
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My name is Bobby Gadda, and last month I stepped in as the new Bike Valet Coordinator. I have been a volunteer with the LACBC for a couple of years, and am also active with CicLAvia and the Bike Kitchen. I have been charged with revamping the Bike Valet program. Here goes!

Bobby presides over the bike valet racks at the LA Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon in downtown LA

What is Bike Valet? Let’s say you are an event producer who is going to host a really cool event. Events that attract a lot of bicyclists (such as bike film festivals, urban planning meetings, square dances or hoe downs) require a lot of bike parking. Once people fill up the bike racks (if there are any), they will starting locking up to signposts, pipes, railings, trees, or other unsuitable objects. This can become quite a mess, and potentially hazardous for the event attendees. That’s where we come in!

We bring and set up bike racks (more on these later) at the event, and establish a secure zone around the area to guard the bikes. Bike Valet is just like Valet car parking. You bring your bike to the Valet attendants, they take your bike, and you get a number to reclaim your bike later. It’s that easy! This makes parking your bike much less of a hassle for attendees – no need to hunt for a parking spot or lock up your bike. You can also leave your lights, accessories, and bags on your bike, knowing that it won’t be messed with on the street.

For event producers, this is a great bonus to provide attendees – easy parking if you ride a bike! This not only makes the event more manageable – it brings more people to your event! If you have an event coming up that needs bike valet, shoot me an email at bikevalet@la-bike.org

Bike Valet volunteers at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market

Volunteering with Bike Valet: This was actually the first thing I volunteered with when I first moved to LA. It is a great way to meet other people in the bike scene, plus you get to hang out with me! The shifts are usually only 3 hours, so that you can enjoy at least half of whatever event is going on – and volunteers are supplied with food and drink. It is fun handling stranger’s bikes – you can see how light or heavy they really are! Email bikevalet@la-bike.org if you want to get a chance to volunteer at the next valet!

Woody hauling the bike valet racks with his ladder trailer and recumbent bike

The Bike Valet racks: Right now we have about 100 feet of bike racks. These are metal and wood A-Frames with 10 ft steel poles that a previous generation of LACBC built. They work by hanging the bike by the saddle on the pole, so we can fit about one bike per foot of rack. Formerly these had to be transported by car – but this was before the revolution of Woodsin Joseph-Sandberg! Woody figured out how to fit these bulky and heavy racks on his self-designed ladder trailers. For the past few months now most Bike Valet events have been transported by bike trailer rather than car!

Woody and I are now working on the second generation of bike racks – using much lighter aluminum tubes and an ingenious folding system. Last Friday we purchased a whole bunch of aluminum tubes from a metal supplier in the Valley, and moved them via bike to LA.  We were able to haul all of the components of 100 feet of bike rack on one fairly light trailer, rather than the two heavy ones the old system requires. This, along with the old racks will double our maximum capacity to 200 bikes for larger events.

The Future of Bike Valet: A few weekends ago I traveled up to San Francisco to check out the SFBC Bike Valet Program. I met with some of their organizers and even volunteered at one of their bike valet events to get an on street perspective. Their program is already booked the year through with recurring events such as the bike valet they provide at every Giants home game at the baseball stadium, and the valet every week at the big farmer’s market downtown. One  of my goals for LA’s bike valet program to grow it to more events on a more regular schedule. I’m looking into farmer’s markets, music venues, maybe even Dodger Stadium? If you have any ideas or connections, shoot me an email at bikevalet@la-bike.org.

Bike Parking Racks Installed in Pico-Union; Day Laborer Cyclists Delight

October 14, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Posted in Bike News | 7 Comments
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Today’s press event was a brief, but victorious day for low-income cyclists and City of Lights. In about 4 minutes, our one year long campaign to get more bike parking in Pico-Union, neared closer to completion.

LADOT and their contractor showed up nice and early to the CARECEN Day Labor Center this morning to install 4 racks. As Jose Veliz of CARECEN mentioned, these racks have been sorely needed for the last 7 years that the center and its working cyclists have been around. Many of the workers cheered after Councilman Reyes, LACBC, and Jose spoke about the symbolic and practical impacts of the racks as baby steps towards greener, more equitable, and bike friendly neighborhoods.

Thanks to Councilman Reyes’ Office, CARECEN, and LADOT for helping us make this vision come alive!

Today’s installation, in tandem with our Better Bike Plan and 4th St. bike boulevard campaigns, will create a new vision for an LA that is no longer defined by cars, but by livable streets.

Jose and Allison Celebrate!

Jose and Allison Celebrate!



City of Lights to Celebrate Bike Parking Rack Installation Increase in Pico-Union Thursday

October 11, 2010 at 11:30 am | Posted in Bike News, LACBC Events | 1 Comment
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Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
Contact:  Allison Mannos
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Office line: 213-629-2142


Bike Parking Racks Installed at CARECEN Day Labor Center

LOS ANGELES, CA. October 14, 2010 –Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s (LACBC) City of Lights program will be celebrating the installation of various bike parking racks in the Pico-Union neighborhood, including 2 at a key site, the CARECEN day labor center. About 50-100 Spanish speaking cyclists use the center daily to find work.

There has long been a gap in bicycle infrastructure and safe streets for low-income immigrant cyclists. The LACBC addressed this need by creating the City of Lights program in early 2009. The volunteer-driven program empowers Latino immigrant cyclists through community building, bicycle advocacy, and education, including a bicycle parking rack campaign in 2009 that generated 40 sites for rack installation. Recently 600+ educational Spanish bike resource guides were distributed and a successful bike ride was held.

“Advocating for bicycle infrastructure in all areas of the County, not just affluent areas, is the key to making Los Angeles safer and welcoming for all cyclists,” said Jennifer Klausner, Executive Director, LACBC. “Through City of Lights, we are able to create more secure places for Latino immigrant cyclists to lock up their bikes in their neighborhoods.”

“The safety of our bicyclists, especially in my district, is just as important as that of our drivers and pedestrians. We need to do everything we can to ensure their safety,” said First District Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, who has spearheaded legislation to make Los Angeles a more bike-friendly city.

“LADOT is proud to partner with LACBC, CARECEN, and Councilmember Reyes in providing adequate bicycle parking opportunities to some of the Angelinos who are most in need,” said Rita L. Robinson, LADOT General Manager.

About Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
Founded in 1998, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) works to build a better, more bike-able Los Angeles County. LACBC is the only nonprofit, membership-supported organization working exclusively for the millions of bicyclists in Los Angeles County. Through advocacy, education, and outreach, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition brings together the diverse bicycling community in a united mission to make the entire L.A. region a safe and enjoyable place to ride.

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