Bike Corrals Motion moves forward to City Council

After a slight over-run from City Council, the Council Transportation Committee met and heard item #4, talked about in our post yesterday. The item has been moved on to City Council next month.

This could be the future in North East LA

Public support for the project was robust, with bicycle advocates, the owners of Cafe de Leche, surrounding business owners, and local residents all voicing support for the project to move forward.  Supporters claimed the bike corral would be good for business, it would be cheap to install, offer additional secure bicycle parking, and it would be consistent with the bicycle plan.  The business owners and the CD 14 staff expressed a willingness to work with LADOT to make the corrals safe and effective.

Bikeways was then called to give comment on the proposal.  Bikeways expressed support for the bike corrals pilot project, and wanted to address a few concerns that would need mitigation in order for the corrals to move forward.  It was recommended that the corral itself be shifted from York Boulevard to the red-zone along Avenue 50, as Bikeways has plans to include a bike lane along York Boulevard.  The corrals would also need to resolve a conflict with the Bureau of Street Services, which is responsible for street sweeping.  Another reservation focused on the ability of the city to properly staff maintenance for the corral.  In order to avoid conflict over staffing concerns, it was recommended that the business, Cafe de Leche, get permitted to install the bike corral themselves.  This would be the fastest method of getting the corral installed and would require the business to be financially responsible for the project.

The representative from the City Attorney’s office spoke next, noting that there was a city code (Municipal Code 85.04) on the books which allows for on-street bicycle parking.  The bike corral project needed to conform with the safety specifications of the code in order to get approval, and would require a permitting process which would leave the owner financially responsible for the space.  As an alternative, the city could take on financial responsibility for the bike corral.  This alternative would require the development of a set of departmental guidelines.

District 4 Council Member LaBonge then summed up the large amount of support for the bike corral project: His office was in support of it, Cafe de Leche and the surrounding businesses were in support of it, and the various city departments involved (Bikeways included) were in support of the project.  Council Member LaBonge directed CD 14 staff to do a site visit to examine both the proposed York Boulevard site and the Avenue 50 site.  There was additional speculation on whether York Boulevard would benefit from further traffic calming in order to improve pedestrian street life.

It was noted that the  “B” permit would be necessary for the installation of bike corrals. To gain permits, the owner was directed to supply two designs, one for each site, that would conform with code requirements.  The committee directed the owners of Cafe de Leche to work with LADOT on drafting some alternative designs for the bike corral.  CD 14 staff expressed their willingness to work with Cafe de Leche on getting them through the design and permit process.

Council Member LaBonge again stressed resolving conflicts with street sweeping, the domain of the Bureau of Street Services.  He then stressed the importance of improving bicycle infrastructure in the area.  The intersection of York & Ave 50 is extremely close to Occidental college, which Council Member Labonge identified as a node of bicycle activity.  The City could harness this node of bicyclists by implementing more infrastructure and expanding the area of impact, growing bicycle use in the surrounding neighborhoods.

The motion was then sent(not “moved”, h/t to Joe Linton) to City Council.

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