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.

0 replies
  1. Joe Linton
    Joe Linton says:

    You report that Bikeways “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.”

    It’s unclear to me how these two things relate to each other. The bike corral replaces one car parking space. Does DOT intend to move or eliminate that parking space when they implement the bike lanes? If not, then the bike lane doesn’t have any impact on the bike corral.

    The outer lane on York Boulevard (at Ave 50) today is 22′ wide. The bike lane can be added to this without any parking removal – with a 7′ parking “lane”, a 5′ bike lane, and a 10′ travel lane.

    All this to say that a bike lane on York and a bike corral on York are entirely compatible and actually compliment each other nicely.

    Putting the bike corral around the corner on a quieter street is likely to make it less safe. Bike thieves will be able to steal bikes out of sight from the activity, foot traffic, and storefronts on York. Its out-of-the way location will be a good place for assaults on women, too, so they’ll be unlikely to use it.

    I think that the York location is much more visible and much more likely to be a success. Moving it onto a small street seems like a way to make the project much more likely to fail… Is this what the DOT wants?

    You almost made it through the article without anything that I found to be glaringly inaccurate… unfortunately though I found two (somewhat arcane) errors in your final sentence: “The motion was then moved to City Council in 30 days.”

    1) semantic error: the motion wasn’t “moved” to council. A motion is “moved” (and seconded) when it’s introduced… so “moved” technically means something else. It was, I think, stated as “sent” to City Council – which, I am pretty sure, though nobody said this, procedure-wise, actually means that it was waived from the committee. The committee chair (acting chair Tom LaBonge) especially in the absence of a quorum as was the case today (at that time just LaBonge and Koretz were present) can’t vote to approve an item, which would send it to council, so they send it to council by saying that the committee is chosing not to vote on it.

    2) factual error: though LaBonge initially stated the suggestion that he might give the item 30 days to report back to Transportation Committee, he subsequently sent it to council without any 30 day stipulation. It can be scheduled by the council when the Council President (with the City Clerk) puts it on the council agenda. This can be in as few as 3 days or more than 30 (or even never) depending on the Council President. The committee doesn’t specify when the motion goes to the full council.

    I think it would have been accurate to just say something like: “The motion was then sent to the City Council.”

    Reply
    • ladotbikeblog
      ladotbikeblog says:

      In depth analysis is always appreciated.

      In regards to York vs. Ave 50, I just sought to relay what was said at the meeting. I wasn’t attempting to editorialize.

      Bikeways expressed support for the project at T-Committee. Both sites will be studied, and we hope the best outcome for all parties will be possible.

      Reply
  2. ubrayj02
    ubrayj02 says:

    Why on earth is the owner of a business going to be held financially responsible for a piece of street furniture?

    Keeping the corral free of debris and trash is already his responsibility you guys!

    Here is the code you need to reference for this:

    SEC. 56.08. SIDEWALKS – STREETS – OBSTRUCTIONS.

    (c) No person having charge or control of any lot or premises shall allow any soil, rubbish, trash, garden refuse, tree trimmings, ashes, tin cans or other waste or refuse to remain upon any sidewalk, parkway, or in or upon any street abutting on or adjacent to such lot or premises, or which will interfere with or obstruct the free passage of pedestrians or vehicles along any such street, sidewalk or parkway. (Amended by Ord. No. 123,979, Eff. 4/20/63.)

    This corral will be in the “Street”, so the business owner fronting it is responsible for its cleaning. End of frickin’ story!

    The Dept. of No is so regular in the way it denigrates the interests of concerned citizens.

    Reply
    • ladotbikeblog
      ladotbikeblog says:

      ubrayj,
      I understand your frustration, but I think it is a bit misdirected this time. Bikeways supports the corral. The issue of street sweeping was brought up by the Bureau of Street Services. While there is an ordinance requiring property owners to keep the streets and sidewalks clean, the BSS also has authority over street cleaning up to the curb. They expressed concern over the implementation of a corral in the roadway, and we acknowledged that concern. For bikeways to simply ignore the concerns of another city department that has jurisdictional authority over the roadway on which we are supporting a bike corral would be negligent and counter productive. Acknowledging their concern does not equate to opposing the project, and we’re discussing solutions presently.

      Reply
  3. ubrayj02
    ubrayj02 says:

    I can’t believe you jerks required a business to get frickin’ permits for a bike corral on public property.

    What’s next? A quit claim and an R permit?

    Reply
    • ladotbikeblog
      ladotbikeblog says:

      ubrayj,
      Just a friendly reminder that the comments policy asks for visitors to remain civil when posting comments to the blog.

      Addressing the issue of a permitting process, Bikeways recommended it simply because it would be the fastest option for getting a bike corral installed at Cafe de Leche. Speakers at the T-Committee and supporters of the bike corral pilot project all stressed their desire for the corral to be installed as soon as possible. Permitting the business to do it themselves accomplishes this. Another option was offered, and declined at T-committee, for Bikeways to take responsibility for the corral. That option was declined because it would require the development of a city-wide set of guidelines for bike corral installation criteria. As you can probably imagine, this process would take much longer. Permitting offers the most expedient process possible.

      Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Second, the LADOT Bike Program needs to scout the location to make sure it is optimal and safe for bicyclists.  A host of variables must be examined to make sure the site is suitable.  What is the street-lighting situation at the site?  What is the traffic volume?  What is the pedestrian volume?  Is there a lot of existing demand for bike parking in the area?  The Bike Program would never want to be accused of making bicycle parking unsafe. […]

  2. […] motion for a bike corral pilot project on York Blvd., covered here earlier this month, is scheduled to come before City Council tomorrow, Tuesday April 27th.  […]

  3. […] LADOT's turn to talk.  Rather than paraphrasing the LADOT's "concerns," I'll let the LADOT Bike Blog state their […]

  4. […] promised a police report? LADOT explains the thought process behind the bike corral project, which will move forward to the full City Council. Stephen Box takes on the problem of bike parking, or the lack thereof. […]

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