Innovative sidewalk bike parking arrives in Westwood

There’s a new bike rack in town.

Well, it’s sort of a bike rack. It’s a steel ring that attaches to a parking meter post, and, like a U-rack, it can park two bikes: one on each side. It’s called a cycle hoop.

This morning, the first cyclehoop was installed in Westwood Village as part of a pilot program. Meter post bike racks are a convenient and secure solution for people to park their bikes and visit local businesses. Not to mention, they don’t cost as much as standard U-racks and take up less space by capitalizing on existing sidewalk infrastructure. In Los Angeles, locking your bike to a parking meter post is still illegal, but Ordinance 183951 (passed last year) lifts the ban for the purpose of allowing this cycle hoop pilot.

Folks from Great Streets, the Westwood Village Improvement Association, and Council District 5 came out to share in the excitement today.

ADOT Bike Program, Great Streets, Council District 5, Westwood Village Improvement Association, and LA Conservation Corps helped make the cycle hoop project a reality.

LADOT Bike Program, Great Streets, Council District 5, Westwood Village Improvement Association, and LA Conservation Corps helped make the cycle hoop project a reality.

Over the course of the last few months, LADOT Bike Program staff surveyed all of the parking meters in Westwood Village to find those that are best suited for cycle hoops. Our criteria for selecting parking meters was centered on safety and accessibility:

  • Parking meter is near the entrance of a business or visible through a large window,
  • Parking meter is at least three feet away from street furniture and trees, and
  • A bike attached to the parking meter does not block pathways that must remain accessible

Bright orange duct tape was used to mark meter posts at the exact installation height of the cycle hoops (18 inches off the ground). Our team wound up marking 86 parking meters to be slated for cycle hoop installation. Each cycle hoop will be installed today and tomorrow by LA Conservation Corps, which is our contractor for all sidewalk bike parking.

We have marked 86 parking meters to be slated for cycle hoop installation.

The cycle hoops will be dispersed throughout Westwood Village.

We special-ordered the hoops from Bike Fixtation. The size and height of the racks will make it easy to safely lock various bike frames and tires.

A few months ago, we posted about how this pilot program seeks to increase bike parking along some of LA’s most crowded sidewalks. Westwood Village was first on the list, due to its high-volume bike useage. Next, the program will provide the Hollywood Walk of Fame with brand new bike parking. Great Streets corridors will also be furnished with cycle hoops.

Additional meter post parking districts will be identified as we evaluate the program’s success and report back to Council. You can share your experiences using these meter post bike racks by tweeting us at @LADOTBikeProg.

The finished product! Who wants to be the first person to park their bike?

The finished product! Who wants to be the first person to park their bike?

For the time being, while we are testing these new racks, they will not be available for requests under our Sidewalk Bike Parking Program, like our U-racks. To request a U-rack, complete an online Bicycle Parking Request Form and check out our bicycle rack location criteria to make sure your requested location qualifies. Email us at bike.program@lacity.org with questions or if you notice that a rack has become loose, damaged, or missing.

There you have it. #BikeLA and try the cycle hoops out for yourself!

My Commute: Rancho Cucamonga to DTLA and Cal Poly Pomona

When I first moved to the US from Iran in 2011, I commuted solely by bicycle and transit. It took me a while to learn how to safely and easily transport myself from one place to another as I adjusted to a new life in California. Deciphering transit lines was one of my biggest challenges, and overall, I felt much less safe riding my bike than I had back home because of the daily instances in which cars would drive in the bike lane—that is, if there was even a bike lane at all!

This was my first bike commute when I moved to the US five years ago! I biked around 10 miles each day.

This was my first bike commute when I moved to the US five years ago! I biked around 10 miles each day.

All of these experiences ultimately inspired me to switch careers from architecture, which I practiced for five years, to transportation planning in order to make positive changes for all commuters. I was accepted to Cal Poly Pomona’s Masters in Transportation Engineering program and was hired at LADOT in the Bikeways Program.

Driving is costly and exhausting, so I’ve embraced multimodal transportation options as much as possible to get from Rancho Cucamonga to LADOT and Cal Poly Pomona. On a daily basis, I drive, ride a train, take a bus, and ride a bike or walk.

Rancho Cucamonga to DTLA

For nearly two years, I’ve commuted to Downtown Los Angeles on Metrolink’s San Bernardino Line every work day. The distance from Rancho Cucamonga to Downtown Los Angeles is almost 42 miles, which costs me around $50 to drive (including gas and parking). Not to mention, the traffic is a headache. For me, driving to work first thing in the morning is very stressful. Commuting by train, however, allows me to read magazines, do homework, and relax.

My trip on the train from Rancho Cucamonga Station to Union Station takes about 1 hour.

My trip on the train from Rancho Cucamonga Station to Union Station takes about 1 hour.

I begin my trip by parking my car at Rancho Cucamonga Station, located about 3 miles away from where I live. The ticket options include regular fare, senior, student, and active military, for which round trip prices range from $10.50 to $21.50. As a graduate student, I purchase the student option, which costs $16.

Sometimes, I’ll bring my bike in my car and onto the train so that I can bike from the train station to work in DTLA.

I love to walk or bike past Grand Park on my way to work.

I love to walk or bike past Grand Park on my way to work.

The train commute to Union Station on Metrolink takes about 1 hour and is much more comfortable than sitting in a car during peak hour congestion for 90 minutes. Given the overall reduced commute time and effort required, riding the train to work allows me to sleep in a little longer and not worry about staying alert for the duration of a long drive. This is very important, because I often stay up late finishing homework or catching up on chores. Even better, Metrolink’s early morning train offers patrons the option to ride the Express Train, which makes just three stops between my stop and Downtown LA, reducing my total commute by 20 minutes!

My commute on Metrolink allots me plenty of time to do homework, rest, or chat up other train-goers.

My commute on Metrolink allots me plenty of time to do homework, rest, or chat up other train-goers.

Once I arrive at Union Station, I usually walk to Patsaouras Transit Plaza to catch the Dash D bus heading toward Grand Ave & Washington Blvd for a 5 minute bus ride to LADOT. Or, if I brought my bike, I will ride instead. Now that there is the new protected bike lane on Los Angeles Street, this bike ride is even better.

When the wait time for the bus is long, I enjoy walking from Union Station to LADOT. This gives me the chance to pass through historic aspects of the El Pueblo De Los Angeles District, including a stunning outdoor plaza, museums, historic buildings, and a traditional Mexican marketplace for shopping and dining. It is really interesting to see how each building represents an impressive story about the people who once lived here. As I proceed to walk on Main Street, I observe people who are camped out on the sidewalks and can’t help but be amazed at how drastically the urban environment in Los Angeles can change in just a matter of blocks.

Rancho Cucamonga to Cal Poly Pomona

When I commute to Cal Poly Pomona from Rancho Cucamonga, I drive my car or take the train. Many of my peers take bus shuttles and drive to get to school. Students often are looking for ways to save money, so I think it would be great if there were also bikeways available.

Everyone’s commute is different. Sometimes it seems impossible for me to stop driving altogether, but every time I ride a bike, walk, or take transit, my mental and physical wellbeing is improved.  I feel good about decreasing the number of vehicles on the road to reduce traffic and green house gas emissions. Plus, relying on multiple modes of transportation helps me feel connected to those in my community and gives me opportunities to be physically active.

How is your commute?

Starting in Summer 2016: MyFigueroa Construction

The complete streets movement continues to gain momentum around the world and here at home in Los Angeles. Alongside People StGreat Streets Initiative, and Vision Zero, the Figueroa Corridor Streetscape Project, aka MyFigueroa, aims to create vibrant, safe streets across our city.

After 6 years of careful planning and overcoming obstacles, MyFigueroa will transform the car-centric Figueroa Corridor into a complete street that serves people who walk, ride bicycles, take public transit, and drive. MyFigueroa will improve safety and encourage access to multimodal transportation options through a number of streetscape elements:

Render of Figueroa and 11th. Courtesy of MyFigueroa

Render of Figueroa and 11th. Courtesy of MyFigueroa

The project area covers four miles of streets from downtown to LA Memorial Coliseum. Improvements will be different along the corridor, depending on the transportation needs of the area.

Figueroa Street from 7th Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard

  • On-street protected bike lanes
  • Separate bike signal heads
  • Bike boxes at intersections
  • Demarcated on-street protected bicycle lanes in conflict zones
  • Bicycle Wrong Way signs to discourage travel in the non-intended direction
  • Bus platforms to accommodate transit service, including Metro and LADOT DASH F Line
  • Curb ramps from the sidewalk to ADA accessible bus platforms
  • Protected, painted on-street buffered bicycle lanes
  • Relocated parking between the bicycle lane and first lane of traffic
  • Diamond lane for on-peak Silver Line
  • Center turn lane and right turn pockets as needed

11th Street from Figueroa Street to Broadway

  • On-street parking that is protected with curb extensions at intersections
  • One-way westbound bicycle facility, separated from moving traffic by a painted buffer
  • Expanded sidewalks
  • Seating and planting on sidewalks
  • Pedestrian and bicycle connections to downtown, neighborhoods, and local businesses

Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from Figueroa Street to Vermont Avenue

  • Repaired sidewalk paving
  • Street lighting
  • Improved transit waiting areas
  • Highly visible crosswalk striping

The $20 million Figueroa Corridor Streetscape Project is managed by LADOT and funded by a Proposition 1C grant. Proposition 1c funding aims to make streets, sidewalks, and transit more accessible for affordable housing residents.

During construction, which is set to begin in Summer 2016, there are many alternative ways for people to get around. Check out this great map showing where construction will take place and alternate ways to get around in the meantime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MyFigueroa’s Let’s Fig it Out! campaign educates Figueroa users how to figure out (get it?) how to get around during construction. You can become familiar with the alternate routes and public transit lines now so that the transition is easier when the construction begins.

Alternative routes are available for public transit, cars, and bicycles during construction. Courtesy of MyFigueroa

Let’s Fig it Out! offers alternate routes for people who walk, bike, drive, and take public transit during MyFigueroa construction. Courtesy of MyFigueroa

To communicate the upcoming construction and improvements to the public, MyFigueroa has worked with LADOT, Figueroa Corridor BID, USC AthleticsUSC Transportation, and Metro. Promotional stored-value Metro TAP cards that display Let’s Fig it Out! and MyFigueroa logos will be given out for free and for sale at special events in the corridor area. Street pole banners along Figueroa advertise the upcoming construction and improvements in order to provide visibility of the project to people who travel the corridor.

A number of innovative partners have collaborated on the Figueroa Corridor Streetscape Project, and from the start, community members, organizations, and business improvement districts have shaped the planning and design process.

Courtesy of MyFigueroa

Project design team. Courtesy of MyFigueroa

As a project designed to encourage access to multimodal transportation, MyFigueroa will continue to refine how we conceptualize streets in Los Angeles. The completion date of March 2017 can’t come soon enough!

Bicycle Corrals 2016: 42 New Bike Parking Spaces Spring up Across Los Angeles

Secure, safe bicycle parking is an essential element of a comprehensive bicycle network. Demand for bike parking in Los Angeles continues to grow as ridership increases and the City’s bicycle network expands. A lack of adequate parking not only discourages ridership, but also encourages people to lock their bikes to parking meters, trees, or sidewalk furniture. Where there is bicycle traffic and limited sidewalk space, on-street bicycle parking offers a worthwhile alternative…. That’s where bicycle corrals come in!

LADOT’s strategic plan, Great Streets for Los Angeles, calls for the installation of over 25 bicycle corrals. We’re excited to announce that this past month, LADOT installed three new corrals: Main Street in Venice, sponsored by The Copper Room,  Fuller Street at Runyon Canyon Park, sponsored by Friends of Runyon Canyon, and Huntington Drive, sponsored by Barrio Action. The recent installs account for a total of 14 Cycle Stall corrals, bringing our citywide corral total (including the two pilot corral projects) to a total of 16!

Main Street Corral in Venice

This corral can park up to 18 bicycles!

This corral can park up to 18 bicycles!

The corral on Main Street complements a highly used bike path, making life easier for people on bikes who commute to work or want to explore local shops, restaurants, and the beach. The corral presents a resting point between Santa Monica and the City of Los Angeles, cultivating a bicycle prioritized business corridor.

Runyon Canyon Corral

We were happy to see that the very first corral-user parked their bike in a secure way by locking the front wheel to the bike frame, rear wheel, and the corral.

We were happy to see that the very first corral-user parked their bike in a secure way by locking the front wheel to the bike frame, rear wheel, and the corral.

Runyon Canyon’s corral serves an important function at LA’s hippest Hollywood park. Runyon Canyon Park does not provide car parking and on-street parking is few and far between. The Runyon Canyon corral increases accessibility to the park, making it easier for people to enjoy the trails, views, and community spaces that the park offers. Today, people can leave their car at home and have a zero emissions workout with a seamless ride to Runyon Canyon.

Bicycling to Runyon Canyon Park is now a viable, secure option.

Thanks to our General Services crew, bicycling to Runyon Canyon is now a viable and secure option!

Huntington Corral

The Huntington Drive Corral is located directly in front of our People St and Active Transportation champion, Councilmember José Huizar’s El Sereno Field Office. The corral compliments a bicycle repair station to create a bicycle resource center for the community.

Senior Bicycle Coordinator Michelle Mowery at our newest corral and bicycle repair station in El Sereno

Sponsorship: Applying for a Bicycle Corral

More questions about LA’s Bicycle Corrals? Maybe you are interested in sponsoring a corral yourself? Our People St Corral application cycle is currently on a rolling basis! Learn more on our People St Bicycle Corral page for FAQs and the application.

Eligible sponsors include business or property owners, non-profits, and community organizations. Sponsors must sign a maintenance agreement with the City in which the sponsor agrees to keep the corral clean and debris-free. Please note that corral placement restricts street sweeping. We suggest reaching out to our staff at peoplest@lacity.org to advise on any proposed location prior to submitting a full application.

Find a Corral

We hope you’ll come visit our newest corrals! Find a list of all existing bicycle corrals on our corral page, and you can check out our awesome new City of LA Active Transportation Map to find a corral near you.

The Unsung Story of How a Sidewalk Bike Rack is Born

This year, LADOT’s Sidewalk Bike Parking Program is turning 20! What better way to celebrate two decades of bike parking than by telling you the story of how this indispensable end-of-trip bike amenity in our City came to be.

Sidewalk Bike Parking 20th Birthday

Our beloved end-of-trip facility is leaving behind its teenage years!

Where It Started At

It all started in 1995, when our Senior Project Coordinator Michelle Mowery spearheaded our Department’s efforts to provide ample amounts of sidewalk bike parking in the City. Initially, the Sidewalk Bike Parking Program was introduced as a “pilot” and was made possible by funds from a Metro Call for Projects grant. During its pilot phase, the Program purchased and installed approximately 1,700 inverted-U bike racks citywide. This momentous investment marked the beginning of the Department’s growing endeavors to encourage and facilitate active transportation in the City. Two years later, in 1997, the L.A. region began experimenting with the first generation of bike racks on buses, as a way to provide greater multi-modal connectivity to people traveling throughout the region.

Since its origin, the Sidewalk Bike Parking Program has relied heavily on the work and dedication of graduate students, including Ben Ortiz, Jose Elias, Kathleen King, Austin Sos, Jose Tchopourian, and others, working part-time at the LADOT Bike Program. Over the years, these bike parking mavens have nurtured hundreds of requests for bike parking, from being a data entry stored in a server to being a bike rack on the sidewalk.

This Is How We Do It

Our Sidewalk Bike Parking Program installs inverted-U bike racks at the request of business owners or any other member of the public, which definitely includes you. Each rack is 36″ tall, 24″ wide and can hold up to two bikes. The rack is designed to provide great support for bicycles, allowing the person parking the bike to lock both wheels and the bike frame to the inverted-U bike rack without worrying about the bike falling over. The City of Los Angeles assumes responsibility for the rack but not for bikes parked on it.  Although there is no fee to request a bike rack and installation is free, all racks are City property.

Bike parking installed through the Program can only be placed in the public right-of-way (primarily sidewalks) within the City of Los Angeles. Racks are situated on sidewalks to avoid conflicts with people walking or rolling and people exiting or entering parked motor vehicles or buses. You will find that racks are usually parallel but sometimes perpendicular to the curb and not directly next to building entrances and crosswalks.

Our City’s sidewalk bike parking has been turning heads since 1995.

Won’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough

Two decades have passed since some of the first sidewalk bike racks were introduced in LA and now we have over 6,000 bike racks on the ground. Much of our public right-of-way has been accessorized with bike parking, allowing Angelenos to ride and park their bikes at locations convenient to shopping, dining, playing, and most other spontaneous activities you can think of. The Sidewalk Bike Parking Program aims to provide highly visible and convenient short-term bike parking near office buildings and retail destinations near public sidewalks.

Now that you know where all the sidewalk bike parking in our City comes from, it’s your turn to tell us where people in your community want bike parking. To request a bike rack, complete an online Bicycle Parking Request Form. To determine if a location you would love to have bike parking qualifies for one of our program’s bike racks, please review our bicycle rack location criteria here. You can email bike rack coordinator extraordinaire Jose Tchopourian, if you have additional questions or notice a rack has become loose or damaged.

Today, our Department’s Sidewalk Bike Parking Program keeps expanding into new places within the City and upgrading inadequate parking equipment along the way. The Program could not be successful without your requests and feedback. Thank you! Now, walk, ride, or roll to your favorite destination near a sidewalk bike rack to celebrate.

Modernizing pilots, Arts District corral open for business

Good day LA!

Today was another great day for the great streets of Los Angeles! Corral designs were updated and onlookers watched as the long awaited Willow St. Bicycle Corral was installed in the booming Downtown Arts District.

First stop by the Bicycle Corral Fairy was a check up on our very first corral: the York Bl. pilot.  The York Corral, originally installed in February 2011 has seen its share of wear and tear.  After the implementation of many more Bicycle Corrals throughout the city, we have learned a few things from their design, removing redundant or incorrect signage, and replacing materials like asphalt islands with more durable rubber wheel stops.

Before: Bye bye asphalt island!

After: The new sleek York Corral

After the healthy refresh at York, the crew traveled to the Arts District where Blue Bottle Coffee customers got an eyeful (and earful) of Bike Corral installation with their morning coffee. The LADOT sign crew and our colleagues at the City’s General Services Department (GSD) installed the new Corral on Willow St. at Mateo next to the neighborhood’s premiere coffee shop and our awesome maintenance sponsor, Blue Bottle Coffee.

Councilmember Jose Huizar was happy to see the new corral, saying “As a long time supporter I’m proud to host the first bicycle corral in the City. LADOT’s new bike corral configuration draws from lessons learned piloted in my district. Thanks to Blue Bottle Coffee for partnering with the City to bring the Arts District its very own bike corral!” The Corral reallocates one auto on-street parking space for 14 spaces for people riding their bicycles.

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Coming Soon: More Bike Corrals!

The site of the soon-to-be installed bike corral in Atwater Village.

It seems so distant, but February 18th, 2011, just two and a half years ago, was when the city’s first bike corral was installed on York Boulevard in Northeast LA.

Getting the corral off the drawing board and onto the ground was a lengthy process, but ultimately the project was able to march ahead thanks to both local residents’ support and political will. The day the bike corral officially opened was rightfully celebrated as a great stride in the city’s efforts to become more bicycle friendly.

Shortly after the York Boulevard bike corral was installed, we released a bike corral application form to gauge interest for future potential bike corral locations. Approximately a year after the city’s inaugural corral was installed, a second was placed as part of the Sunset Triangle Plaza in Silver Lake. Read more

Bicycle Parking Ordinance Has Passed!

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Expect to see more of this!

The LADOT Bike Program is happy to report that the Los Angeles City Council has passed the long awaited Bicycle Parking Ordinance. This will mean improved bicycle parking standards citywide at commercial, industrial and residential-type locations. The ordinance includes a number of forward-thinking changes  including:

  • Formal definitions for different types of bike parking 
  • New standards for different types of bike racks including long-term and short-term bicycle parking
  • Improved standards for where bike racks are located on a property
  • Clearer  requirements for short-term and long-term bike parking.
  • New provisions allowing bike parking to be substituted for car parking for up to 20 percent of  the total automobile parking required for non-residential uses or up to 30% of the auto parking required near Transit Oriented Developments (TODs). Residential buildings will be able to swap up to 10% of their car parking, and if located within 1,500 feet of a transit facility, up to 15%. This exchange would occur at a rate of four bike parking spaces, per automobile space.
  • New standards requiring properties with  20 or more long-term bicycle parking spaces to also include 100 square feet of bicycle repair and maintenance space for residents and employees.
  • A Permitting process for allowing bike corrals to be installed in the public right of way.

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Metro Hosts First Union Station Master Plan Community Meeting

Intro photo

This way to Metro’s LA Union Station Master Plan community meeting

Metro kicked off the first of four Union Station Master Plan community meetings last night at their headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.  (In April of 2011 the county’s primary transit operator purchased the station and some of the surrounding properties from the real estate company Catellus Operating Limited Partnership for $75 million dollars.)  Community members listened as Metro officials and representatives from Gruen  Associates and Grimshaw Architects (the consultants hired to develop a master plan for the station) proposed their objectives for the area, including accommodating current and future transit needs, protecting and enhancing the station, and improving multi-modal access and connectivity to the surrounding neighborhoods.

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Bicycle Parking Ordinance goes before PLUM Committee, Tomorrow

Some innovative bike parking from the Know How Shop in Highland Park

Tomorrow afternoon, the Planning & Land Use Management Committee will review an ordinance that aims to vastly improve bicycle parking requirements in the city.  If adopted, the Bicycle Parking Ordinance would increase the amount of bicycle parking required in new commercial, industrial developments while for the first time requiring bicycle parking in new multifamily residential developments, as well. The ordinance proposes set standards for signage, lighting, and access; and, addresses different types of bike parking, including the need for both short and long-term parking.

The proposed ordinance was reviewed and passed by the Transportation Committee last week. Please consider attending the meeting tomorrow to show your support for improved bicycle parking requirements in Los Angeles. The meeting is set to be held at the Board of Public Works Edward R. Roybal Hearing Room 350, City Hall, 200 North Spring St., at 2:30 pm.

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