LADOT Installing New Racks at CARECEN 10/14/10

LADOT is proud to partner with CD 1 Council Member Ed Reyes, LACBC, CARECEN & Ciudad De Luces to bring new bike racks to the CARECEN day labor center in MacArthur Park.  Installation will take place at 9:30 AM on the morning of October 14th, and LADOT Bike Blog is excited to be a part of the festivities.

 

The Ciudad de Luces team in front of the CARCEN center

 

LADOT Rack Requests

The current bike rack request system LADOT uses can be very efficient and useful.  A business who wants to get a bike rack can request one with this online form.  After a site visit to determine if and where the sidewalk can accommodate new bike racks, staff will also check the surrounding neighborhood for bicycle density and locations for additional bike racks.

Power to the People – Tell Us Where You Need Them

Rather than relying on staff to calculate demand for bicycle parking in any given area or make faceless bureaucratic decisions on the placement of new parking, the LADOT Bike Program relies on the bicyclists and business owners in Los Angeles to request new bike parking it is most needed.

LADOT wants to use our greatest resource: the bicyclists who ride the streets of Los Angeles every day.  Tapping into the LA bike community is the best way for the LADOT Bike Program to seek new sites for bicycle parking where it is most needed.

Before you go running out to request new bike racks, it’s important to know the limitations and guidelines for siting new LADOT bike racks.  We’ll save the specifics for another time (most likely next week), but there are a few big rules such as: must be at least 5 feet away from other street furniture (like benches and trash cans), cannot be installed in bus zones or on decorative pavement, etc.

Problems Nonetheless

As with any system, this method of requesting new bike racks has its flaws.  When residents and businesses don’t know of the LADOT rack request system, there are limited ways for them to get new racks.  This is especially a problem in low income or minority communities who are not as keyed into the functions of city departments or must first overcome language barriers.

In the words of Ciudad de Luces:

So many of the most dedicated cyclists in Los Angeles are Latino immigrants who are extremely marginalized–yet they rarely have access to bilingual resources such as safety education or affordable bikes/bike repair. Many of these cyclists are doubly targeted for their status as both immigrants and low wage workers.

Ciudad de Luces – Bridging the Gap

It is with these limitations in mind that the LADOT Bike Program tips their cap to the work done by LACBC and Ciudad de Luces.  As readers of LADOT Bike Blog know, Ciudad de Luces has a long and productive history with CARECEN.  Working in partnership with Council Member Reyes, they targeted some of the areas most heavily trafficked by day-laborer bicyclists for new bike racks.  It is these types of partnerships that help regular residents navigate the bureaucracy of the City of Los Angeles departments and get real results for their communities.  LADOT is proud to be a part of bringing bicycle facilities to some of the Angelinos most in need.

More Racks to Come

The installation of these new bike racks at CARECEN, however, is just the beginning.  Many more sites around the MacArthur Park area are tagged for bike rack installation, and the LADOT Bike Program is embarking upon a schedule to install an average of 100 new racks a month for the rest of the year.

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