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Posts Tagged ‘bicycle parking’

This young lady has really loaded up her cargo bike with the maximum shopping capacity!

In light of our participation in the upcoming holiday shopping event, SHOP – RIDE – NELA, we wanted to make sure everyone was totally ready to saddle up on their bicycles to go shopping!  Whether you need to pick up a few items at the grocery store or want to meet up with a friend at a neighborhood cafe for a day of brunching and shopping, arriving on a bicycle is a great way to go!

Shopping by bicycle is an easy way to run local errands, making your daily routine fun and active without leaving that nasty carbon footprint you would if you were driving. On a bicycle, you can make multiple stops on your trip without having to keep track of time, or potentially even receiving a citation for staying too long at your meter.  How many times have you wanted to try on that other pair of shoes or talk to a friend you bumped into on the street, but you had to go, cause your meter was almost up?  Too many times!  Bicycles are a liesurely way to shop and explore your neighborhood, making you more aware of what it has to offer, and potentially more receptive to spending time and money there.

In some LA neighborhoods, LADOT has even installed Bicycle Corrals, where you can park your bicycle right in the middle of a busy shopping corridor just like your fellows driving cars.  These perks are no small beans in a city where auto traffic is the norm and as mentioned before, finding parking can be tedious and frustrating. Plus, shopping on a bicycle is more efficient than walking and less cumbersome than carrying things onto the bus. Because shopping by bike is super practical, doing so can easily be combined with your bike commute or leisurely ride around the neighborhood.

SHOP – RIDE – NELA, led by C.I.C.L.E., will take place this Saturday December 13th, from 9:30am-12:30pm, with a ribbon cutting for the Colorado Bl Corral with Councilmember Jose Huizar at 12:30. The ride will explore 3.6 miles of Northeast LA’s most vibrant shopping corridors. More details can be found in our recent blog post about the event.

So let’s get ready to shop! The set-up you choose will mostly depend on the purchases you’ll be making or the items you will be transporting. There are lots of carrying options out there for any budget, so here’s a quick guide to get you started:

Carrying things on your bicycle

 

Backpacks and Messenger Bags

Uses: small loads and personal items

Backpacks are probably the simplest and most affordable way to haul your shopping items while bicycling. These are excellent for carrying small, lightweight loads, but be wary of heavy items and the “sweaty back” on hot days or long rides. Backpacks and messenger bags that are made by bicycle companies tend to be weather proof and highly durable, making sure your valuables are protected.

Price range: $25-150

Backbacks can be a great way to carry small items and your everyday load, as seen here on Yucca St in Hollywood

Saddle, Frame, and Handlebar Bags

Uses: extra small loads and personal items

Saddle, frame, or handlebar bags are excellent rackless options for storing small items and are very popular for holding commuter tools like tire levers, spare tubes, first aid kits, or other bare necessities. The frame and handlebar bags are especially useful for items that need to be easily reached like chapstick or your cell phone.

Price range: $10-90

A woman and her child use a handlebar bag on the Orange Line Bike Path in Woodland Hills

Racks

Uses: all-purpose

If you choose to use your bike to do most of the work instead of your back, then you’ll need to add a rack to your bicycle. Racks serve a wide variety of purposes and can be attached to the front and/or rear depending on your bike and carrying needs. A rack is key because it provides a mount for panniers (bicycle mounted bags) as well as a platform on which to strap your goods. A simple bungee cord can be used with a rack to secure most objects, making racks one of the most necessary and effective ways of undertaking any shopping trip by bicycle. Racks also free you up from cumbersome bags that might cramp your style.  Most local bike shops sell bike racks and they can be aquired for as little as $15.

Price range: $15-45

Observed during our recent York Bl Bike Count, this man has a back rack and a basket, getting ready to do a water run via York Bl in Highland Park

Straps and Bungee Cords

Items can be directly placed on top of a mounted rack without a bag or container by using secure straps or bungee cords.

Price range:  $2-10

Baskets and Milk Crates

Uses: small-medium loads

Baskets are great for carrying items that don’t need to be enclosed or carefully contained. Generally, weight should be considered when using a basket, as heavy objects might affect your ability to steer your bicycle.  Milk crates can serve as an affordable DIY basket. To use a milk crate, find one that is not too large for the rack and make sure to use a lot of zip ties to securely attach the crate to the rack. Be careful to not load up too much weight into the crate otherwise shifting weight might cause the zip ties to snap!

Price range: $15-50

At CicLAvia, sometimes baskets are used to carry friends!

Trunk Bags

Uses: small loads and personal items

Trunk bags are strapped on top of the rack and are built with non-collapsible walls that stand up on their own. Some trunk bags come with side pockets that can expand into small side panniers for extra storage.

Price range: $30-60

The LAPD Bicycle Unit uses trunk bags to carry important items necessary for their police work

Panniers

Uses: medium-large loads

Panniers are bicycle-specific bags that attach to the rear or front rack. Most panniers work like saddle bags and carry 10-20 liters per bag. Panniers are a wonderful solution for large amounts of groceries.  They are your ideal candidate for shopping, commuting, or bicycle touring and are often sold in pairs in order to balance your heavy loads.  Panniers come in all forms and qualities- the more expensive versions contain special features like converting into a backpack, clip systems for easy removal, reflectivity, and all-weather proofing.

Price range: $40-160

Former Bike Program superstar, Eli Glazier shows off his paniers with his bike mounted on the York Bl Bicycle Repair Station in Highland Park

Cargo Trailers

Uses: large loads

Bicycle cargo trailers offer the largest storage capacity and can carry much bigger loads than the bicycle itself. Trailers normally attach to the bike frame, much like a tow hitch on a truck. Some trailers are even fashioned with a child seat inside so you can take your child with you while you shop!

Price range: $150-250

Cargo trailers like the one we use when we do outreach at CicLAvia can carry a LOT of swag…

 

More Tips

 

Balance your weight

When you pack up your bags, try to distribute the weight as evenly as possible. This will make riding more comfortable and also prevent your bike from toppling over while you wait at stop signs or lights.

Look for Bicycle Friendly Businesses

Shop local and support businesses that embrace bicycle-friendly practices! The Bike Program launched the Bicycle Friendly Business Program (BFB) earlier this year to promote businesses that encourage people to bicycle for short neighborhood trips and make their streets more pleasant and convivial places to be. For more information or to opt into the BFB Program, check out our BFB page and opt in form!

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Small businesses and bikes blend on N. Figueroa St., Photo courtesy Flying Pigeon LA

We are happy to announce that the City of Los Angeles is working on establishing its first Bicycle Friendly Business District in Northeast Los Angeles.  For the past year, the Bike Program has been developing a Bicycle Friendly Business District (BFBD) program to foster a broad and engaging range of bicycle friendly features in business districts or corridors.

The program aims to provide districts with adequate bicycle facilities including bicycle parking and repair stations, bikeways, creating maps of the bikeway network, installing signage, and facilitating bicycle wayfinding.  By cultivating bicycle friendly business practices in local businesses and developing local business districts to welcome patrons on bicycles, these districts seek to build community, increase physical activity, and make streets less congested while supporting Los Angeles neighborhood businesses.

Bicycle Friendly Business Districts – What are they?

A BFBD is a partnership between the City, neighborhood and business organizations, and local businesses that improves a business district’s Bicycle Friendliness through bicycle infrastructure and local business promotions to people travelling by bicycle.  The district encourages and promotes short, local trips, especially for shopping, dining and recreation.

The BFBD program complements complete streets and traffic calming objectives in order to capture local dollars and further neighborhood development in Los Angeles.  Districts cooperate with the LADOT, the Council Office, and local community partners to implement services already offered free of charge through the LADOT Bike Program.

These services, infrastructure, and other program elements combine with  local investment in bicycle amenities and programs privately funded by neighborhood and business partners.

(more…)

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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. (more…)

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We’re stoked to see community organizations like Multicultural Communities (familiar to many of us via their City of Lights program) put on events like the “Bike Rack City Ride” to educate and empower the public about our bicycle sidewalk parking program. In case you’re not familiar with the program, the city offers free bicycle parking in the form of inverted-U shape racks along sidewalks in front of commercial areas. We depend on your requests to help us provide bicycle parking where it is needed most. Your requests have contributed to an all time high of over 600 racks installed this past fiscal year. (more…)

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Two bike racks marked to be installed at Nick’s Cafe on Spring Street

More and more people are embracing bicycling lately with pleasant summer weather and a growing number of bicycle facilities being implemented. Of course, with increased bicycling comes the need for safe, secure bicycle parking.

Recently the LADOT Bike Program has been busily marking locations for requested bike rack installation throughout the city. Let’s take a look at some of the neighborhoods we’ve been visiting lately:

Canoga Park

  • Out in the valley about a dozen bike racks have been marked along Sherman Way. Some of the bike rack requests being fulfilled are at: Taco y Cemitas Puebla, Hot Nail Salon, Musica Latina, and WSS Shoes.

Cypress Park

  • A handful of requests brought the LADOT Bike Program to Cypress Ave. Among the businesses to get bike racks along this corridor are: Uno Market, Guadalajara Bakery, Cypress Liquior, and Nore’s Beauty Salon.

Eagle Rock

  • The most recent neighborhood the Bike Program visited, where sufficient requests allowed about 40 bike racks to be marked for installation. Destinations like the Eagle Rock Library, Dave’s Chillin’ and Grillin’, and All Star Lanes Bowling will see new bike parking soon.

Highland Park

  • Home of Los Angeles’ first bike corral, more  bike racks have been marked for installation along York Blvd. Businesses soon to receive bike parking include: Mariscos, Hair Zone Barber Shop, The York, and Villa Sombrero.

Palms

  • Plenty of destinations along Motor Ave. have been marked: Computech, Mama’s Original Pizza & Pasta, Iman Cultural Center, and The Garage will be graced with bike racks in the near future.

Silver Lake

  • The Silver Lake area will see more bike racks, particularly on  Rowena Ave. and Hyperion Ave : Blair’s Restaurant, Camelot Kids, Silvertake Neighborhood Kitchen

Help Us Provide Parking Where You Need It

Does your part of the city need more bike racks? Did we miss locations on our recent visits? Fill out a bike rack request form or tell us in the comments if you know areas that need bike parking.

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Grand park

View of on-going construction at Grand Park in the distance from the Caltrans Building

Later this summer, Downtown Los Angeles will welcome it’s newest – and grandest – park yet with the opening of Grand Park. The 12-acre park will stretch for four blocks from Grand Ave. (adjacent to the Music Center) to Spring St. (City Hall). In a recent L.A.Times article on Grand Park, County Supervisor Gloria Molina revealed that the park will play host to a variety of events, including concerts, farmers markets, readings and festivals. According to the Times, events will be coordinated by the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, which also oversees the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theatre and Mark Taper Forum.

(more…)

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Oct BPIT

The next quarterly Bicycle Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) meeting will take place on January 10th, 2012 from 1:00 – 4:00 PM. The meeting will be held at the California Bear Credit Union Meeting Room – 100 S. Main Street Los Angeles, CA 90012. The meeting room is directly accessible from Broad Plaza – you won’t need to enter the Caltrans building. To view the agenda, click here. More on the meeting below the fold.

(more…)

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