On Tuesday, item #21 came before the City Council and was unanimously passed. Hurray! You can listen to the council meeting yourself right here (to digress for a moment, this website is a pretty cool tool. On-demand agenda, videos, and audio files of every City Council meeting. I highly recommend it.). There was also some excellent coverage earlier in the week from LAist, LACBC, Bicycle Fixation, and Biking in LA. LA is lucky to have so many dedicated sources of bicycle information and advocacy.
Public comment on the item saw bike advocates, business owners, and property owners from the area all praise the simplicity and utility of installing a bike corral pilot project at Cafe de Leche. A quick rundown of all the points made in support of the project: it has support from LADOT & LACBC, it will be at no cost to LADOT, it has support from Councilmember Huizar, it’s supported by nearby Occidental College, supported by the Highland Park Neighborhood Council, and supported by the Highland Park Chamber of Commerce. Sounds good, right? No one could say no to that.
And no one did. The motion passed with 14 ayes and zero nays.
Councilmember Huizar lauded the efforts of the bicycle community in helping to move this project forward. He noted that this pilot project has the chance to set a precedent for bike corrals in the rest of the city. He said it deserved further support because it would come at no cost to the city and was a great model for public/private partnership in furthering bicycle infrastructure.
Councilmember Rosendahl hoped this pilot project was “only the beginning” and was glad that “bicycling [was] finally getting the respect it deserved”. He also floated the idea of using Measure R funds to spread bike corrals throughout the City.
Councilmember Reyes viewed the installation of bike corrals as a “great step” towards improved bicycle infrastructure, and that bicycle improvements were coming “slowly, but surely”. Reyes voiced a desire for more bike lockers at rail and MTA stations, and wanted the City to identify “problem corridors” for bicyclists. Councilmember Reyes also acknowledged that the 4 engineers at Bikeways for a City of over 3 million people isn’t nearly enough to keep on top of things. Even so, he praised the work that they’ve done and urged bicycle advocates “not to lose heart”.
Councilmember LaBonge called the vote “a great day for all involved” and Councilmember Alarcon, in addition to supporting the motion, wanted to highlight an article in the LA Business Journal “Putting Parking in its Place“, written by Joseph Bray-Ali.
So what does this all mean going forward?
- Council District 14 staff are going to work with the owners of Cafe de Leche and the Department of Public Works on getting through the permitting process as quickly as possible. This will allow the owners of Cafe de Leche to install the corral themselves.
- The owners of Cafe de Leche will also work with Bikeways staff to create a corral design that meets City standards.
We’re happy to see that the motion passed council and eagerly await the day ground is broken on LA’s first bike corral.