(This post is part of our community profile series, which provides an insightful look into bicycle friendly and bicycle related businesses in the City of Los Angeles. We hope to show why these businesses choose to be bike friendly, and how they are helping to improve the qualify of life for all Angelenos. The LADOT Bike Program is committed to encouraging and supporting bicycling in the City of Los Angeles. If you know of a business that would like to be included in our series here on the LADOT Bike Blog, feel free to leave us a comment below, fill out our form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Featured in today’s community profile are Amy and Katie O’Connell, owners of the eye wear store Society of the Spectacle, located on 4563 York Boulevard in the Highland Park neighborhood. Both are very enthusiastic about cycling and enjoy riding around the Highland Park and Eagle Rock area.
Can you briefly describe your business?
We own a small independent optical shop on York Blvd in Highland Park- it is called Society of the Spectacle.
What’s Society of the Spectacle’s relationship with cycling? Do you yourself cycle?
We live nearby and have been cycling to and from work for years when we can. The Northeast LA Art bike ride has been a part of our life for many years – they cruise by with big smiles on their faces every month. We have attended Ciclavia and loved it every time. It brings the city together side by side, face to face- we love it. And, bicycles literally look like spectacles- two circles!
Are any of your customers bicyclists? Have you noticed any impact of the bike lanes on York Boulevard?
Many of our clients come by bike and we are thrilled about the Department of Transportation’s amazing bike program giving us bike racks. Our clients used to have to lock their bikes to our fence or bring them inside.
Now the streets look so ready for bicycles with bike lanes and bike parking! It is changing the face of our city and raising awareness of bicycles being a part of everyday life. The bike lanes and bike corral on York are extremely vital to this awareness. Traffic has calmed down thanks to the bike lane; drivers are more careful- people are more careful. This makes us all more aware of each other and that makes for better living, it makes us more connected.
So you said you bike to work sometimes, do you like to bike anywhere else in the community?
So to and from work of course, to businesses along York Boulevard and Monte Vista… and sometimes into downtown. We love taking our bikes on the Gold Line, to our friends house … and to ride around the Rose Bowl.
What do you feel can be done to improve conditions for bicycling in the neighborhood?
New bicycle signs for the lanes, something to make the lanes more visible– and bike riding lessons for kids are a must! A bicycle rodeo would be fun! Children need to learn how to ride bikes and sometimes their parents haven’t been on a bike in years so a program in schools would be very useful and beneficial.