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Posts Tagged ‘bicycle corral’

Take a look at your calendar, and you probably will not find Planning Day as a listed holiday. Planning Day, held on October 15th this year, is an annual event observed exclusively by the Department of City Planning (DCP) where DCP staff lead and participate in multiple tours designed to explore different planning-related themes throughout Los Angeles . For this year’s Planning Day, a group of DCP staff biked the streets of Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA), Little Tokyo, and the Arts District to see first-hand how LADOT is helping transform Los Angeles into a vision of Complete Streets.

LADOT People St guru Elizabeth Gallardo rallies DCP staff for our tour.

To kickoff the tour, LADOT People St Project Manager, Elizabeth Gallardo lead DCP staff along a greatest hits of active transportation projects designed by LADOT to serve a broad cross section of road users, who find DTLA as a vibrant place to live and spend their leisure time. First stop was the Spring Street parklets where Nicholas Ziff Griffin, Director of Economic Development at the Downtown Center Business Improvement District described the importance of these amenities in creating a vital place where people want to linger and explore new businesses.

Bicycle Friendly Business Peddler’s Creamery offers sweet rewards for customers that churn ice cream using pedal power.

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LADOT x Peddler’s x CRANC – Activating Main Street with a Bike Repair Workshop (photo courtesy of CRANC)

In June 2015, LADOT installed a new bicycle corral and bicycle repair station alongside Peddler’s Creamery, the first of their kind in LA’s Downtown Historic Core. Peddler’s, an ice cream shop that specializes in organic bicycle-churned ice cream, is located in a very special building called New Genesis. The property owner of New Genesis is the Skid Row Housing Trust, a non-profit organization that works with architects to build high quality permanent supportive housing for people who have lived on the streets, in prolonged extreme poverty, with poor health, disabilities, mental illness and/or addiction, so that they can lead safe, stable lives in wellness.

The Skid Row Housing Trust was founded in 1989, renovating and transforming a number of dilapidated downtown hotels into attractive and affordable permanent housing. Today the Trust has 22 buildings downtown, and two of the newest, New Genesis and New Pershing apartments are located right next to our newest bicycle- and people-friendly infrastructure.

The New Genesis building opened in 2012 and represents a holistic and progressive vision of Downtown LA urban sustainability. New Genesis Apartments includes mixed-use, mixed-income and artist loft units, as well as the commercial space that Peddler’s calls home. By integrating low-income housing into the broader fabric of our city, the Trust ensures its success and integrates people and uses much like any healthy street would integrate travel modes to form a complete street.

The workshop saw all kinds of bikes – motor bikes, delivery bikes, and just regular people riding by

The Trust is one of the first organizations in the country to combine permanent housing and on-site social services. They call it “permanent supportive housing,” which is now considered a best practice in the fight against homelessness.  Though housing planning and transportation planning are different disciplines, the idea of providing supportive services along with infrastructure is one we are very familiar with here in active transportation. We understand that just providing infrastructure leaves people wondering about their options, how to undertake change, and how to grow and expand their lives to embrace new or different habits.  In order for us to have a healthy transportation system, we need to build out support for other modes, as well as the amenities that will facilitate their use.  Some of these amenities are Bicycle Corrals, that support ridership by supplying ample bicycle parking on streets and in front of businesses, and a Bicycle Repair Stations, that provide the tools necessary to keep people on their bikes even when they have hiccups like a flat tire.

Bicycle Repair Stations are a resource for the whole neighborhood (photo courtesy of CRANC)

Many Downtown LA residents do not drive cars. LADOT’s mission includes not only to provide amenities to support bicycle ridership, but also amenities that enhance people’s ability to fully utilize the tools we provide. In order to realize that mission, LADOT collaborated with CRANC, the Trust, and Peddlers to host two bicycle repair workshops.  The workshops covered the basics of bicycle repair, provided safety and regulation information, as well as a special sweet treat from Peddlers!

We all need a supportive world to live well and one of the best ways to maximize support is through partnership and continuing educational opportunities. Like the proverb goes, give a person a bicycle and he has a ride for a day; teach a person to fix their bicycle and they have a ride for a life. A special thank you to our Bicycle Corral and Bicycle Repair Station maintenance sponsor, Edward Belden of Peddler’s Creamery, Gilbert Mascarro of Skid Row Housing Trust and David Castro of CRANC for their help in organizing and supporting these great workshops!

The good people of CRANC! (photo courtesy of CRANC)

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Since 2010 the LADOT Bike Program has worked diligently to introduce, formalize, and refine bicycle corrals for the City of Los Angeles.  We have seen huge successes in our process, from the revival of the York Boulevard commercial corridor and pedestrian space to the overcrowding of our much needed Abbot Kinney corrals.  We have also tested and modified designs, beginning with U-racks, moving to the Dero Cyclestall Elite, and now a modified version of the Cyclestall that better serves cargo bicycles.  We are about to embark on our largest yet deployment of bicycle corrals in Los Angeles and hereby announce a call for new applications.  In the next two years, the department’s strategic plan, Great Streets for Los Angeles, calls for the installation of over 25 bicycle corrals.  There are many criteria that go into corral site selection and approval, but before we explain the fine print, we wanted to take you through a tour of lessons learned and the corral history that goes into today’s revision.

Phase 1

Our very first York Boulevard Bicycle Corral was yarn bombed to mark the new year!

Our first corral on York Boulevard featured many elements that have been discontinued due to cost, functionality, and permanence.  Our first design featured welded U racks that needed to be pre-assembled and lifted into place by crane.  The design also featured asphalt buffers that were repeatedly damaged by cars and delivery vehicles.  This design has been popular with users, as it allows a barrier-free approach to parking.  The lack of barrier, though convenient, does not provide as much protection as a structure that fully separates the parking from the travel lanes, and therefore, after considering all factors, the next round of corrals was modified significantly.

Phase 2

The corral at Gjelina Take Away has been seen packed here with 18 bikes! Photo courtesy Gjelina

Our next round of corrals consisted of 11 custom Dero Cyclestall Elites.  The new design, which fully separates the bicycle parking from travel lanes has sometimes been criticized by users as difficult to enter, creates a pedestrian interaction for people dismounting their bicycles, orienting the now-pedestrians towards the sidewalk and away from any conflict with moving vehicles.  This setting creates a more conscientious entry and exit from the bicycle parking area, eliminating conflicts between dismounted riders and those passing as well as driver-bicycle conflicts.  Beyond this change, the new corral design utilizes rubber wheel stops, durable buffers against parking cars and reflective flexible delineators that make the corral more visible to approaching vehicles, especially at night.

These corrals are installed in Atwater Village, Venice, Cypress Park, North Hollywood, the Arts District, Eagle Rock, Larchmont Village, Westood Village, and (coming soon!) Downtown’s Historic Core.  This round of installations presented rich feedback on corral placement in relation to travel lanes and bicycle facilities, user density, and the dynamics of nearby bicycle friendly neighborhoods.

Some lessons learned in this phase include:

  • need for high pedestrian and bicycle activity
  • preferred adjacency to bicycle facility (bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, or sharrows)
  • pedestrian scale street settings provide comfortable environment for people parking their bicycles
  • better entry to corral to accommodate cargo bicycles
  • bicycle friendly businesses and high turn-over services that attract people on bikes (like cafes) serve as ideal sponsors for corrals
  • dense, pedestrian-heavy areas with limited parking or sidewalk area are ideal locations for corral placement
  • most corrals necessitate two parking spaces for clearance and visibility reasons

Taking these lessons into consideration, we went back to the drawing board again for our next corral order, incorporating both user and safety considerations.

Phase 3

Our next phase will feature the custom Dero Cyclestall Elite, further modified with shorter side arms that allow for ample entry space. We’ve also ordered 5 corral extenders, allowing sponsors to select a longer version of the corral, expanding parking capacity from 14 spaces (as seen above these corrals can actually fit up to 18 bicycles) to 20 (24) spaces.  The additions fall within the two-parking space area, so the expanded corral does not require further parking impacts.

New Corrals await their future street!

Applying for a Bicycle Corral

We are currently looking for locations for our next corrals!  If you own a business or are part of a community organization that would like to sponsor a corral, check out our corral page, FAQs, and the corral application below.  All sponsors are required to sign a maintenance agreement with the City, where the partner agrees to keep the corral clean and clear of debris (corral placement restricts street sweeping).  Once a corral location is preliminarily reviewed and a maintenance agreement signed, the project enters engineering design, which at times reveals other complications or reasons a corral cannot be installed at that location.  If the project reaches design completion, the installation is coordinated by LADOT.

 

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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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Foursquare Page

The LADOT Bike Program has created our very own foursquare page that will allow you to interact with our bicycle corral facilities online and on your smartphone! Foursquare is a social networking application that allows users to keep up with friends, discover what’s near by, and save money by unlocking rewards and specials. We’re hoping to tap into the platform to encourage exploration of our city by bicycle. (more…)

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