New SoFi Stadium removes free bike lockers, ebikes beat carbon capture, and let’s hope Donald Shoup never changes

Did LA’s SoFi Stadium install bike lockers just to qualify for sustainability certification?

That’s the charge in an email I received recently, from a whistleblower who prefers to remain anonymous.

The gist of my story is basically the subject line – SoFi Stadium used to have 44 awesome free bike lockers. They are gone now, and after stirring the Reddit pot, I believe they were installed to get LEED points, and are now in the way of profitability.

Meanwhile, this was posted by Reddit user germanisette last week.

SoFi Stadium removed all their free bike lockers

First time I went to SoFi, I took my bike there. I was so excited to find that they have free bike lockers! I’ve been linking to my post every time someone asked how best to get to SoFi.

Yesterday I went again, and all the bike lockers were gone as confirmed by security. There I was, with my $3 bike lock, a helmet, a safety vest, and other stuff I didn’t want to bring inside, with no place to store them safely. The security people for the concert were about as helpful as airport TSA, and they directed me to lock my bike in the (unattended) parking lot. Thankfully George Clinton fans didn’t have enough criminal energy to steal anything.

But! I am so angry that SoFi did this. I bet they were either required to provide for alternative transportation, or maybe they collected some kind of “green energy” reward. There is no way they voluntarily installed the bike lockers in the first place since SoFi obviously wants people to pay for parking.

I contacted them to let them know that I was not happy, and I am sure they will lose a great deal of sleep over my complaint form. However, I really would like to find out if they can legally do this. If they were required to install them, or there was a financial incentive for providing sustainable transportation, I want to contact the appropriate agency so that they can look into it. Any ideas who I could contact? Any cycling advocacy organizations that have more experience with these things? I realize I’m quite possibly just wasting my time, but I feel rather passionate about bike infrastructure and climate change and I’m willing to take that risk. I just want to be as effective as possible, therefore looking for who best to contact if anyone has any insight or suggestions.

EDIT: Two people mentioned sustainability/LEED certifications, and that bike lockers could possibly be used to achieve a certain standard. SoFi Stadium was just certified gold in February 2022 and my inclination is that the bike lockers were removed afterward.

The LEED certification program is internationally recognized as the gold standard for energy efficient and sustainable buildings.

However, the SoFi Stadium website doesn’t mention LEED, instead noting that it was awarded ISO 20121:2012 Event Sustainability Management System certification earlier this year, the second NFL stadium to achieve that recognition.

A YouTube video posted by hoohoohoblin confirms that the bike lockers have been removed, instead requiring bike riders to use open-air racks that aren’t even bolted to the ground.

Not exactly secure. Let alone providing no way to secure other items you might not want, or be allowed, to take into a concert or a game.

Here’s all the stadium website has to say about bike parking.

SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park encourage guests attending events to take alternate modes of transportation. In order to support alternate modes of transportation SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park has bike parking locations available throughout the district. Please be sure to bring your own lock to secure your bicycle.

Unattended bicycles that impede pedestrian or vehicular circulation are subject to removal and/or relocation. SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park and/or its agents shall not be responsible for fire, theft, damage or loss to bicycles or any other articles left in or on the same.

No mention of bike lockers.

So the question is why they were removed, let alone why were they even installed if they were going to be ripped out in less than a year.

It’s possible that the Redditors’ speculation is correct, and the lockers were removed once the stadium achieved its certification.

But my guess is far more mundane.

I suspect that SoFi’s bike lockers were subject to the same vandalism and theft that plagues bike lockers everywhere. And that they were removed because it simply wasn’t cost effective to maintain them.

But it would be good to hear from someone at the stadium to explain what happened. And what they’re going to do to provide secure bike parking.

At the very least, they could offer a free bike valet. Or work with Metro or some other provider to install a new Bike Hub.

Because those loose, free-standing racks ain’t gonna cut it.

Photo by Mitchell Luo from Pexels.

………

Bad Mom Good Mom takes a deep dive into the relative carbon savings of ebikes versus Direct Air Capture.

After a lot of calculations well beyond my English major ken, she concludes that ebikes win going away. And that Denver’s modest ebike rebate program makes it the most successful existing CO2 removal program in the US.

Now that I can understand.

………

Same sweater, same beard, different bike.

………

Our old friend Zachary Rynew, aka Mr. Ciclavalley, calls this “Definitely one of the funnest sections of dirt in LA!”

And who doesn’t love fun dirt?

………

If you’re going to test drive a massive new luxury SUV, you might as well drive it like real drivers do.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

A Portland TV station belatedly catches up to the news that a road raging driver flashed a gun at volunteers working at an open streets event. Something we mentioned here on Monday — and we’re a thousand miles away.

Talk about not getting it. A letter writer in the conservative Washington Times says Democrats have left themselves open to attacks for “pushing bike paths for the wealthy and ignoring the real needs of the working and middle classes,” apparently having not a clue who really rides bikes.

Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A Miami father driving home from a baseball game received a beatdown in front of his eight-year old son, when they were attacked, apparently unprovoked, by a couple dozen teenagers on a rideout; he escaped with cuts and bruises, as well as $5,000 damage to his SUV.

………

Local

Streets For All endorses Katy Yaroslavsky to replace termed out Paul Koretz in LA’s CD5, and Hugo Soto-Martinez over incumbent Mitch O’Farrell in CD13.

Streetsblog reports on yesterday’s rejection of the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure, as the city council voted unanimously to place it on the 2024 ballot instead of adopting it outright.

Congratulations, Virgil Ave. Time Out says you’re the world’s 13th coolest street, even if San Francisco’s Hayes Street comes in three notches higher.

The weekly Beverly Press looks back at Sunday’s Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia.

Want to work in advocacy? The LACBC’s later newsletter includes job openings with CicLAvia, Streets Are For Everyone, and Active SGV.

 

State 

CARB, California’s statewide ebike rebate program, has finally chosen an administrator for the program that was originally supposed to begin last month, but is now expected to start next January.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker says California has banned the sale of gas cars after 2035; now it needs a plan for fewer cars.

A group of Santa Barbara community activists are planning to protest plans for a new bike path that will require the removal of up to 49 trees.

An experienced San Francisco triathlete was seriously injured when he hit a bump caused by construction work; local residents say he’s far from the first.

Closing arguments are expected Monday in the DUI murder trial of a 31-year old Fairfield man, who’s charged with killing a 52-year old man riding a bike last October; his BAC was just .04% — half the legal limit — but he was required to avoid alcohol entirely while on probation for a previous conviction.

 

National

Trek has recalled their Bontrager Aeolus RSL VR-C carbon handlebars and stems, as well as the 2022 Speed Concept SLR and MY 2021-2022 Emonda SLR bicycles using them, due to a risk of cracks.

Gear Patrol looks at the “13 best ebikes you can buy today,” starting at just $899 for a Rad Power hybrid.

A Portland lawyer says yes, it’s legal to have a bicycle funeral procession in Oregon.

A pair of Seattle bike riders are suing the city after they were seriously injured on streetcar tracks in the middle of the roadway, calling them a recipe for disaster.

Denver pedicab drivers have been banned from the city’s iconic 16th Street Mall, which is getting a much-needed makeover.

An Oklahoma man is coming back to finish the ride, three years after he was run down by a semi driver while preparing for the state’s Hotter’n Hell Hundred Ride

Chicago bike riders say new painted bike lanes on a newly resurfaced street are nice, but they don’t extend far enough.

A Minnesota town is ripping out all its bike lanes and replacing them with sharrows, after discovering their streets did not meet the state minimum for lane widths. Because God forbid they should take out the parking, instead.

South Bend, Indiana police arrested a 47-year old man for the hit-and-run death of a retired parish priest as he was riding his bike Monday night.

More Boston families are ditching the SUV and turning to cargo bikes to ferry the kids to school.

A late Buffalo NY bank president’s bicycle now hangs in the lobby of an office tower, to honor his commitment to lead by example by biking to work.

Bad news from New York, where a 67-year old man was critically injured when he was run down by a younger bike rider while standing next to his bike on a Brooklyn bike path.

A 72-year old DC area man is now devoting his retirement to fixing bikes for Afghan refugees; he’s given away nearly 300 bicycles over the years, with around 40 going to Afghan families in the past year.

 

International

Ontario, Canada bicycling deaths spiked last year, jumping to eight from just two the previous year.

A London truck driver faces charges for the crash that seriously injured the husband of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief of staff while he was riding his bike last year.

Cycling Tips looks at the ongoing efforts to rescue women’s cyclists a year after the fall of Afghanistan, as Shannon Galpin has led the resettlement of 126 Afghan women bicyclists. You can contribute to her work through a crowdfunding campaign, which has raised over $11,500 of the $50,000 goal.

Philippine bike riders are calling for improvements to the country’s National Capital Region, after a survey shows bicycle owners outnumber people with cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Vuelta’s red leader’s jersey changed hands for the third time in three days on Thursday, as Aussie Jay Vine won the rain-soaked stage, while Remco Evenepoel took the lead.

Three-time defending champ Primož Roglič moved to just one minute behind the Evenepoel, but American cyclists dropped out of the top 25, with the exception of Sepp Kuss in 14th.

VeloNews examines the custom carbon “Frankenleg” prothesis that allows paracyclist Meg Fisher to compete at the highest levels, including the 26 hour, 247-mile LeadBoat Challenge.

Sad news from Belgium, where 1960’s pro cyclist Herman Vanspringel died at 79. Vanspringel finished second in the ’68 Tour de France, losing the race on the final day, along with a second-place finish in the Giro and a third in the Vuelta; he was also a seven-time winner of the Bordeaux-Paris classic.

 

Finally…

Recharge your ebike with a couple solar panels. Why leave your printing press at work when you can mount it on your bike and take it with you.

And that feeling when you suddenly realize you can ride a bike outside, for free.

And have more fun doing it.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

One comment

  1. Erik Mar says:

    RE: the removal of bike lockers at SoFi:
    It’s possible that the bike lockers were required by the City of Inglewood (assuming that the project was permitted by the City and not by another jurisdictional entity). In other jurisdictions, such as LA County, both long term bike parking ( lockers) and short term bike parking (racks) are required, in different proportions, but both of them some percentage of the overall car parking required. If that’s the case, the removal is totally illegal, and the City can not only force them to reinstall but can also fine the stadium.
    We don’t know if the stadium was ever certified at any LEED level. It was _targeting_ LEED Gold, which is the second highest level, and a little more “sustainable” than what California state building code would typically require just to comply and meet the code minimums. However, I couldn’t find anything saying that the facility ever was actually certified. (BTW, the link in the Reddit thread does _not_ discuss LEED certification, which is about building performance, but event management certification, which is about operations). If the lockers were installed in order to contribute to LEED credits, and for one reason or another, LEED certification could not be obtained, the management may have decided to take them out since they weren’t going to get certification anyway.
    As an aside, if this is the case, which seems plausible, it points out a long standing limitation of LEED and other voluntary sustainability metrics: they’re voluntary and not mandatory. Owners can choose to pursue them in order to lend a patina of sustainability to their projects, typically to appease the local community, but in the end, if the pressure to be more sustainable is removed (as it probably has been since the stadium opened and community activists moved on to other issues), the owners will just get rid of any sustainability measures that conflict with the profit imperative. Metrics like LEED are just a business expense, and if there’s the opportunity to cut that expense, that’s what will happen.

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