Tag Archive for bike valet

Morning Links: Wasted CD1 traffic safety meeting, and Daily News columnist displays his indignorance

So much for that.

Recently, it was announced that CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo would host a town hall to discuss traffic safety in conjunction with the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council.

Despite briefly raising hopes that Road Kill Gil had, like Scrooge on Christmas morning, turned over a new leaf after getting the message of the recent election he nearly lost, nothing appears to have changed.

And despite the promise of the flier promoting the event, bicycles weren’t even discussed.

Here’s what CD1 resident and BikinginLA contributor Harv had to say about the meeting.

Just move along, nothing to see here.

I attended the subject Town Hall meeting last night at Ramona Hall in Highland Park.

Absolutely nothing there of interest to us. The main speaker (from LADOT) even made it a point to say that bike infrastructure would not be discussed at all, because someone might object to the very idea of bikes on the road. So what ensued was a very general discussion of what Vision Zero was intended to be, although no specific plans were proffered. When asked by an attendee about the existing street safety designs for North Figueroa that were completed several years ago, the speaker acknowledged that project but offered no input as to updates or status.

Following were general discussions on how to safely use the Metro rail system and some pedestrian issues. Pedestrian infrastructure would include crosswalks, bulb-outs, and lights. No discussion of the real problem for peds; car drivers just don’t want to yield to them, regardless of lights, stripes, or signage.

A waste of time IMO. At least I had a very pleasant evening bike ride.


Apparently, the angry have the full support of the uninformed when it comes to the recent road reconfigurations in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey.

Writing for the Daily News, KABC radio personality Doug McIntyre seems only too happy to demonstrate his near total lack of understanding of road diets, Vision Zero and traffic planning in defense of maintaining automotive hegemony on LA streets.

And the rights of angry commuters to keep speeding through the city, and putting innocent lives at risk.

(Councilmember) Bonin has embraced Mayor Garcetti’s utopian “Vision Zero” plan, purportedly to eliminate all traffic deaths in L.A. by 2025. At least that’s how it’s being spun. The real purpose is the elimination of the private automobile as a viable means of transportation in Los Angeles.

Traffic planners and the politicians who employ them have created some wonderfully Orwellian gibber-jabber to sell gridlock to commuters. Rather than “bottleneck” and “parking lot” they talk of “traffic calming” and “road diets,” assuming everyone in Los Angeles is a sucker for the latest diet.

Actually, the only thing necessary to eliminate the private automobile as a viable means of transportation is to continue on the same exclusively auto-centric path the city has pursued for the last 60-plus years.

Without viable alternatives, traffic will simply grind to a halt as the city’s population climbs and more vehicles compete for the same amount of space.

Installing safe bike lanes may not get people like McIntyre out of his car, but it could encourage other people to get out and ride when they can, taking more cars off the streets so he can zoom zoom to his heart’s content.

He goes on to spout more uninformed bile, while attempting to paint himself as less of an indignorant* and hopelessly auto-centric troglodyte than his own words make him seem.

Residents and commuters passing through Mar Vista and Vista del Mar are now sentenced to longer commutes, with more CO2 being released into the atmosphere and more on the way. “Vision Zero” is only one city plan to punish drivers and force them out of their cars and onto nonexistent public transportation. The “Great Street” initiative and “Mobility Plan 2035” will similarly remove lanes for automobiles to make driving so onerous, Angelinos will spring for Spandex and pedal 20 or 30 miles each way to work in 100 degree heat.

For the record, I am a passionate supporter of public transportation. I endorsed Measure M so the city of Los Angeles would have the funds to accelerate construction of a world-class light-rail system to give us a viable alternative to stuffing more cars onto our already over-stuffed roads. But what’s happening on Venice Boulevard, Pershing Drive and Culver in Mar Vista is a war on drivers who are simply trying to go to work and drop off their kids at school. They’re being treated like villains by the people elected to improve the quality of their lives, not harass them.

Before he wastes any more time attempting to misinform the public and arouse even more misplaced anger than is already out there, he could take a few minutes to find out what the hell he’s talking about first.

Or maybe we could find a few middle school kids to explain it to him.

Because right now, he doesn’t have a clue.

*Combination of indignant and ignorant. Which seems pretty apt in this case.


If you need an example of just how far windshield bias has penetrated our society, consider this response to a tweet calling for a bike valet at Dodger Stadium.

Never mind that you can fit a dozen bikes in the space it takes to park one car. Or that every person who bikes to the game represents a car that isn’t contributing to that congestion.

But Todd Munson answered it best, with a 2016 video showing just how easy and non-congesting it is to bike to Dodger Stadium.

Now if they’d just do something about that bike valet to encourage more people to try it.


If you still haven’t watched this weekend’s road national championships, skip the next part.

Still with us? Okay.

Larry Warbasse is your new men’s national road champ, while Joey Rosskopf won the time trial; Amber Neben swept the women’s title.

Atascadero’s Brian Lucido won this year’s edition of the 2,700-mile Tour Divide.

A first-time competitor from Iowa was the first woman across the finish line for RAAM, finishing eighth overall, while a pair of Indian physicians became the first solo riders from that country. You can find full results here.

Welsh cyclist Geraint Thomas says he’s ready for this weekend’s start of the Tour de France, after he was knocked out of the Giro in a crash with a police bike.



Sad news from LA’s Florence neighborhood, where a man on a bike was the innocent victim of a fatal drive-by shooting apparently aimed at the occupants of two cars who were arguing following a crash.

Streetsblog reports Metro voted to replace the outdated Level of Service (LOS) metric with Vehicle Miles Traveled, or VMT, which measures other forms of transportation in addition to private cars, including buses and bicycles. And congrats to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton on a most alliterative headline.

The Los Angeles Fire Department rescued a mountain biker who suffered a broken leg on a remote trail in the Santa Monica Mountains above Tarzana Sunday morning.

Boyonabike celebrates the long-needed road diet and bike lanes designed to improve safety on Sierra Madre Villa in Pasadena.



San Diego cyclists are trading in their spandex for mountain bikes. One rider said mountain biking is the new golf, which would make it the new new golf, since road cycling was the old new golf.

The Newbury Park Bicycle Shop caught a bike thief red-handed on security cam. Or maybe red-headed, in this case. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.



A writer for a Grand Junction, CO paper insists no one commutes by bicycle to annoy motorists. No, really, it’s just an added benefit.

After a Montana driver stops just long enough to scold the bike rider she hit and ask if he had any broken bones, a Good Samaritan drives him to school and takes his bike in to be fixed.

A Texas writer suggests the $14.5 million spent on a new bike bridge may have been wasted, because he only saw 12 bicyclists use it over a three hour period. Never mind that it just opened and most bike riders probably don’t even know it exists yet; if they judged newly opened highways by that standard, none would ever get built.

The victim of a Texas hit-and-run wants the driver who ran him down to face consequences. Pretty much like every hit-and-run victim, everywhere. Thanks to Steve Katz for the link.

Even in Iowa, bike riders are concerned with the dangers of distracted drivers.

The war on bikes goes on, as two Wisconsin teens were arrested for striking a passing bike rider in the face, apparently just for the hell of it.

A Minnesota writer says nothing can replace the intimate and meditative feeling he gets from biking.

Detroit bicyclists ride to raise funds for a Jewish community center in Krakow, Poland, and take a tour of Catholic churches in the city.

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the walking human scum — and I use the term advisedly — who tied a dog to a bike and forced it to run, then beat it severely and left it to dead. I’d gladly volunteer to return the favor if they catch the people who did it. But I suspect it would be a very long line.

New York officials say Vision Zero is saving lives, but more needs to be done.



Winnipeg, Canada bicyclists say they need more than just room to breathe.

Toronto residents back controversial bike lanes on major street by 69%; meanwhile, 81% of people in the city support slower speed limits for safer streets.

The English city of Southampton will invest the equivalent of nearly $32 million in bicycling facilities, with the goal of increasing bicycle mode share to 15% by 2025.

A Scottish woman who’s been on a solo ride around the world for the last two years was mugged while riding in Brazil, losing her camera equipment.

A bighearted Scottish model will ride nearly 1,000 miles across the length of the UK to help send an optician and dentist to treat children in Cape Verde, Africa.

The Irish Times calls for a greater investment in bike infrastructure to protect bicyclists, but insists it’s up to riders to wear hi-viz and strictly observe the rules of the road.

A Kenyon newspaper talks with a triathlete whose life changed when he was hit by a car, paralyzing his right arm and dashing his Olympic dreams.

No bias here. According to an Aussie TV commentator we’re all mongrels who don’t pay registration fees, and should be banned from the roads entirely.

A Brisbane, Australia woman says riding a bike there is pretty much like riding in the US or UK, and worse than the Netherlands.

A Singapore paper talks to people who ride bikes to find out why the trend is picking up speed on the island nation.



Now your ebike could shake just like your car’s brake pedal does when you brake hard. We may have to contend with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to dodge bear attacks. Or wild boars, for that matter.

And no, a six-year old boy riding with training wheels was not drunk when he was killed by a distracted driver. Despite what authorities claimed.


Westfield Century City wants your business. And they have the free bike valet to prove it.

Westfield Bike ValetFinally, someone gets it.

Instead of fighting to keep bike lanes and the bicyclists who use them from besmirching their businesses — as merchants on North Figueroa and York Blvd in Northeast LA have done lately — Westfield Century City is throwing open the doors for people on bikes.

The Westside shopping center, which sits at the eastern terminus of one of the city’s most popular bike lanes, wants your business.

No, they really want your business.

As I hinted yesterday, the busy mall is planning a new Bike Station, which will be the first in the city of Los Angeles. And just the second to be found north of Long Beach, following the highly successful Santa Monica Bike Centers.

Now Westfield’s Assistant General Manager Louis Schillace tells me they’re offering a free bike valet service. In fact, it’s already open, with the first signs going up along the eastbound Santa Monica Blvd bike lane on Tuesday.

Just ride up to the valet station at the front of the shopping center anytime between 10 am and 11 pm, and the Valet Ambassadors will issue you a ticket and lock your bike in a secure storage area while you shop, take in a movie or just hang out for awhile.

And did I mention it’s free?

Particularly nice now that they charge motorists a minimum of $1 for parking — which rises dramatically after three hours.

And which doesn’t seem to have done anything to diminish the demand for parking, as both levels of the upscale mall’s massive parking lots are often full.

As someone who’s lived in the area almost as long as I’ve been in Los Angeles, I used to avoid driving to the mall from Thanksgiving to New Years, when the holiday shopping frenzy meant long waits and endless circling for one of the few available parking spaces.

Now the popularity of Westfield Century City’s stores and restaurants, combined with one of the city’s busiest movie theaters, means that parking backlog exists year round, on most evenings and every weekend.

Bike Valet SignWhich is probably why their parking valet is always packed. And why they’re building a new 500-space parking garage next to Gelson’s and the aforementioned AMC Theaters.

But unlike most malls in auto-centric LA, they get it.

They understand that bikes mean business. And that giving people an opportunity to get out of their cars and ride to Pink Taco, the Apple Store or the latest Hollywood blockbuster on a typically perfect SoCal day means fewer cars clogging those parking lots and the streets leading up to them.

And that replacing their old, hidden wheel bender racks with safe, secure and convenient bike parking is the best way to entice us to open our wallets.

Meanwhile, the free — and yes, I can’t seem to mention that enough — bike valet is only the beginning.

In the near future, what Schillace assures me will be a state-of-the-art bicycle facility will provide an even better option for local riders.

The Bike Lockers will be in our secure valet area and heavily monitored. There will be access control to ensure the safety of the bikes. We will have male and female changing rooms with showers available for people who bike to the center and wish to freshen up.

Sounds perfect for people who commute to work in Century City. And once again, the plan is for the lockers to be free, though that may change depending on demand.

I can live with that.

I’m usually not one to recommend going to a mall. Let alone actually shopping in one.

But I’d love to see their bike valet swamped with bicycles this weekend, and every weekend to come. Along with an uptick in business to confirm they made the right choice.

And encourage other LA businesses to follow their example.

And while you’re there, be sure to stop at the concierge booth or mall offices and say thanks.


On the other hand, one of LA’s leading landmarks could stand to show some serious improvement.

Bike advocate Niall Huffman rode to the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday for a show featuring, as he put it, “badass Mexican guitarists Rodrigo y Gabriela along with DeVotchka and Lord Huron.” But when it came time to park his bike, he found the situation sadly lacking.

Leading to this email to the Bowl’s management.

To whom it may concern:

I strongly encourage the Hollywood Bowl to re-evaluate how it accommodates the parking needs of patrons who choose to arrive by bicycle. I recently rode my bike to an event, and found the designated “bike parking” (i.e., a railing around a tree next to the Main Gate) to be a joke. By the time I arrived 15 minutes before showtime, the entire outside of the railing was occupied by locked bikes, and I had to hoist my bike and clamber over the railing in order to find a space to lock up. Because the height of the railing interfered with my handlebars, it took me several minutes to figure out how to move the frame of my bicycle close enough to the railing to be able to lock it securely. A picture I took of the designated bike parking area — overflowing with locked bikes — may be viewed at http://goo.gl/7cFVA.

Hollywood Bowl bike parking

I found the whole experience to be undignified and unworthy of the Bowl’s reputation as a world-class live music venue. Beyond this, I am disappointed that the Bowl’s management has yet to see the wisdom of making arriving by bicycle a more convenient experience. Bicycles, after all, take up much less space than automobiles and do not contribute to the pre- and post-event congestion on surrounding streets for which the Bowl has become famous. In a time when the City of Los Angeles is seeking to encourage public transit, bicycling and walking as alternatives to sitting in traffic and making significant investments in improvements for users of these modes, the failure of large destinations like the Bowl to accommodate bicyclists at the end of their trips is holding back the achievement of this worthy policy goal.

This is all very frustrating because it would be remarkably easy for the Bowl to support the proper parking and locking of bicycles. Properly designed bicycle parking can accommodate 8 to 12 bikes in the space it would take to park one car, and standard U-shaped racks accommodating two bikes each can be bought and installed for around $100-200 apiece. Surely there is space somewhere on the Bowl’s property and in its budget for a few dozen of these racks.

If you require more information about how to provide proper bicycle parking, I recommend consulting the Association of Bicycle and Pedestrian Professionals’ “Bicycle Parking Guidelines” (available at http://goo.gl/k3KOl), which contains standards for the shape, spacing and siting of bike racks. It would also be a good idea to review the Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s guidelines for bike parking (http://goo.gl/vXOBY). It is key that any new bike racks allow for the frame — not just the wheel — of the bicycle to be locked, and that they not require the bicycle to be lifted off the ground.

It is my sincere hope that the management of the Bowl take this problem seriously and work in good faith to address it. I look forward to many more years of riding my bike to events and being treated with the same respect and dignity as any other Bowl patron.

Niall offered the following update on Tuesday:

UPDATE (7/16/13 5:19 pm): I’m told the Bowl provides a sweet bike rack to its employees and that there’s at least one bike commuter in their marketing department who’s working on improving the bike parking for event patrons, including discussing the possibility of having the LA County Bicycle Coalition coordinate a bike valet. Good to hear things may be getting better!


On a sadder subject, I’ve gotten a report that another bicyclist has died in Pasadena. However, I haven’t been able to get any confirmation yet; let’s hope it’s not true. And offer a few prayers just in case.