It was way back in August of 2008 that LA Streetsblog posted a short film about bike parking amenities in Portland Oregon in a post entitled, “Corrals and Oases: Bike Parking in Portland” – but the gears have been turning here in LA since then.
Now, this parking corral is not government sponsored like the corrals in Portland. It also isn’t permanent – it gets set up whenever the Bike Oven, located two doors over from the Flying Pigeon LA shop, is open and taken in when the Oven closes. Yet, an on-street bike parking corral it most definitely is.
The whole thing takes up, at most, one half of one car parking space. The idea to put this in the street arose at a recent Bike Oven meeting when several folks that run the Oven commented that all the bikes they pulled out of the shop, plus all the bikes that the mechanics rode, plus all the patron’s bikes, clogged up the sidewalk considerably. Why, it was getting to the point that the elotero (corn on the cob vendor) couldn’t make it around the pile of people and bikes, and moms were walking their strollers off the curb into the street just to avoid the hassle!
Things are flowing much smoother now that the corral is in use, and Streetsblog LA deserves a tip o’ the hat, as does the entire City of Portland, and the Streetsfilms crew that put the short film that inspired this together.
Now, if only we could get the gubmint around here to embrace what the locals are already doing! It’s taken 5 years of campaigning for things like a sharrow pilot project – and we’re still waiting on that one.
[UPDATE on 11/28/2009: It was the Bike Oven's own Ramon Martinez who came up with the idea for this. He is also known as the "The Man Who Brought the (Bike) Plan to NELA".]