Bike Racks Invade “Lost Province”

For a long time, LA’s Chinatown has been a “Lost Province” to cyclists–an attractive and centrally-located destination with absolutely no–none, zero, zip–bike racks, or any other form of bike parking except meters (illegal to use for the purpose) and the odd pipe or iron fence.

I am glad to say that that has finally changed! As I rode through Chinatown yesterday, I saw that LADOT had finally installed a slew of sidewalk bike racks.

Not enough, I think, given the number of cyclists who ride not only to but through Chinatown–but the new racks will not only give dedicated visitors a place to lock their wheels; they might also entice folks who might otherwise just pedal on through to stop and try a restaurant, market, or shop.

And Chinatown-area residents who presently don’t want to walk to Chinatown and don’t want to pay bus fare or car parking–let alone spend half their time circling the crowded streets in search of parking–might just dust off their old bikes and pedal tranquilly down for a visit.

There are still no racks within the Central Plaza or West Plaza, which are apparently privately-owned and so not eligible for city racks. But it was my dedicated nagging of LADOT that got the present public racks put in, so I’ll now direct my attentions to finding out who does own the plazas, and I’ll try to lay out the benefits of giving a little love to cyclists–in exchange for a lot of business from our hungry brethren and sisthren.

After all, there are eleven parking lots or structures for cars–and that’s still not enough. But if you approached the matter wisely–say, put in a parking corral–you could park ten or twelve hungry, thirsty cyclists in the space of just one automobile.

A little more could do a lot more good.

Here are some photos I took the new parking racks. This isn’t all of them, but it gives you a good idea.

Sidewalk Bike Rack at Yang Chow

Chinatown Bike Racks

Chinatown Bike Racks

West Plaza in the Distance, Photographed from Entrance to Central Plaza

Time for Pho!

Not Just in Front of Restaurants

Car Parking, Bike Parking

So now, go out there and use these racks!

I’m getting hungry already….

If you want to have free sidewalk bike racks put in around your part of town, go to the LADOT’s Bicycle Parking Rack Request Form and fill it out. Give them your own name and number in case they want to talk with you. The “Name of Business” and “Street Address” are so they can know where to place the rack.

A hearty “Thank you!” to Oliver Hou of LADOT, who took charge of this project and saw it through.

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One Comment

  1. David
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Oliver! Thanks, Richard! Hop Woo? Pho 87? Excellent! (Not Mr. Burns ‘eeexcellent’, but Bill-and-Ted ‘excellent!’)

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