There was a surprise bike corral installation Wednesday, December 10, at 10:30AM, on Larchmont Blvd near Hancock Park!
A few weeks ago the LADOT’s Elizabeth Gallardo, whom I had been hounding about Larchmont for months, emailed me and said that there was a “spare” bike corral in stock, and would I like to do the legwork with Larchmont merchants to prepare an application. That meant finding a “sponsor” (who would agree to keep the corral clean) and asking other nearby merchants to sign letters of support for the corral. It also meant finding a place to put it, so I spent a day traipsing around the charming little one-block shopping street in search of a “non-controversial” spot for the thing. I found a large area of street between the angle parking and the curb cut to a surface lot that was painted off-limits to cars but was otherwise completely unused. In fact, as Ms. Gallardo noted this morning, a corral in this spot will also protect pedestrians in the adjacent crosswalk from the inevitable scofflaw drivers who swerve around those motorists polite enough to stop for walkers.
I went straight to Village Wine, Spirits, and Cheese, one of whose owners, Simon, commutes to work by bike, pitched the corral to him (he needed no convincing), and hooked him up with a number of other bike-friendly businesses on the street for the required approvals. The Above the Fold newsstand, Burger Lounge, and Go Get ‘Em, Tiger coffeehouse were among the ones signing on.
Ms. Gallardo, who was my contact for the project, emailed me a few weeks later saying that all was good and that the corral would be installed by early 2015. Then, a few days ago, I received a surprise email revealing that it would be installed this week!
And as you can see, it was….
Simon and the wine shop (which also serves some of the best sandwiches in the city) have gone one step farther and agreed to sponsor a public bike repair stand near the corral. More on that when I have details.
Local cyclists kept doing double-takes as they passed by the shiny new corral, and folks started using it even before the installer was done drilling, grinding, and bolting. So pedal your butt over to Larchmont and join ’em. We lost thirty-three bike racks there a short while ago; now we’re getting a few of them back.
Park this one full, laddies and ladies, so the merchants will support us when we ask for another one across the street!