Even though the car culture commandos have already attacked it, the city’s newest bike corral, in Larchmont Village, stands firm in its campaign to promote health, community, and local prosperity on one of LA’s most charming shopping streets. And not just for cyclists and the owners of the establishments they shop, work, or eat at….
No: when LADOT put this in, one of the corral’s functions would be, they said, to help shield pedestrians in the adjacent crosswalk from the depredations of impatient drivers—and it appears to have taken its knocks doing just that.
The corral could have been placed against the curb, but there was room to site it farther into the street (though not in the traffic lane), tastefully following the angle of the painted lines that were previously the only thing protecting walkers from those many motorists who choose to ignore the crosswalk itself, and the signs and flashing lights that ask them pretty-please not to kill the folks on foot. This is a spot where high-and-mighty drivers would actually swerve around a car that was stopped to let someone cross and zoom through the pedestrian zone heedless of their unmechanized fellows.
Apparently they’re still trying that deadly trick, as first the caution sign protecting the corral, and then the corral itself, were recently rammed by cars. It’s been in place only a month or so.
Nevertheless, the corral, dents and all, was nearly full last Monday when I stopped in at the Village for a yoga class.
I snapped some pix of the noble sentinel and sent them in to LADOT, who said that they had spare parts and would get on the repair right away.
I suggested adding a bollard—one of those heavy-gauge steel pipes set into the asphalt and filled with concrete, such as are used keep drivers from ramming their cars into corner storefronts, which they also do with an appalling lack of self-control. Haven’t heard back on that yet, but it’s good to know that the corral will be tended to, and will keep attracting more customers and neighbors to the friendly little block—and help keep them alive.