LA’s First Official Bike Corral coming to Cafe de Leche

Matt Schodorf's rendering of Cafe de Leche's bike corral.

Matt Schodorf's rendering of proposed Cafe de Leche's bike corral.

According to the Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch:

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation will cut the ribbon on the city’s first bike corral on Friday, February 18 at 9 a.m. in front of Cafe de Leche at the intersection of York Blvd. and Ave. 50.

The inspiration for the bike corral at Avenue 50 and York Blvd was captured in an article written by Joe Linton and Ramon Martinez for LA Streetblog:

Matt Schodorf is a bicyclist and a small businesses owner. He and his wife own Cafe de Leche – a coffee shop at the corner of Avenue 50 and York Boulevard in Highland Park. York Boulevard, a former streetcar right-of-way, features old-school Main Street type buildings – very walkable with very little car parking. Schodorf noticed that many Cafe de Leche customers (and staff) arrive by bike and by foot. He got the city (LADOT) to install three of their standard inverted-U bike parking racks. Those racks fill up, with both bikes and dog leashes, so Schodorf kept thinking about how to increase the supply of local bicycle parking.

Matt’s brother, Marc Schodorf, a car-free New Yorker, introduced Matt to Streetsblog. Matt learned about bike corrals from this Streetfilms video. Further internet research showed internet images of a bike corral in front of a Stumptown coffee shop in Portland Oregon.

Since being proposed in early 2010, the bike corral at Cafe de Leche has been tied up in a bizarre, ritualistic, ceremony of interdepartmental blaming and worry.

Finally, it was decided by the City that the owners of Cafe de Leche should pay $7,000 for a piece of public furniture, being installed by public employees, on public property, to benefit all the businesses near the corner of Avenue 50 and York Blvd.

“Thanks for the good idea Cafe de Leche! Now pony up some cash.”

In either case, the corral is set to go in, and we can finally start to measure, in Los Angeles, the benefits of fitting 12 10 customers in the space of one car. According to Richard Risembergs “Bucking the Cycle“, bike corrals and traffic calming help grow retail foot traffic and goose sales in the urban core of cities – something we hope will happen at this intersection in North East Los Angeles.

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