Local council member José Huizar gave a very nice speech, in which, besides all the usual civic boilerplate, he noted that plans were afoot to install thirty more corrals ASAP, and that he fervently hoped LA would soon be the "largest bike friendly city in America"--a construction inspired by little Long Beach's claim to be the "most bike friendly city" in the US.
I myself rode to Hel-Mel to meet up with the LACBC contingent and LADOT's Chris Kidd (first photo), and we had a sweet ride following Colin Bogard along a meander of back streets through East Hollywood, Silverlake, Atwater, and Highland Park to the site of the festivities.
The corral is in front of Café de Leche, one of the friendliest coffeehouses I've ever visited (and one that has damned good brew as well); owner Matt Schodorf and his wife were primary sponsors of the corral, and have volunteered to take on the cleaning and maintenance thereof.
LADOT acting boss Amir Sedadi pointed out that the corral cost less than $4,000, while a similar car slot costs up to $30,000 to build; Joe Linton stepped up to clarify that (as the corral occupies a car space), the corral accommodates ten bikes and so parks far more people than the same space can when dedicated to private cars.
In other words, bike parking brings more people to an area by allowing them to arrive in smaller vehicles. Since even in the US most car trips (around 60%) are under five miles, and nearly half (40%) are under two miles, it really doesn't make sense to use cars for them.
So I'm glad to see that LA is finally starting to make sense.
It's nice to have a choice in travel modes, and not be coerced into driving by unconsidered infrastructure.
Okay, some pix:
At Hel-mel, getting ready to go--Chris Kidd, Alexis Lantz, Colin Bogard, and Carol Feucht
Owners of Café de Leche
Josef of Flying Pigeon LA--tireless advocate for bikes and community.
Come and get it!
And there's a few more on the Bicycle Fixation Flickr site.