More and more, people are riding bikes throughout the neighborhood and the surest sign of this is the growing number of families seen cycling for local trips. Haven’t noticed? See the below collection of photos… Continue reading →
“I think bicyclists can be good for businesses like mine. In fact, I would love to see how creative cyclists can be with carrying their purchases. I know in some countries, it’s quite a feat to carry large packages, boxes, etc. atop a bike.
(Less than a day after Walk Eagle Rock published an article titled “Galco’s and Bike Lanes“, John Nese of Galco’s published – what appears to be a response – on his business’ website, an article titled “Safety on York Boulevard“. We at here at Walk Eagle Rock feel safety is paramount and we would like to address Nese’s article, which actually extends beyond safety and discusses Nese’s opinion on bicycling in Highland Park more broadly. The following is part 1 of 2 a response addressing claims made in Nese’s article)
Nese opens his article stating:
“The new bike lanes on York Boulevard scare me. Not just as a business owner, but a resident of the area and a grandfather.
I see cars, as many as 1,200 an hour I’m told, rushing down the street and, with the introduction of these bike lanes, I am fearful that when they meet up with a two-wheeled biker, things won’t be pretty and with the bicyclist getting the short end of the stick.”
The article suggests that the newly extended bike lanes on York Boulevard could have a negative impact on business. In the article John Nese, the owner of Galco’s (located at 5702 York Boulevard, in front of the new bike lane) and the sole person interviewed, states the following:
“The bike lanes are nice, but they’re not good for business. You’re not gonna see anyone buying cases of soda pop or anything else sizable when they’re on a bicycle.”
I was rather surprised to read that quote from John Nese for several reasons.
First off, how can one evaluate the effects of a bike lane within mere days of its installation?
Eagle Rock is very proud to be home to the humble and increasingly well-known Occidental College, or Oxy as it is known among the college’s students and locals. The sign that welcomes people at our town’s eastern end, at the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Wiota Street, reads “Eagle Rock, Founded 1911. Home of Occidental College”. Every year when Occidental College starts the Fall semester a banner hangs at the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Eagle Rock Boulevard that welcomes Oxy students back to Eagle Rock. These are literally signs of the affection and positive relationship fostered between the College and Eagle Rock.
There is no doubt that Occidental College has had a positive impact on our community, and that Eagle Rock has been good to Oxy. Though perhaps Eagle Rock can be more welcoming to Occidental College, particularly to its students, and equally benefit to the community at large through ways that embody the messages we put on our welcome sign and the banner that hangs over our town’s major intersection.
While Eagle Rock has always been home to a handful of Oxy students, about 60% of the school’s students are not from California, which demonstrates quite clearly many students are seeing Eagle Rock for the first time. Eagle Rock being the lovely and cool neighborhood that it is is definitely worth exploring, but is our community accessible and inviting to the many car-free college students who’ve never been here before? Our residential streets are typically relaxing and nice to walk along, but unfortunately the same cannot be said of our car-centric commercial corridors– which is a shame because that’s where our local businesses are! But things can change, for the better.
However, while the general idea of improving safety through reducing speeding seems to have near unanimous support, there’s one notable conflict that emerges in almost all discussions of TBTB. All to often it seems neighbors break out into a “bike lanes vs car parking” debate, as though these are two ideas that can only work against each other. It appears to some as an either/or proposition: either we provide bike lanes, or we provide more car parking through converting parallel parking to angled parking, by reallocating superfluous travel lanes on Colorado and achieve the goal of reducing speeds.
Yesterday morning I received an email from my father, attached with photos of some new bicycle parking facilities in the city of Malmö– the cycling capital of Sweden. Previously he has sent me pictures of typical, everyday cycling in Malmö, which I shared in a post. This time it’s pictures of new bike corrals in central Malmö.
I often mention how much I enjoy Spitz, if not on this blog, on twitter, or in person. An excellent restaurant and considered ‘healthy fast food‘. I absolutely love ‘not unhappy hour’, the veg sandwich, and the streetcart fries. I also declared Spitz as the restaurant with the best outdoor seating in Eagle Rock. When I visited Eagle Rock last week Spitz renewed and secured their title as I discovered that they made their exterior more pleasant. Here are some pictures
Greater physical and visual separation from parked cars for a nicer dining experience
So this is a bit late, but I would like to highlight what I consider a relevant item to the Walk Eagle Rock audience.
From TERA Newsletter 11-13-10
Thank you TERA for taking resident concerns seriously and taking action. Getting bike racks in front of the Center for the Arts will be useful for future community meetings held there and the Eagle Rock Historical Society open archives, hosted most Saturdays mornings from 10:00-12:00.
Recently my father took some pictures of bike infrastructure in Malmo, Sweden at my request. Malmo, along with neighboring city Lund, has some of the highest cycling rates in all of Sweden. Both of these cities are close to a cycling city a little more well-known, Copenhagen
Here’s some of what is offered for cyclists in Malmo, courtesy of my father:
Tree lined bike path by the central station
Biking shirtless with sandals, probably came back from the beach.
Even at intersections cyclists have some separation from cars
Very pretty bike parking area
Some of the bike parking by central station.
Bike parking at night…
Cobblestone street reduces speed
Bike racks that keep bikes upright.
Tree lined bike path, separated from sidewalk and car lanes.
Walking path along the docks
While we see car access, parking-lots, stripmalls and the like as normal parts of city life – after all, we live in LA – this is not necessary. This kind of streetscape and bike mode-share can happen anywhere.