Ara Najarian, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Metro and the mayor of Glendale, wrote the following on the bike parking situation at the new transit-oriented development being built just west of downtown Los Angeles:
Last week’s groundbreaking of the Westlake/MacArthur Park joint development project was an important milestone. When completed a few years from now, it will provide much needed affordable housing for the neighborhood, connections to eight Metro Bus and two Metro Rail lines, business lease revenues that will help pay for transit operations, and new parking spaces for transit customers.
But no parking for bicyclists? How could this be? I asked the agency’s staff for a report on assertions that bicycle parking was not factored into Westlake/MacArthur Park development plans. Contrary to some blog reports, the fact is that bicycle parking will be included in this development and implemented in a manner that is most convenient and accessible to our bicycle customers.
I asked MTA staff to provide additional details on this development so the public has a clear understanding of what is and what is not planned as part of this development.
MTA staff reports that bicycle facilities for the public were always intended at the development. Bicycle parking for the public already exists on the portal. This project will be built in two phases, however. The first phase is planned one block east of the Westlake/MacArthur Park Red/Purple Line Station. The first phase of the project was not chosen as the preferred site for bicycle parking because it will be located one block away from the portal, which is not convenient for bicyclists who use the Metro system.
Phase 2 of the project is planned over the subway station itself. Bicycle parking was chosen to be designed into the second phase of the project, which provides bicyclists with the same convenient access to the Westlake/MacArthur Park subway portal and multiple bus lines serving the station. Both bicycle lockers and racks will be placed in a visible location.
MTA is, of course, a public agency, and as such, we want to have a constructive dialogue with the bicycle community on issues important to them. Help us decide where our focus should be for additional bike facilities.
I’m personally heartened that MTA has now established a quarterly series of Bicycle Roundtable meetings that provide the forum for public input on these and other bicycle-related issues within the agency’s purview. In fact, the next roundtable coming up May 12 will discuss bicycle parking issues.
I encourage everyone who cares about bicycling to attend these meetings. Working together, we can and will improve transit amenities for bicyclists throughout L.A. County.