Monday, June 07, 2010

Trader Joe’s sets a TOD Standard - Bike Parking!



It’s been a little more than three weeks since Enci sent the tweet heralding the arrival of Trader Joe’s in Hollywood but lamenting the fact that it would be sans Bike Racks. The Tweeps responded, the news spread through the Facebook crowd, and Trader Joe’s started getting phone calls. Lots of them.

It would seem that convenient, safe, and effective Bike Parking would be the norm, not the exception but such was not the case and so the battle unfolded, with Enci calling for a boycott and Trader Joe’s playing dumb.

Trader Joe’s, like any large company, organization, bureaucracy, has mad skills in the fine art of the “Anyone but me!” line of defense when dealing with the public, the customer, the stakeholder, the reason for their existence. They went to work.

They started by blaming their failure to provide Bike Racks on the City of LA, claiming that it required a permit and that it would be completely inappropriate to put bike racks on Vine, in front of the building. I pointed out that it was not true.

They then shifted the responsibility to their Landlord, Legacy Partners, saying that it was the developers responsibility to put in Bike Racks, not theirs. I again pointed out that it was not true.

I spoke to Legacy Partners, attempting to remove any obstacles, and was informed that Bike Racks on the street would be a problem for aesthetic reasons. I pointed out that the building would look a lot nicer if it was surrounded by people, bikes, signs of life! Legacy then changed tack, claiming that their Development Agreement with the Metro and the CRA forbid Bike Racks. I pointed out that it was not true.

I spoke to the Metro, they had no prohibition against Bike Racks and unfortunately, they also had no requirement in the Development Agreement for Bike Racks.

I spoke to the CRA, they had no prohibition against Bike Racks and, again unfortunately, they had no requirement in the Development Agreement for Bike Racks.

I spoke to LA’s City Council President Eric Garcetti, pointing out that LA’s largest Transit Oriented Development opened with no Bike Racks, all in violation of LAMC 12.21-A16. He smiled and said that they had a great plan for centralized bike parking somewhere else on the W Hollywood’s four and half acre lot. I pointed out that it was not true.

Somehow LA’s largest Transit Oriented Development made it all the way to the finish line with no Bike Parking standard in place for tenants, even though the City of LA requires it.

Somehow the Metro, the CRA, the City of LA, Gatehouse Capital and Legacy Partners are able to put Federal, State, County, City money to work developing the neighborhood, yet do it with complete contempt for the people who don’t arrive in a motor vehicle.

It’s been two weeks since the TJ’s in Hollywood opened, it’s been two days since Director of Construction installed the Bike Racks. They look great and they are a victory for a few reasons.

*We’ve got Bike Racks and can lift the boycott! Now we can shop at Trader Joe’s!

*We’ve established a Bike Parking standard for the Trader Joe’s Corporation! No Wave or Wheelbender Bike Racks, simple inverted-U racks that are properly installed and spaced and protected and accessible and visible and convenient and effective. This is the Bike Rack Standard for Trader Joe’s.

*We’ve established a Bike Parking standard for the Metro and for the CRA. Transit Oriented Development must have a Bike Parking standard for the project as a whole and for the tenants. Centralized Bike Parking is a non-starter, a figment of Garcetti’s imagination, implausible, unacceptable, a simple violation of the “convenient and practical” rule that governs design.

*We’ve established a Bike Parking standard for the neighborhood.

This is not the first time Enci has tangled with the City or with Property Managers over Bike Parking. There was the City National Plaza and their threat to impound bikes, there was the Museum Square incident that saw her bike booted and there was the successful Bike Rack campaign at LAPD Headquarters.




From the Los Angeles Municipal Code: (LAMC 12.21-A. 16)

16. Bicycle Parking and Shower Facilities. (Added by Ord. No. 167,409, Eff. 12/19/91.) Off-street parking spaces for bicycles and facilities for employee showers and lockers shall be provided as follows:

(a) In the C and M zones, for any building, portion thereof or addition thereto used for non-residential purposes which contains a floor area in excess of 10,000 square feet, bicycle parking spaces shall be provided at the rate of two percent of the number of automobile parking spaces required by this section for such non-residential uses; provided, however, that at least one bicycle parking space shall be provided for any such building having a floor area in excess of 10,000 square feet of non-residential use. If the calculation of the number of required spaces under this paragraph results in a number including a fraction, the next highest whole number shall be the number of spaces required.

(b) The bicycle parking space requirements in Paragraph (a) shall also apply to any building, regardless of zone, owned by the City of Los Angeles and used by the City for government purposes which contains a floor area in excess of 10,000 square feet.

(c) All bicycle parking spaces required by this Subdivision shall include a stationary parking device which adequately supports the bicycle. In addition, at least half of the bicycle parking spaces shall include a stationary parking device which securely locks the bicycle without the use of a user-supplied cable or chain. Devices which hold the bicycle upright by wheel contact must hold at least 180 degrees of wheel arc.

(d) Each bicycle parking space shall be a minimum of two feet in width and six feet in length and shall have a minimum of six feet of overhead clearance.

(e) Bicycle parking spaces shall be located no farther than the distance from a main entrance of the building to the nearest off-street automobile parking space.

(f) Bicycle parking spaces shall be separated from automobile parking spaces or aisles by a wall, fence, or curb or by at least five feet of open space marked to prohibit parking.

(g) Aisles providing access to bicycle parking spaces shall be at least five feet in width.

(h) Signage which is clearly legible upon approach to every automobile entrance to the parking facility shall be displayed indicating the availability and location of bicycle parking.

(i) Showers and lockers shall be provided as required by Section 91.6307 of this Code. (Amended by Ord. No. 177,103, Eff. 12/18/05.)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Way to sock it to the jerks with their own law. In your face, dumb asses.

Heather said...

Thank you for taking care of the bike community.Trader Joes-Shame on YOU!

fixiefights said...

GREAT WORK! :D

Ms.Ding said...

Great job! Who did you work with at TJ at the corporate level? I'd love to know so that I can contact them. I'd say they have no corporate-wide standard or we wouldn't have the crappy grill racks at our local TJ stores.