Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and the Department of Transportation (LADOT) hammered the last bolt into the cement and officially installed a brand new bike repair station, the first of only four in the City, on Monday morning in Silver Lake.
The repair station, which features a bike pump, bike repair rack, and tools for public use, is located at Polka Dot Plaza off Sunset Boulevard. LADOT, with the help of the City’s General Services department also installed new repair stations in Eagle Rock, Highland Park and Leimert Park.
“I was involved with the creation of Polka Dot Plaza when I worked under my predecessor,” said O’Farrell. “This bike repair station will further enhance the plaza as a hub of pedestrian, cyclist and social activity in Silver Lake.”
Vivian Ku, owner of nearby Pine & Crane restaurant, is the local business sponsor of the four-foot steel bike repair station and has agreed to monitor the station and lock up the tools at night to prevent theft. Ku explained that the Polka Dot Plaza was a big draw for her in selecting a space for her restaurant, which just opened last month.
“We see a lot of potential for bike and pedestrian traffic and we want to try and encourage that,” said Ku. “We’re really hoping that instead of driving, people will ride their bike when they visit.”
Elizabeth Gallardo, LADOT assistant bike coordinator, stressed the importance of local businesses adopting these units.
“The stations couldn’t exist without their maintenance sponsors and we are excited to see people use them,” said Gallardo.
The bike repair station is another significant first for the plaza. Installed in 2012, it was the prototype for the new LADOT People St program, which transforms underutilized roadways into public plazas for very low cost, using only paint and planters. If the plazas prove to be successful, once funding becomes available, the parks can be upgraded using more permanent hardscaping materials.
Councilmember O’Farrell’s office is currently working with LADOT staff and the community to design the Polka Dot Plaza upgrade.
Read about other ways the Councilmember is improving our bike infrastructure here.