Archive for February 26, 2009

A meditation on bicycling and driving in the City of Angels, pt. 2

It’s been said before that Los Angeles is a city of neighborhoods.

Sometimes the changes from one to another are subtle. West L.A. flows seamlessly into Santa Monica, Rancho Park into Culver City, Studio City into Sherman Oaks.

Other times, the changes are abrupt. There’s no question when you enter Koreatown, whether you’re traveling by bike, bus or car.

And most of us know our own neighborhoods.

For instance, I know the Westside. From La Brea west to the coast; from Mulholland to the Marina. I know the back roads that let you slip past the traffic tie-ups; I know when to take Wilshire or cut over to Arizona to make a meeting in Santa Monica. And I know where the bike lanes are, where it’s safe to ride on the right and where it’s safer to take the lane.

I also know a few other areas pretty well, such as the lower Valley area, from Studio City west to Woodland Hills. And I can find my way through Hollywood and Downtown, Burbank and Pasadena.

But like most Angelenos, get me out my comfort zone, out of the areas I know, and I’m lost. In a car, it’s a minor inconvenience. Just pull out your Thomas Guide, use your GPS, or stop someone and ask for directions. Or do what most locals do, and just take the freeway to bypass all those strange, unknown neighborhoods and the people who live there.

On a bike, it’s a different problem entirely.

L.A. streets were designed for cars, not bikes. And there are some streets that just aren’t safe for cycling — like Vermont between Beverly and Wilshire, as I noticed the other day. It’s so crowded, I’m not sure cars even belong there. But I guess that’s to be expected in the nation’s most congested city.

If you live or work in that area, you’d know not to ride on weekdays, during the day, anyway. On the other hand, if you just looked at a map, it might seem like a reasonable route to get from, say, Culver City to Silver Lake or Griffith Park.

Or you might try to take a busy street like 3rd, not knowing that there’s a perfectly reasonable, and safe, alternative just one block away.

The problem is, there is no Thomas Guide for bicyclists. There’s no practical system of interconnected bike lanes, paths and routes that lead coherently from one neighborhood to another. And even the best map currently available has so many gaps that it’s virtually useless for planning a trip — and makes no distinction between routes that are safe for casual riders, and routes that are best left to experts.

Or routes that aren’t safe for cycling at all, like the inexplicable bike route on Pico between Sepulveda and Century Park East, sections of which should never be ridden without a death wish.

Since cyclists, like nature, abhor a vacuum, some riders have tried to fill in the blanks by posting their own routes. For instance, Rearview Rider offers a great route from my ‘hood to the Bicycle District. Los Angeles Rides offers a map of routes from Mar Vista to Koreatown, as well as a wiki map-in-progress where cyclists can enter their own routes and tips. And C.I.C.L.E. offers a number of routes throughout the region.

But it shouldn’t be up to us to map out these routes.

It should be the job of our government to provide a safe system of interconnected lanes, trails and routes that can take a rider anywhere in the city. Or at the very least, to provide a workable map that clearly addresses how to safely and efficiently ride to any point in the greater metro area — including such prime destinations as Downtown, Hollywood, Griffith Park, Dodger Stadium, the Rose Bowl and the beaches — from any other point in the city.

Until that day, though, we’re on our own.

And the roads that lead through our neighborhoods will continue to be the lines that divide us, instead of bringing us together.

 

Google says it was just kidding about that real-time traffic map. Caltrans gives our local region legion an F. Is anyone really surprised? LA Streetsblog says it’s going to be a busy weekend for local cyclists. Bikes and parts are disappearing in Silver Lake. Gary turns his usual breath-taking camera skills towards the Tour of California. Consumer Reports says half of all cyclists aren’t using their heads. And finally, authorities respond quickly when cyclists on PCH get shot in the ass.

A meditation on bicycling and driving in the City of Angels

One quick note: I emailed Paul Koretz and Ron Galperin again yesterday to offer the use of this site to address the cycling community. If they still don’t respond, I can only conclude that they’re just not that into us.


I don’t drive much anymore.

You see, our apartment is walking distance from just about everything I need. And these days, most of my clients accept that I can work just as well, if not better, from home. So my car spends far more time in the garage, covered in dust, than it does on the road these days.

But every now and then, I need something that isn’t within easy reach, and isn’t practical to do by bike.

Like today, for instance.

So I was reminded once again why I’d much rather be on my bike than slog through weekday traffic in L.A. — especially now that our rapidly crumbling infrastructure is making traffic slower and heavier than ever. But the drive helped me solidify a few thoughts that have slowly been taking shape within my overcrowded head.

For instance, I’ve long thought that L.A. drivers don’t respect the rights of cyclists. Behind the wheel, though, it becomes obvious that’s just not true.

Because it’s not just us.

They don’t respect pedestrians, buses, small animals or other drivers, either.

Not all of drivers, of course. Probably not even most drivers. But you don’t have to observe traffic very long to realize that too many people drive too aggressively and too carelessly.

They drive too fast. They pass too close. They cut off other vehicles. They turn without signaling. And they seldom, if ever, willingly yield the right of way.

In other words, exactly the same things we cyclists complain about.

But when you’re safely cocooned within a couple tons of steel, it may tick you off, but it’s usually not life-threatening. It’s just that the same actions that could cause a minor fender bender between two cars can result in serious injuries when a cyclist is involved.

Because we don’t have fenders. Or any other protection other than a helmet and a thin layer of chamois between our legs.

So it’s nothing personal. They don’t actually hate us.

They just really suck as drivers.

 

The Times continues their series exploring the issues with the candidates for CD5 with an examination of development on the Westside. Now the Google lets you check local traffic conditions before your ride. Under the heading of WTF: S.F.’s mayor calls for $20,000 bicycles for the planned Baghdad by the Bay bike sharing program. Meanwhile, my hometown takes a more populist approach. San Diego can’t figure out who’s responsible for a botched road resurfacing that’s injured four cyclists and counting (second item). Ubrayj asks what happened to the money budgeted for the city’s recently suspended bike licensing program, and offers some good insights into funding bike programs in a recent comment. Stephen Box questions why the city insists on restaurant parking, but won’t provide a promised bike rack.

And finally, don’t forget to register for the Los Angeles Bike Summit on Saturday, March 7 at L.A. Trade Tech College — looks like yours truly will be a late addition. But be kind, I bruise easily.

Council District 5 Candidate Statements: David Vahedi

For the past week, I’ve allowed candidates in the March 3 city election for the L.A. City Council District 5 to use this blog to address the bicycling community. You’ll find statements from Adeena Bleich, Robert Schwartz and Robyn Ritter Simon below. You can see the original invitation here, and all the statements received so far by clicking here.


Thank you for the opportunity to write specifically about bicycling issues in relation to my candidacy for Los Angeles City Council, 5th District.

vahedi-small1Whether you are an avid weekend cyclist or a person who depends on a bicycle to get to work or school, the City of Los Angeles has failed miserably to create an infrastructure that encourages cycling.

As you are aware, in my life long district, the 5th, we have very few Class One Bikeways. We must build more and I am dedicated to achieving this goal even if it means I will have to tap my office holder accounts to realize this dream.

As you will see from my Website at  Votevahedi.com, Westside button, I have been a long time advocate for a continuous Class One Bikeway along the Exposition Light Rail Line from Downtown to Santa Monica. I will be a strong voice for this project on the city council.

Another problem we must tackle is the unwillingness of most motorists to appreciate the exposed nature of cyclists and that when a vehicle fails to follow the traffic laws, especially around a cyclist; the result is often severe bodily harm or death for the cyclist. LAPD must be constantly reminded to take cyclist safety as a top concern along with educating drivers. Furthermore, there are many simple things the City can do to protect riders, from highly fluorescent lines indicating a bikeway to placing concave mirrors at known dangerous crossings.

We must also create a true hotline with rapid response for both potholes and street surface issues that are not only talking away from the positive experience of cycling, but also resulting in many serious injuries to riders.

There are also two issues in the legal arena that must be addressed and changed. Many cyclists are unaware that if they are injured on any class of bikeway due to the negligence of the city, that the city is 100% immune from liability. This is the result of the courts extending immunity for trail and paths in the mountains to bike paths, including all classes of bikeways.

This extension of immunity followed after a cyclist broke his neck on Sepulveda Blvd., near Mulholland Highway, after the asphalt collapsed under his bike. The city was aware of the unsafe conditions and the cyclist sued to recover his damages. On appeal, the higher court specifically found that cities and counties have immunity even where they had “actual notice” of the danger.

As an attorney, I have litigated this immunity issue when a client was injured on the Venice Bike Path when a DWP manhole had a piece of metal protruding from it. The DWP, when originally notified of the danger, put a cone over the metal which was soon knocked off, exposing a 13  inch piece of metal 1 inch by 1/16th of an inch that could not be seen. Amazingly, the LAPD officer on the rescue scene was able to break the piece of metal off at the base just like a hangar protecting other cyclists and doing what the DWP should have done in the first place.

There is currently a culture at city hall arising from this immunity that puts the repair of bikes path at the bottom of the list. This must change. The city should adopt the public policy that it will not invoke the immunity if it is determined that they had “actual notice” of the danger and failed to act prudently.

The second area of law that needs to be addressed is that of presumption. Specifically, that if a cyclist is injured in a bike lane in a cyclist versus vehicle accident, there is a rebuttable presumption that the driver of the vehicle was negligent. This presumption will work in two ways to protect cyclists. First, recovery of damages will be less expensive and time consuming for the cyclist, and I strongly believe that insurance companies will do a much better job to educate drivers to be more prudent and aware of cyclists’ rights to share the road.

While I most likely cannot make this important legal change directly from the council, city councils historically have been very successful in influencing the legislature to make statewide changes to law.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at home (310) 557-9677 to talk about any issue. I look forward to working with your group and other groups to make Los Angeles a world class city for cyclists.

Sincerely,

David

 

Council District 5 — why does it matter?

For almost a week now, I’ve let the candidates for L.A.’s 5th City Council District write my blog for me — and I’ve been assured there’s at least one more statement from a candidate on its way.

I feel kind of like Tom Sawyer, when he convinced everyone else to paint the fence for him. They do the work, I get the week off.

However, I do feel a dangerously high level of snarky comments building up, which I fear may escape in a massive eruption of unbridled wit and sarcasm unless I find some socially acceptable outlet. So you may want to hide the women and children until this is over. Unless you are a woman and/or child, in which case you’re on your own.

But why does all this even matter?

Chances are, if you live outside CD5, you may think this election doesn’t effect you. And even if you do live inside the boundaries of the district, you may not think that who gets elected really matters — after all, it’s not like this city is the poster child for functional government. Although the state legislature is making it look better with every passing day.

But as Damien Newton pointed out in linking to this series, whoever gets elected will represent a big step up over our existing non-responsive representative. The simple fact that these three candidates took time out from their busy campaigns to state their positions on bicycling speaks volumes about how seriously they take these issues, and how responsive they would be in office.

One of these six people will be the one we turn to when we need to address the lack of cycling infrastructure in this city. He or she will also be responsible, along with the other members of the council, for turning the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights from mere words to meaningful change, as well as addressing the future of transportation — and quality of life — in this city. And by extension, for every city in the surrounding metro area.

This same person will be the one you’ll reach out to whenever you have a problem or concern in this district — and hope that, unlike the current occupant of the office, he or she will actually listen to you, and do something about it.

It matters. Not just for the 5th District, but for the 4th, 12th and 15th. And every other district, and for every other cyclist, in the city.

In a race with this many candidates, and the notoriously low voter turnout in this city’s local elections, a single vote could actually make a difference.

Your vote matters. Your support matters.

It all matters.

No really, it does.

 

Indiana considers a new bicycle safety law, including making it illegal to harass or impede a cyclist and requiring at least three feet of clearance when passing a bike. A similar measure has just passed the Colorado Senate, despite opposition from what may be the nation’s most anti-bike sheriff — who for some inexplicable reason, doesn’t believe his officers are capable of understanding the concept of one yard. (Note to self: must resist the urge to move back just to vote against this idiot.) The nation’s cyclists are urged to fight for our share of the stimulus funds before the gas-burners get it all, while Bay Area riders get a new off-road bikeway above an existing BART tunnel after nearly two decades of trying.

Council District 5 Candidate Statements: Robyn Ritter Simon

Last week, I offered each of the candidates in the March 3 city election for the L.A. City Council District 5 seat an opportunity to address the bicycling community. The first response in the series, from Robyn Ritter Simon, appears here. You can see the original invitation here, and all the statements received so far by scrolling down or clicking here.

 

Let’s Get Moving!

By City Council Candidate Robyn Ritter Simon

rrsgreenedited-small-web2I have been doing some research on bike paths in Los Angeles and I have concluded that there are simply not enough of them! Studying the current Class I, II and III routes on the official Bikeway Path Map (www.ci.la.ca.us) I am struck by how many bike paths run through areas I would not have expected. More importantly, there are dozens of groups out there dedicated to supporting cyclists (some can be found through www.labikepaths.com) but I see very little support coming from the councilperson’s office in our district.  On the campaign trail I have been very focused on discussing the need for a comprehensive transportation infrastructure, which in my view also includes supporting and encouraging cyclists specifically through increased awareness of current bike routes and by increasing the amount of bike access.

For those of us who live, work, or commute in L.A. (who are not cyclists) we know gridlock is at an all time high! We are stuck in our cars spending time away from family, loosing productivity, and even rest. This must end! I am running for City Council to be a problem solver.  It is a big problem when we spend more hours commuting to and from locations in the City then with our family. Angelenos want transportation solutions. Voters supported Measure R in November, which puts into place the funding necessary to invest in our transit infrastructure.  Now we need leadership down at City Hall to get the funds applied swiftly and safely and get our mass transit built now!

There are immediate things we can do to alleviate traffic gridlock. For example, I support synchronizing our signals to increase traffic flow, and installing more left hand turn signals. But these remedies will never really address our long-term transit needs.  We need a comprehensive and detailed plan that includes mass transit and alternative modes of transportation like biking!

My view is that we must invest in light rail and subway and make these modes biker friendly.  I only support Expo being built if it is built safely and I support grade separation at several stops including Overland Avenue.

I believe voters recognize that we must find alternative ways to commute if we are ever going to get out of our cars and get moving. We need to invest in light rail, subway, and as I said before, building more bike paths to encourage cycling and make it attractive as an alternative way of commuting.

When my teenage son, Brandon, started driving and gas prices skyrocketed – we told him that he had to drive less. We saw a significant decrease in normal traffic patterns city wide. When people’s pocket-books are impacted, they will change their commuting behaviors and look for most cost efficient alternatives.   The price of gas has gone back down for now but we all need to step up and realize (for the greater good, for our health, for our kids, for our future!) we must find ways to solve – once and for all – the mess that is L.A. transit/traffic.  This absolutely includes getting more people out of their cars and onto mass transit and bike paths.

I hope you will join me in my fight for getting Angelenos moving! Join my campaign at www.RobynRitterSimon.com. I look forward to hearing from you! You can reach me at my office at 310.836.8550 or at [email protected]. The election is March 3rd!

 

Next up: David Vahedi has said he’s drafting a statement for us; I’m still waiting to hear from Paul Koretz and Ron Galperin. If you know anyone in their campaigns, please urge them to participate — I’d hate to give the other candidates an unfair advantage. Also, the Times has an article in which the candidates discuss the current dispute over billboards on the Westside. There are other issues that matter, after all.

Council District 5 Candidate Statements: Robert Schwartz

Last week, I offered each of the candidates in the March 3 city election for the L.A. City Council District 5 seat an opportunity to address the bicycling community. The first response came from Adeena Bleich, and was posted on Friday, the second, from Robert Schwartz, appears below. You can see the original invitation here, and all the statements received so far by clicking here. 

 

schwartz-robert-web2Thank you for the opportunity to write something to your readers.

Let’s face it. Be you cyclist, driver, transit user or use many modes, L.A.’s streets aren’t an easy place to navigate and getting around can be difficult. The city can, and must, become a safer place for everyone to get around.

Before I get into specifics, let me say that while I am not a regular bike rider, I do have a great appreciation and respect for those that do use their bike for transportation. Not only are you doing the best thing for the environment, you also seem to be having a lot more fun doing it than those of us who are more reliant on our cars. Because I value what bicyclists do for Los Angeles, I frequently seek the advice of Damien Newton so that I can I understand the needs of those who don’t always travel by car.

You mention the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights in your article, and it’s certainly a good idea to enumerate all of the rights that you have as users of the road, but the Bill of Rights is a starting point, not an ending point for what the City Council can do.

First, we must make sure that as a City Councilmember, I have a good idea of your experiences as cyclists. One of the best ways to do that is to make certain that my staff and I are in regular contact with my representative to the Bicycle Advisory Committee. Each Council Member can appoint one person to sit on this board, and I will make sure that whoever sits on this committee for me will work with my office to make sure your views are heard and that we know what is going on on the street.

Second, we await with interest the results of the city’s Bike Master Plan and will make sure the City moves quickly to move projects from paper to the street. It’s important for a city to have a plan, and not just build projects whenever funding is available or because a politician wants to go to a ribbon cutting; but it’s even more important that the plan does more than gather dust. The City’s draft plan is due soon, and after more feedback from the community we should have a final plan approved early in the next term for the incoming City Council.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly of all, I need to hear from you so that I can best understand your experiences and needs. If there are streets or intersections that are unsafe, as your City Councilmember I want to know where they are so that we can get to work to make them safer.

As I said at the start, every L.A. commuter deserves a safe and comfortable trip. Working together, I hope we can make that happen for all Angelenos, but especially those choosing to commute on two wheels instead of four.

If you want to contact me, join my campaign or just learn more about it, please visit my website at http://www.RobertForCityCouncil.com.

Council District 5 Candidate Statements: Adeena Bleich

As noted the other day, I’ve offered each of the candidates in the March 3 city election for the L.A. City Council District 5 seat an opportunity to use this blog to address the bicycling community. I’m posting their statements in the order I receive them, without editing or comment; first up is Adeena Bleich.


Adeena’s Plan To Get Angelenos Out of Their Cars

adeenalogo1“It’s not enough to just build a mass public transportation system; we need to build love for bicycling, buses and other means of transportation.”

Adeena Bleich

An Improved Transportation System Must Encourage Bicycling

The City of Los Angeles is light years behind other major cities in terms of innovation and solutions to gridlock.  We will have the Subway to the Sea and trains throughout the city, but there is so much we can do now. We must encourage Angelenos to get out of their cars by making new alternatives available.

Adeena believes that a comprehensive transportation system must include a bicycle plan that takes us where we need to go, whether it’s commuting across the City or just running out to the supermarket.

Adeena will work with the City of LA and Department of Transportation to ensure a bicycle service plan that achieves greater safety, road maintenance, and connectivity.  She supports these initiatives to encourage more Angelenos to utilize bicycles as a viable transportation alternative:

  • Promote a flex bike program
  • Develop more bike lanes on major thoroughfares and more bicycle racks in shopping centers and business corridors
  • Promote development of the West Los Angeles Veloway with a bicycle path that links Westwood Village to Santa Monica and to beach bike paths
  • Improve our bus system in coordination with a bicycle program
  • Improve our existing infrastructure by synchronizing lights, adding left turn signals, and making sure we are not doing construction during commuting hours

“We need a comprehensive and balanced approach to get our city moving again. We must act on bicycle and other alternative transportation strategies that we can achieve today while we plan for a more sustainable tomorrow,” stated Bleich.

For more information, go to www.adeena2009.com.

 

Next up on Monday will be Robert Schwartz, who responded as a comment to the previous post. Robyn Ritter Simon has also expressed an interest; I’ve yet to hear from Paul Koretz David Vahedi or Ron Galperin.

Cyclists v. drivers — who’s to bless and who’s to blame

So let’s pick up where we left off the other day.

I ended on Monday by saying, if I may be allowed to briefly quote myself:

…While it is in everyone’s best interest to encourage everyone to ride safely, as cyclists, we bear no more collective responsibility for the two-wheeled jerks, than other drivers do for the four-wheeled ones who are undoubtedly speeding down the 101 or 405 at this very moment.

Which is to say, none at all.

Later that day, I was flipping through the March issue of Bicycling, and found an excerpt from a truly devastating article by David Feherty, the bike riding CBS golf analyst who was nearly killed last year in a collision with a truck:

…I am sick up to my coin purse of hearing cyclists apologize for the behavior of a tiny minority of morons on two wheels. Sure, they give the rest of us a bad name. Get over it. This problem is caused by careless and inattentive drivers, period.

Read the article. Seriously.

But read it on an empty stomach. Because his description of the accident and its aftermath will make whatever you have in there want to come back out — the hard way.

I can’t agree with his contention that drivers are the only ones responsible for bicycling accidents. I’ve seen riders do some damn stupid things. Myself included.

But he’s absolutely right that it’s time to stop apologizing for the actions of a small minority of riders.

I am not responsible for the jerk I saw drafting on a Big Blue Bus through Santa Monica traffic last year. Neither are you. Unless you happen to be that jerk, in which case I’d really like to have a serious conversation with you.

No more than I am responsible for the driver who followed a city bus through a stop sign in Westwood yesterday, without even pausing. And nearly hit my car in the process.

We see it every day, whether we’re in the saddle or behind the wheel, crossing the street or riding the bus. Drivers speeding and weaving, running red lights and stop signs, making U-turns in traffic, reading behind the wheel, chatting on their cell phones or putting on makeup.

Yet no one would suggest that drivers are responsible for the careless and irresponsible actions of other drivers.

Frankly, I’m tired of being blamed for things I didn’t do. And having my life endangered by drivers who can’t be bothered to observe their legal responsibility to drive safely and attentively.

The problem is, we live in a society where most drivers aren’t held accountable for their actions. The legal requirement that all drivers carry liability insurance means that there is no financial penalty for having an accident — except in the most extreme cases — other than a possible increase in insurance rates.

And drivers are seldom held legally responsible for their actions, simply because we as a society insist on believing that most collisions are simply “accidents,” rather than the result of carelessness or a failure to drive safely and maintain control of the vehicle, as required by law.

Meanwhile, as noted by Bob Mionske, we face an institutional bias against cyclists, both in law enforcement and in the media, and an attitude of blame bicyclists first.

It’s not going to change.

Not unless we demand that it does. Demand that our elected officials enact laws that protect our right to the road, and place the burden of responsibility on the operator of the more dangerous vehicle. And support candidates who support cycling.

Demand educated and unbiased law enforcement, knowledgeable in the rights, as well as the responsibilities, of cyclists. And insist that the press report cycling incidents fairly and objectively, rather than just parroting police reports.

 

A Santa Barbara writer insists on her right to be irritated when a cyclist impedes the progress of her Suburban, while another writer encourages bikers to increase their chances of survival by riding responsibly. An Austin cyclists befriends other riders — and steals their bikes. CityWatch’s Stephen Box notes that LADOT’s bikeway successes remain works in progress. And Fox News discovers four of the country’s deadliest highways are right here in Southern California.

That’s so unL.A. — A formerly pedestrian-free crosswalk

Last week I posted a photo last week of the world’s first working, no-pedestrians-allowed crosswalk. And the last thing I expected was that someone would actually do something about it.

Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed.

For nearly three full days, no one even noticed. Then Damien Newton reposted it on Streetsblog LA. And then the snarky, justifiably outraged comments started pouring in. Traffic to my site went through the ceiling — well, it is a pretty low ceiling, after all. Other sites picked it up (thank you, Green LA Girl).

And then Damien had to go and ruin it all.

He emailed someone at L.A.’s Department of Transportation. And actually got a response.

Next thing you know, there’s a work crew on its way to take down the signs and turn it back into a real, functional crosswalk that actually allows pedestrians.

Sure enough, I went by this morning, and the signs are down. People were actually using it. No one was getting a ticket. And no one was getting run over.

westwood-2

So far, at least.

Now, if someone could just do something about the street next to my building, which is starting to look — and feel — like the famed cobblestones of Paris – Roubaix.

Pandora Street, between Eastborne and Santa Monica Blvd.

Pandora Street, between Eastborne and Santa Monica Blvd.

 

Reaview Rider gets challenged to a race, cyclist vs. motorcycle cop. Clean-up is completed along the Orange Line bikeway. Wisconsin lawmakers finally consider changing the law that penalizes the biking dooree, instead of the doorer. Cleveland riders are going to get their very own Bikestation, complete with lockers, showers and repair facilities; we can’t even get sharrows. And the stud factor for local cyclists just went up dramatically — evidently, Mr. Gyllenhaal is one of us.

That’s so unL.A. — A formerly pedestrian-free crosswalk

Last week I posted a photo last week of the world’s first working, no-pedestrians-allowed crosswalk. And the last thing I expected was that someone would actually do something about it.

Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed.

For nearly three full days, no one even noticed. Then Damien Newton reposted it on Streetsblog LA. And then the snarky, justifiably outraged comments started pouring in. Traffic to my site went through the ceiling — well, it is a pretty low ceiling, after all. Other sites picked it up (thank you, Green LA Girl).

And then Damien had to go and ruin it all.

He emailed someone at L.A.’s Department of Transportation. And actually got a response.

Next thing you know, there’s a work crew on its way to take down the signs and turn it back into a real, functional crosswalk that actually allows pedestrians.

Sure enough, I went by this morning, and the signs are down. People were actually using it. No one was getting a ticket. And no one was getting run over.

westwood-2

So far, at least.

Now, if someone could just do something about the street next to my building, which is starting to look — and feel — like the famed cobblestones of Paris – Roubaix.

Pandora Street, between Eastborne and Santa Monica Blvd.

Pandora Street, between Eastborne and Santa Monica Blvd.

 

Reaview Rider gets challenged to a race, cyclist vs. motorcycle cop. Clean-up is completed along the Orange Line bikeway. Wisconsin lawmakers finally consider changing the law that penalizes the biking dooree, instead of the doorer. Cleveland riders are going to get their very own Bikestation, complete with lockers, showers and repair facilities; we can’t even get sharrows. And the stud factor for local cyclists just went up dramatically — evidently, Mr. Gyllenhaal is one of us.

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