At 2 pm Wednesday, the City Council Transportation Committee meets at City Hall for the long-awaited meeting with LAPD Chief Beck — and hopefully, the long promised report about conflicts between cyclists and motorists.
Chief Beck’s appearance just happens to coincide with the news that it is, in fact, possible to run down a city employee who’s riding his bike to work and leave him bleeding in the street begging for help — then walk away without charges after turning yourself into police later.
Yes, that does make everything okay, doesn’t it.
And I’m sure the woman who ran down Ed Magos said she was really, really sorry. Or maybe she was so frightened by all the blood that she had to go see her therapist, or her agent, or possibly hurry off to get a double tall decaf macchiato, before she turned herself in.
Heck, there could be a thousand excuses reasons why she was totally justified in driving off without rendering the aid or assistance the law requires.
As long as she doesn’t have a conscience, that is. Or any sort of human decency.
Then there’s a police department that clearly hasn’t gotten the memo that the city is trying to repair its badly damaged and long neglected relationship with cyclists. And that we are, in fact, human beings — and residents, voters, taxpayers etc. — who have a right to ride without fear of being run down by SUVs. Or that the police department that is supposed to protect us will let the driver off without even a slap on the wrist.
If I sound pissed off, I apologize.
It’s only because I am.
Which is just one reason I intend to be in that committee room on Wednesday.
And clearly, I’m not the only one.
The LACBC continues its march towards real relevance by sponsoring a protest ride to City Hall to demand “equal treatment for cyclist victims of hit-and-run collisions.”
The “Ed Magos Ride” will be held on February 24th to highlight the need for fair and equal treatment for cyclists who are victims of hit and runs. It will end at the LA City Transportation Committee Meeting at City Hall where LAPD Chief Charlie Beck will be in attendance and cycling safety issues will be discussed…
Cyclists will meet at 12:30 p.m. at the corner of Melrose and Heliotrope in Hollywood and follow Ed Magos’ regular bicycle commute to City Hall in Downtown Los Angeles. At the end of the ride, participants will join LACBC at the LA City Council Transportation Committee Meeting at City Hall in room 1010. Cyclists and supporters will address police Chief Charlie Beck and Councilmembers to let them know that as citizens of Los Angeles, they will no longer tolerate being marginalized; victims of inadequate police investigations never to see their cases prosecuted, and must be given equal treatment as anyone else under the law.
The reason for the ride is best summed up by Ed Magos himself.
“In what appears to be a clear case of hit-and-run, it has been discouraging to see that inflicting pain and injury in this manner can go without consequence or justice. I have come to find out that I needed to die or be paralyzed in order for this to be an event of note,” states Ed Magos in response to the City’s decision not to prosecute.
Then again, maybe Jen Klausner, Executive Director of the LACBC, said it best.
“As cyclists, we are united in a common cause of justice and equal treatment on the streets of LA. We are no longer going to be pushed to the side.”
That’s exactly the sort of leadership local cyclists have been begging for from the city’s largest bicycling organization — something that has slowly become more evident over the past year or so as the LACBC has stepped up its involvement in the issues we face on this city’s streets.
It’s enough to make me seriously consider joining, myself.
In fact, I just did.
In other, happier, news, two new Bike Stations are set to open on Wednesday in Claremont and Covina along the San Bernardino Metrolink line, with just about everything a cyclist’s heart could desire — including secure bike parking, restrooms, accessory sales, bike repairs and rental services.
Grand Opening events begin at 8 am with a light breakfast at the Bikestation Claremont, and include a group ride from there to the 11 am opening of the Bikestation Covina. And there’s music and a free taco plate for cyclists. too. Download an invitation with more details here.