Update on the dangerously sandy Marvin Braude Bike Path

As you may recall, last week I complained about the long-standing problem of sand on the popular Marvin Braude bike path through Venice and Santa Monica.

I also mentioned contacting a city official to get something done about it, only to get a response saying they weren’t sure who had responsibility for maintaining the pathway.

Bike tires and sand don't mix; maybe L.A. County doesn't get that.

Turns out, I reached out, not just to the wrong department, but the wrong government. Because even though the bike path borders Venice, which is part of the City of Los Angeles, it’s the county that maintains that section of the bike path.

As a result, yesterday afternoon I sent the following email to Abu Yusuf, Bikeway Coordinator for the County of Los Angeles, and cc’d County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who represents that district.

I’ll let you know when I get a response.

Dear Mr. Yusuf —

I want to reach out to you regarding the sand on the Marvin Braude bike path along Venice beach, since it is my understanding that L.A. County is responsible for maintenance of the path, rather than the City of L.A.; I don’t know if the county also has responsibility for maintaining the pathway through Santa Monica, as well.

As you may be aware, the bike path has been covered with sand since a series of heavy storms back in May. While attempts have been made to remove the sand using a heavy front-loader, that has actually made the situation worse by leaving behind a thin layer of sand that can cause riders to slip and fall.

Even as an experienced bicyclist, I’m forced to slow down and ride carefully when I take this path, especially on the many curves in the Venice section, and I have personally seen a number of bicyclists suffer minor injuries after falling because of the sand on the bike path. It is clearly only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured.

You can see photos on my blog, taken last week, showing the sand covering the bike path by clicking here. I’ve made suggestions as to more effective methods of removing the sand, and I’m sure you can come up with a number of others. But something has to be done; this bike path is one of the prime tourist attractions in Los Angeles County, as well as a vital recreation and transit corridor for local cyclists.

I urge you to look into this matter as quickly as possible, and take whatever steps are necessary to clear the sand off the County-maintained sections of the Marvin Bruade Bike Path — and keep it clear so that the tens of thousands of bicyclists who use this path on a daily basis can ride in safety.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers
bikinginla.com

………

Day three of le Tour traveled the legendary cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix, as the teams broke out special gear to handle the rough roads. Norwegian Thor Hushovd won the stage and a non-motor-assisted Fabian Cancellara moved back into the yellow jersey. Losers included Frank Schleck, who is out of the Tour after fracturing his collarbone in three places, and Lance Armstrong, who fell two minutes and 30 seconds back after suffering a flat, noting that his chances of victory have dropped.

Day four was, thankfully for the riders, far less eventful as Alessandro Petacchi wins the stage. Meanwhile, Saxo Bank rider Jens Voigt calls the organizers assassins. Cancellara doesn’t just wear yellow, he rides it as well. And the World Anti-Doping Agency says the drug probe resulting from Floyd Landis’ allegations is “significant.”

………

Two cyclists were injured in separate collisions in Glendale.

On Thursday, a cyclist riding on the sidewalk was struck by a driver who fled the scene; police later arrested 24-year old Akop Arshamian of Sun Valley on suspicion of felony hit-and-run.

In the other incident, a bike rider struck a car from behind on Sunday and did a face plant in the rear windshield. The Glendale News-Press says the rider was tailing the vehicle; reading between the lines, some cyclists might suspect the driver cut off the rider in order to make a right turn.

………

Check out the new video about BiciDigna, the Spanish-language bike co-op developed by the LACBC’s City of Lights program and the Bicycle Kitchen. Gary rides the new sharrows in Santa Monica, while Stephen and Enci Box take the debate over the LADOT sharrows program to the National Committee of Uniform Traffic Control Devices in Chicago. Travelin’ Local takes a lovely spin around Marina del Rey. Bicycle Fixation wishes all those bike-hating drivers who make anonymous comments would just shut up, and seemingly devotes his life to getting a water-filled pothole on 4th Street fixed. More bikes in Big Bear is a good thing. Heaven for bike riders: riding through a car-free Yosemite. A look at car-free spaces around the world. Are blue bike lanes better than black? A small Texas town bans groups of 10 riders or more without a permit. In DC, even NFL players ride bikes. A DC area radio host criticizes cyclists for riding on the road, and doesn’t think they belong off it, either. Would you rather ride in freezing weather or sweltering heat? Having lived in Louisiana and Colorado, I’ll take the heat, thank you. Speaking of Colorado, the Rockies baseball team actively encourages cyclists to ride to the games; any guess when the Dodgers will do the same? Miami-Dade is the deadliest county for cyclists in the nation’s deadliest state. London takes steps to reduces the number and severity of bike collisions with big trucks. When you suck in a fly, do you spit or swallow? Frida Kahlo rides a bike. A positive review for DIY sharrows in British Columbia. Wear your helmet, get a free ice cream. Two men in India are arrested after hitting a cyclist and loading into their van, telling bystanders they’re taking him to the hospital, then dumping him on the side of the road and leaving him to die.

Finally, everybody do The Bike.

5 comments

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by LACM. LACM said: Trying to clear the bike path in Santa Monica and Venice Beach. http://alturl.com/f9ytc So far an exercise in futility. [...]

  2. Re that Glendale crash: I’m sometimes guilty of drafting too closely behind other vehicles.

    • The Trickster says:

      As am I.

      Although the possibly turning could be a clue that it mightn’t be the case in this situation.

      • bikinginla says:

        Been there, done that. Heck, I even rear-ended a parked car once. But in my defense, she was really, really cute, though not the least bit impressed with my riding skills.

        I’m not saying the paper’s version of events isn’t possible; just that there’s another way to interpret it that seems a little more plausible from a handlebar perspective.

  3. If I had a dollar for every driver who passed me this morning then came immediately cut in front of me and pulled to a stop…well, I’d have enough money for lunch, that’s for sure (and it’s only a 4 mile ride). Yeah, I avoid it by swerving or slamming my brakes. But I shouldn’t have to. A bicyclist rear-ending a car seems suspicious to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

three × two =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

%d bloggers like this: