Running red lights on PCH: Malibu Public Safety Commissioner Chris Frost speaks out

A couple weeks ago, I met with Malibu Public Safety Commissioners Susan Tellem and Chris Frost, along with LaGrange member and BAC Vice Chair Jay Slater, and a representative from the Sheriff’s Department, to discuss safety issues in the Malibu area.

While there was disagreement on some issues, one thing we all agreed on was the need for cyclists to observe stop lights on PCH. A serious cyclist himself, Frost made a compelling argument that riders who run red lights in that area pose a significant risk to their own safety, as well as needlessly causing problems for other road users.

As a result, I offered to let him write about the issue from his own perspective, as a rider and Public Safety Commissioner. What follows is his comments, presented without input or editing on my part.

………

The City of Malibu has been inundated with cyclists who fail to stop for the required red lights on Pacific Coast Hwy. I am a cyclist myself and put in a great many miles out there amongst you. Many of you know me, as I have taken the time to poll you (mostly at the Trancas Starbucks) on your feelings about PCH. I have ridden with many of you, and know you outside of my duties as a Public Safety Commissioner. I have asked you about your riding habits, and from that have culled a pretty good understanding of what goes on out there. This, coupled with what I personally observe and experience, has led me to the following.

The red light issue has reached a level that is causing problems for all cyclists, even those who obey the law. Motorists have developed a kind of tunnel vision that does not differentiate one cyclist from another. That means that the law-abiding rider gets treated pretty much the same as one who continually flaunts the law. So when you get buzzed for no apparent reason, the cause may well be an incident you had no part of.

This is happening much too frequently now, and it has developed into a breeding ground for animosity and worse–injury and death.

No one is so entitled that they are permitted to ignore a red light. And for you top tier riders, this means being a role model, not the cause of an accident. I know firsthand what is like to lose a friend out on this highway; and many of you do as well. It changes the lives of many forever–including the motorist involved. Recently, I have had reports of riders who claim they are time trialing down PCH, and thus will ignore the red lights whenever convenient. I’m not even going to comment on this. These riders know who they are, and they need to change their riding style. This is completely unacceptable, and is looked at by the majority of the cycling community as unacceptable. There are stretches of this highway with no lights that allow you to ride without stopping. If you don’t like stop lights, this might be your alternative.

On the subject of T-intersections (e.g., Busch Dr,  Kanan Rd, Paradise Cove, Malibu Pier, Carbon Cyn, Big Rock): we have all taken liberties with these types of intersections. A whole pack of riders was recently written up at Big Rock for running the red light. This was not the case of the lead riders entering on a yellow, but the whole group blasting through a red. That ticket cost each rider approximately $400. Please take into consideration that the residents east of that light use the red light interval to exit their garages and driveways. If there are riders coming through, the drivers have very little time to see this and react. Reports of near collisions and angry exchanges between the cyclists and drivers have become all too common. I have spoken with these residents, and heard about too many cases of these residents being flipped off and having water sprayed at them. Come on everyone, is this the way we want to be portrayed? A T-intersection with a stop light is the same as any other and carries the same requirements as any other.

So in finishing, please stop at the red lights and stop signs. They are there for a reason. If you want to question why, I will be happy to hear your comments at a Public Safety Commission Meeting. Meetings are held at 6 PM the first Wednesday of each month at the Malibu City Hall. Bring your complaints, and try to have solutions as well. Don’t think of it as someone else’s responsibility. It belongs to all of us.

Please understand that I am a long-time cyclist, and will always stand up for cyclists rights. I am also a big fan of public safety because it benefits everyone, not just the cyclists. You are all ambassadors of our sport and what you do on the highway is viewed by other cyclists, motorists, residents, and–most of all–by the youth who will possibly be riders themselves.  So what kind of impression do you want to leave? Remember you are no more entitled than anyone else. And the responsibility belongs to every cyclist out there.

Please police your own sport. It will lessen the impact of having it policed for us.

Thank You,

Chris Frost
City Of Malibu
Public Safety Commission
Vice-Chair

………

The Reseda Blvd bike lanes are nearly finished, while the Wilbur Ave. road diet and bike lanes are threatened. More on Wednesday’s upcoming Streetsblog fundraiser and silent auction, with sponsorship from Ralphs, Trader Joes and my favorite American brewery. Eight members of the oddly, but somewhat appropriately, named Palisades Literary Society bike club follow the Tour de France route through the Pyrenees; thanks to George Wolfberg for the link. From my friends at Altadena blog comes word of a $50 reward for a stolen Schwinn Voyageur. Witnesses say the drunk driver charged with killing a biking German tourist in San Francisco got out of his car, moved the bike out of his way, then switched seats with his girlfriend passenger before fleeing the scene.

Levi Leipheimer wins the Tour of Utah. A study shows cars really do make Americans fat. A Pittsburgh man makes his own bike map to guide even timid cyclists through the city’s busiest areas. An NYC proposal to clear out abandoned bikes threatens to sweep up ghost bikes as well. A ciclovía by any other name, as New York closes down Park Avenue to vehicle traffic. A Missouri driver ignores police traffic directions and kills a caring cyclist during a fund raising ride. An Oklahoma State student gets the beer-inspired idea to ride from Stillwater to Alaska, then actually does it. Framebuilder Dave Moulton opens an online registry for current owners of his classic bikes.

Raúl Alcalá, winner of the 1987 Coors Classic and the Best Young Rider classification in the ’87 Tour de France, caps a remarkable comeback by winning the Mexican time trial championship at age 46; thanks to Claremont Cyclist for the heads-up. In a twist on vulnerable user laws, Japanese courts rule that in principle, pedestrians are not at fault for collisions with cyclists on sidewalks. A cyclist is seriously injured after hitting the back of a parked car; residents blame the road, not the rider. A motorcyclist hits a bicyclist; for a change, it’s the guy on the bike who walks away. Great Britain’s Bikeability cycling proficiency program — and the organization behind it — could be on the chopping block. A British writer discovers Mexico City is surprisingly bike friendly. Join the campaign to keep Pat the Postie on his Pashley. Brit cyclists fight a proposed mandatory helmet law in Northern Ireland. London’s Guardian says there’s a bike niche for everyone. Coke discovers bicycling in Turkish with English subtitles; if the video won’t play, try this link.

Finally, police backup is required to pull an 84-year old great-grandfather out of a British bank to ticket him for riding on the sidewalk; meanwhile, a Salinas cyclist says sidewalks don’t belong to pedestrians. And maybe that gesture is actually a roadway blessing.

75 comments

  1. Brent says:

    One of my college roommates reported yesterday on his Facebook status update:

    “Thanks everyone for your well wishes! For those who haven’t heard, on Friday morning my buddy Doug Caldwell and I were hit by a car while we were riding our bikes to work at JPL. Unfortunately, Doug did not survive. I was very lucky and only ended up with a 48 hour stay in the hospital and some broken teeth.”

  2. While I appreciate Chris Frost’s point of view, it’s next to impossible to “police our own sport”. If I tell another rider how to ride or to obey stop lights/signs, I’m going to get a big old F U.

    We don’t tell motorists to police their fellow drivers (and they by far break more traffic laws than cyclists). Why the double-standard? It’s ridiculous. I’m not a police officer, and I’m not going to ride like one.

    • Eric B says:

      The “police our own sport” is more valid among sport cyclists–i.e. spandex-wearers–than the community of bicyclists in general. It means vocally disapproving when the group does something stupid. We talk amongst ourselves about how to handle certain situations and we lead by example. On group rides, calling out “light up” causes a reaction in the group, which usually ends up with everyone stopping instinctively.

      It’s also amazing the power of simply stopping at lights. There’s a kind of herd mentality where running a light with someone stopped there becomes unacceptable. No “policing” involved, just visibly doing the right thing.

      • Chris Frost says:

        Eric B.

        It’s funny, I had never really thought about that, but your exactly right. When you are stopped at a light, it is rare that someone blasts on through. As I said in response to danceralmonde “Just ride safely and stay within the law, and you will be doing something to help”

        Chris Frost

        • Well duh. I didn’t ask if I should set an example with my own riding. A lot of us already do that.

          The issue here is the question of “policing”, and whether or not that’s a smart or safe thing to do. If you’re riding in a group, yes, you can say something to your friends, but it’s more often than not, when riding on the street, that you see strangers do something illegal. The best thing to do when you witness dangerous or illegal behavior is to report the person, not confront them. Or do you want to be the person with a knife in their gut because you confront some one with running a red light?

          You cannot place the responsibility for one cyclist on another cyclist’s shoulders. I am not responsible for you running a light nor you responsible for me. Your argument that we have to “police” our own sport (which you have convienently changed to “set an example”) sets exactly the kind of precedent we don’t want–allowing motorists to blame all cyclists for an individual’s actions, and therefore run us all off the road–which is still inexcusable regardless of who it is. Or did you not read your colleague Susan Tellem’s Facebook page about how all cyclists are criminals? You are setting a precedent of generalization instead of individuals responsible for their own actions.

          • Chris Frost says:

            danceralamode,

            Unfortunately you have not yet realized that I am on your side. Your “duh” comment is a beauty. I see what your respect level is.

            I didn’t conveniently change anything. You convieniently changed the spin. By setting a good example you are policing (or whatever word you would like), your sport.

            When you want to work together on this, let me know. I am available most weekends to go riding and talk about this or just come to a meeting.

            As for Susan Tellem…no I did not read her Facebook page. I actually don’t have time to mess with Facebook to begin with. That’s my choice…eh. She is not a cyclist and has no experience in this field. Whatever it is she wrote, she pissed off a lot of people. I have spent the last month trying to mend fences and start a safety campaign that will benefit everyone….including you, if you ride out here.

            I never said you were responsible for me or whatever. But your actions do reflect on others. Believe it, buddy. It’s the way it works. If you dont want motorists to blame all cyclists, then continue to set your good example and maybe pass it forward a bit. If you know cyclists, share your pitch on safety with them. I have managed to do it in a non- confrontational way and have had no problem reaching people. I don’t chase em down the highway or call them out on the street. It’s not what I’m about. I rarely, how about never, have run across a cyclist,carrying a knife for sticking me in the gut. I have met with several club heads and spoken, rountable, with their representatives and the Sheriffs Dept. They seem to understand all this and support the effort at making it safer.

            You know, bottom line, I was asking for support in stopping at red lights. It’s still the law and no matter what spin you put on it, it is the right thing to do.

            Come on out from behind that handle and go riding with me, or come to a meeting. Then maybe your opinion of all this will change. Or maybe, you will come up, with the solution to everything. Then this one item “Stopping at Red Lights” will be a success.

            I’m available, maybe we can even spend an hour or six, talking to cyclists at Trancas. That will be an eye opener.

            Best,
            Chris Frost

    • Chris Frost says:

      danceralamonde…
      Thanks for reading the post. It is all about what your comfortable with. I have spoken to dozens of riders about red light hablits and never had one FU. On the contrary, I had a lot of cyclists who felt as I do, that it is inherent upon the sport to look out for itself. If we dont, just exactly who will. Last weekend I had a group of pro riders stop me to thank me for getting the word out. The $400.00 ticket while quite compelling doesn’t have to be the only solution.
      And approaching another rider doesn’t have to be about blame.It’s about educating those cyclists that their actions affect you as well as the people who live and drive along this road. Just ride safely and stay within the law, and you will be doing something to help.

  3. TR says:

    Relative to all the things that cause death and injuries this is not high on the list based on most of the data out there. Railing on about T-intersections is good and fine but what about distracted driving and hands free driving. I encourage you to sit at the side of the road for 5 minutes and tell me if you don’t find quite a few motorists flaunting the law while powering a 2,000 or 3,000 pound vehicle.

    Places like Idaho have created laws that are biker friendly and actually cut down on accidents. Where is the forward thinkers here?

    • Chris Frost says:

      TR
      You are exactly right about distracted drivers. And we spend a fair amount of time on that subject as well. I dont have to sit on the side of the road, I see them all around me when I’m driving. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that we have a significant amount of bikers who think they are entitled to run red lights. So why add animosity to the list of issues that drivers already have. This is a bad way to present our sport or recreation to anyone. Idaho’s law, where they treat a red like a stop sign, is do-able in rural areas. Malibu isn’t rural anymore. I have lived out here close to 50 years and I assure the rural days are over. Please come to our Public Safety Commission meeting and talk about solutions. You present a good posture when you talk about forward thinking.

      Chris Frost

  4. Eric B says:

    Chris,

    From the perspective of someone who used to run those T intersections (but no longer does), there is a very good reason to do so (aside from keeping your momentum): the far side shoulder of each of those intersections is usually a pinch-point with a very narrow lane and shoulder usually obstructed with parked cars. Running the light, for better or worse, allows cyclists to get past those points when there is no traffic and be already at speed when car traffic finally overtakes. Those 30 seconds of car-free riding are quite blissful.

    That said, the PR reasons to not run them, and the risk to pedestrians crossing, are important factors. I wish the road were designed in such a way that actually accommodates bicycles so that law-breaking isn’t safer for the rider. Hopefully the PSC can take the lead on infrastructure changes to make this happen. There was a real opportunity missed when PCH was resurfaced without changing traffic patterns.

    Also, this year I have seen a tremendous number of comfort bikes and/or non-spandex bicyclists on the highway. It just goes to show that there is huge latent demand for safer cycling facilities outside our narrow group of roadies. The PSC should emphasize strategies that encourage this group of bicyclists to get out and ride more (and ride safely).

    • Chris Frost says:

      Eric,

      Good point about being able to ride free of the traffic at a T and avoid the choke point in traffic. The main problem is the cars trying to get out of their garages and driveways east of the light. They wait for that red light and then scoot out, leaving very little time to react to cyclists. Also when the cyclists go through in a big pack, their speed is such that they come upon you in a flash.

      I also wish that CalTrans had taken the time to do some lane configuration when they could of.

      We would welcome your input on safety strategies and any programs that would encourage safe recreational biking.

      Thanks.
      Chris Frost

  5. Joe says:

    Chris:

    “That means that the law-abiding rider gets treated pretty much the same as one who continually flaunts the law. So when you get buzzed for no apparent reason, the cause may well be an incident you had no part of.”

    I don’t doubt that you meant well when you wrote the above. Do you see that you are blaming the victim(s) here? Your statement implies that the driver’s error was in choosing the wrong cyclist to assault; not in deciding to commit the assault in the first place.

    Of course, you know that assault is never an appropriate remedy for a traffic violation. The problem is that so many other drivers don’t, and statements like the above reinforce their erronious beliefs.

    The cause of “getting buzzed” is an ignorant, inattentive, or aggressive driver. Always, period, end of sentence.

    I think it’s fine for you to encourage bikers to obey stop lights. But when you do, please do so without implying that not doing so is somehow the cause of dangerous driver behavior.

    Thanks.

    On a completely unrelated note, could I ask you what is being done to eliminate reckless driving in Malibu? I drive PCH several times per week, and even in a car I’m regularly scared by other drivers’ dangerous behavior. Whatever’s being done now to curb this behavior, is not working.

    • Chris Frost says:

      Joe,

      Thank you for your post.

      Let’s get one point straight first. My statement in no way implies that the driver should assault anybody.

      You have misinterpreted what I said….certainly the driver is wrong and certainly the cyclist’s who continually run red lights are wrong. What that continual flaunt of the laws cause, is a ripple effect that does affect others. Why ramp up a situation that could possibly leed to tragedy. Why not find ways to ramp it down. If there are ignorent and aggresive drivers out there, the last thing I want to do is draw their attention to the cyclists…and that’s plain and simple.

      As for the traffic on PCH. We just funded and hired another full time motorcycle officer. We spend about half our waking moments concerned about and trying to rein in the problems that exist out there.

      You sound like someone who drives here a lot. Do you have any ideas….would you be willing to come speak at a hearing?

      Would you like a phone number or web site that you can turn in dangerous or out of control drivers too? They will be followed up, believe me.
      I use it myself.

      Best,
      Chris Frost

      • bikinginla says:

        Chris, thank you for jumping in here today to clarify your remarks and answer some of the comments.

        I agree completely that the actions of one rider can affect how a driver treats another. The anger they feel at a cyclist who rides illegally or unsafely is often taken out on the next rider who upsets them — just as the feelings they get from a positive interaction can cause them to be more courteous to someone else.

        No one is saying it’s right; it’s just human nature.

      • Joe says:

        Chris,

        Thanks for responding. I think (I hope) that we both agree that our primary priority should be to get these rabid, aggressive drivers off the road. But since we have not yet managed to tone down their numbers and aggression to a reasonable level, prudence requires that bikers do everything we can to keep them from targeting us — including refraining from running red lights, which seems to enrage them to an inordinate degree.

        At least, that’s how I would put it. If it sounds like I think that running a red, while wrong, pales in comparison to the crime of deliberate vehicular assault, to the point where I think we need to be careful when even mentioning them in the same sentence for fear of implying equivalency…well, then I’ve gotten my point across.

        Your observation that these drivers are not selective in the target of their vengeance is astute, and for the sake of my fellow cyclists it’s certainly something I’ll keep in mind when I’m riding.

        A phone number for reporting out-of-control drivers would be a good remedy for the occasional driver who’s way out there — the obvious drunks, the 70-mph slalomers, the vigilantes. I’m more concerned, though, with the more-common-but-less-egregious offenses, such as drivers who pull out in front of fast-moving traffic. (The parallel-parked drivers on the south side of the highway who scoot their left-front tires into the traffic lane and hope that somebody notices are especially hard to see and scary. My remedy, of not driving in the rightmost lane when cars are parked there, won’t work for everyone.)

        I’m concerned to hear that the folks East of Big Rock are having close calls with oncoming traffic. Can they not see enough of the road to ensure that it is clear before entering? While bikers stopping at a red light would reduce the oncoming traffic, it would do nothing to keep bikes (or, worse, 45-mph cars) from legally turning left off Big Rock and onto PCH during the time when the residents are assuming that the road is clear. Would mirrors help them see enough of the road to enable them to exit safely?

        • Chris Frost says:

          Joe,

          I think we are on the same page regarding aggresive drivers. I just want to get the attention away from the cyclists, from the negative sense. In all other areas I want us to be visible and easy to see (and thus avoid.

          The number to call for out of control drivers is (877)310-7867
          or go online to the “STTOP Program” Yes just like it’s written “STTOP” It is for all drivers not just teens although it started out that way. Just give all the info you can…license, car type, color, etc. They do follow up and every bit helps.

          Regarding Big Rock; Some of the garages and driveways have poor visual. They can see the cars coming off Big Rock Dr and adjust, especially since the magority of those cars go into the fast lane. The visability in the narrow corridor along the front of the homes is sketchy, especially with cars parked there to. Mirrors might be something to look into
          Each of the T’s have their own personlities…crosswalks, commercial driveways etc. I think it is just better to honor the red lights and then we take the risk off the table. Plus that’s a really expensive ticket.

          I didn’t really understand the last two sentences of your 3rd paragraph. Please explain a little more.

          Best,
          Chris Frost

        • Chris Frost says:

          Joe….If you see “obvious drunks” out there, please call 911 immediately. I do it, my girlfriend does it and just about everyone I know who drives out here, does it. This is extremely important. The signs on PCH reminding us to call 911 on drunks, is a result of Carol Randall, our PSC Chair.Please help wherever you can.

          Thank You
          Chris Frost

  6. [...] More on Malibu, Cycling, and the PCH (Biking in L.A.) [...]

  7. Brent says:

    @Chris:

    What’s the possibility of lowering speed limits through central Malibu? It seems to me that high speeds would be the biggest safety issue, and lowering them would do much to increase driver-cyclist harmony.

  8. Chris Frost says:

    Brent,

    We have had this on the table a number of times. The City of Malibu does not control PCH. It is the domain of CalTrans. They have to approve/agree with anything that changes out there…including, but not limited to speed, signage, engineering changes, stop lights etc.

    Regarding speed…this is a two edged sword. Speed limits change only after doing speed surveys. So if 85% of the vehicles speeds that show up, are above the current speed limit, the speed limit would be raised. This just happened out on Mulholland. A speed survey was done. 85% of the vehicles were traveling at a higher speed than posted, so the speed limit was raised.

    Part of the problem as well, is cars traveling very slowly in the fast lane. The vehicles traveling the speed limit, come up behind them and then veer over into the slow lane (but at speed) and it is here that they are closest to the cyclist. The slow driver has no idea what they can set in motion. Just some more food for thought.

    Thanks for you question.

    Chris Frost

  9. ubrayj02 says:

    This stop light running routine is so god damned worn out I wonder how anyone would bother to type it up themselves. Visit any comment section online where the general public sounds off about bicycling issues and you can copy and paste this opinion word for word.

    Bothering about cyclists running stop lights completely ignores the real threat to human life on PCH: AUTOMOBILES.

    Your helmeted head must be stuck fast somewhere unnatural not to notice this.

    On behalf of everyone riding just to get to work, to drop their kids off at daycare, buy groceries, or out for an evening ride with friends or family – give it a rest.

    Lowering automobile speeds, revoking driver’s licenses for crappy driving, impounding vehicles of those driving on suspended licenses – these are measures that will make us all safer. This bullshit about red light running cyclists is a complete waste of time.

  10. Chris Frost says:

    And so is your comment. You obviously misunderstood what was this about.

    Anytime you would like to meet to discuss your issues, I am available. Of course you might have to talk to some unnatural place, since you think my head might be there.

    Seriously…so what’s your solution?

    We have checkpoints regularly, DUI and otherwise. We take about 1 % of the vehicles off the road for no license, registration, insurance etc.

    The last DUI checkpoint yielded 5 arrests for DUI.

    For lowering speed limits, look at the prior post. Any solution for that?

    See you at our Public Safety Commission meeting.

    Best,
    Chris Frost

    • ubrayj02 says:

      The solution: traffic calming, road diets, a lowering of the average and the maximum speeds of cars on PCH. Monthly and quarterly reporting, with maps, on crashes, fatalities, and ambulance calls on PCH.

      Using police to fix an engineering, education, and enforcement problem is only treating one third of the problem. The road is designed for one thing: rapid automobile transportation. This design is unsafe to bicyclists, motorists, and pedestrians.

      • bikinginla says:

        You’re right about the need to do something about the infrastructure on PCH, as well as the urgent need to lower speed limits. As a first step, we need to make sure the legislature reintroduces the AB 766, the Safe Streets Bill, to get rid of the absurdly dangerous requirement that speed limits have to be raised if the majority of drivers speed.

        But after meeting with Chris and looking at the situation there, I agree that there is a problem with red light runners on PCH. They’re not concerned with the individual cyclist who goes through a light when there’s no traffic; the problem comes from riders who blow through busy intersections even when there’s cross traffic, or riders who go through lights in areas where drivers entering the roadway have limited visibility to make a safe turn, and count on the light to stop traffic so they can go.

        It goes both ways. Malibu and Caltrans have to take steps to make PCH safer. But riders need to respect the law and the rights of other road users, too.

        • Chris Frost says:

          bikinginla

          I didn’t know there was anyone campaigning to re-introduce that bill. Please keep me in the loop on that.

          To address the red light issue; We are concerned about cyclists blowing through red light where there is no traffic, as well. This just adds fuel to the fire, for the drivers out there looking for an excuse or a way to unload some animosity. Why bring negative attention to ourselves.There is almost always someone at an intersection while you are stopped there. I believe we have to go by the law to gain the respect of all vehicles, bikes, law enforcement, pedestrians etc. on the highway.

          I also think we will get better service (as cyclists) from the Sheriff if we show them we have resect for the laws they are trying to enforce.

          Thanks,
          Chris Frost

          • I’m sorry, but I’ve read through your response to this question a number of times and here’s my problem. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT YOU WITNESS ANOTHER ROAD USER DOING, IT DOES NOT GIVE YOU OR ANYONE ELSE THE RIGHT TO PUT THEM IN DANGER!

            Your words imply (note that I say “imply”) that the problem is not drivers targeting cyclists who they perceive are doing something wrong and so, therefore, they get to buzz them or do something dangerous as punishment; rather, you think that we should pacify these road ragers. The solution is to get these road ragers who target other road users in retaliation for imagined personal offences OFF THE ROAD.

            I’m not arguing that cyclists need to stop at all red lights. I completely agree, but you still don’t get that your words negate the larger issue of drivers who target cyclists and/or who display reckless and wanton disregard for the safety of others by their dangerous driving.

            • Chris Frost says:

              danceralamode,

              Where do you get the idea that I think anyone should be put in danger? And where in the world did you get ther idea that I think we should pacify the the road ragers?

              Of course we need to get “road ragers” off the road. We also need to stop at red lights….why draw more attention to yourself.If this so-called road rager is out there, would you like to be their target.

              Yes…get them off the road. By all means. So do you call 911 when you see one out there?

              My point here is to try and create a safer riding environment…. period

              And this is one of the places I am starting. If you want to help then come to the PSC meeting with solutions and/or come out and let’s go riding and talk.

              Best,
              Chris Frost

            • danceralamode says:

              Every time you say we should “not draw attention to ourselves” it sounds like you are saying we should be crawling into the gutter to get out of a driver’s way. My problem with your logic is that you are creating causation between someone running a red light and drivers who can’t control themselves. I WANT to be noticed on the road; I want drivers to see me and give me sufficient space on the road when passing.

              I think I understand what you’re saying, but you need to understand that tone and the way statements are positioned mean an awful lot in these arguments. It’s sort of like the difference between “possible” and “practicable” in the CVC. The way your argument about red lights and driver retaliation is posed, it sounds like, to me and I’m sure many others, that you are placing blame and responsibility on cyclists for another person’s actions. Of course a cyclist is responsible for whether or not they have run a light, but it really sounds like, when you say we shouldn’t draw attention to ourselves, that we are second-class citizens that shouldn’t do anything to upset those fragile drivers out there. You really need to drop that rhetoric, because it’s highly offensive. If a driver acts dangerously, it’s no because I didn’t make myself small and didn’t “draw attention” to myself.

              Do you not see how using those words perpetuates the sense that cyclists are second-class citizens?

              I know you mean well and want safety for all; trust me, I get that. But the words you use are extremely important. Acknowledging the equal rights of cyclists on the road (and responsibilities) begins with people in positions like you. And while you can “police our sport” and make a difference there, you can also be careful to not portray cyclists as second class citizens who shouldn’t “draw attention” to themselves by exercising their rights or by doing what drivers do all the time and violating the CVC.

              Words are important–just ask Dr. Laura.

      • Chris Frost says:

        ubrayj02,

        Those are all good solutions. Now we need to change the CalTrans edict which is to move traffic swiftly and efficiently. I dont know what traffic calming and road diets are. Maybe you could explain this for me.

        As for the monthly reporting….we do get that. If you come to a meeting I will be glad to share this with you. We have a complete tally on all tickets, accidents, locations, arrests…all of it. I don’t think it breaks down ambulance calls as well…because the ambulance services are private and are requested on an “as needed basis”.

        We are not using the police to fix the EEE issues. We are using engineering, educataion and enforcement as separate tools. The EEE is a kind of mantra around here.
        Engineering, for the most part, falls to CalTrans. They own and control this highway. We can ask for things to be done and they will be evaluated on a case by case basis. If they are accepted, they are then budgeted and hopefully completed. An example is the Quick Curb along the median at Zuma Beach. This was installed as a result of my ranting about the safety issue in that area(several deaths from illegal u-turns). I recently spent most of a day with the CalTrans chief for Malibu, Carol Randall of our Public Safety Commission and Bob Brager from the City Managers office. We covered every inch of PCH in the City of Malibu and documented the issues that we have seen and others that were passed to us.
        The enforcement falls to the Sheriff, Lieguards, State Parks etc. They are a regular part of our meetings. Education is something that we are taking to another level, as we speak. This includes PSA’s local coverage etc.

        While everyones thinks of more problems we are busy trying to get solutions that will result in a safer, calmer PCH.

        Thank You,
        Chris Frost

        • Allan says:

          I’m a bit concerned when a Malibu Public Safety Commissioner does not know what traffic calming is or road diets. What’s even more alarming is that he can’t seem to research that. If you use Google and put in the terms “traffic calming” and “road diet”, the first and second hits would answer the question. Trust me, it can also save you the embarrassment. ;-)

          In regards to bicyclists running red lights. Seriously, you got much bigger problems on your hands than this. Would be nice, VERY NICE if this was Malibu’s only problem on PCH. You have any idea how many bicyclists pedestrians, and motorists die on that small section of PCH that you’re concerned with? And I’m betting not one has died cause a bicyclist ran a red light. That is if you don’t consider the possibility that some high strung rich f*** decided to pull a Dr Thompson on our unfortunate rider and got juuussst a bit too close.

          Your real problem is speeding cars! Cars that law enforcement chooses to ignore. I’m not talking about some Ferrari that some European has decided to “open ‘er up” in the wee hours of the morning, I’m talking about the 90% or more of the drivers driving 10mph or more over the speed limit. With many of them going 15mph and more over the speed limit. Throw in texting, and cellphone calls and you got yourself a recipe for disaster!

          The problem is that you’re are in all likelihood one of these drivers. So how are you possibly going to see this as a problem? You’re are part of the probably 90-95% of the road users on any given day on PCH.

          Now if you are really concerned about solving some of the problems you are presenting here, which I think you are, you might want to start taking a good hard look at those metal 2-3 ton boxes that are flying around at 60-70 mph, and sadly, sometimes even heavier and faster. But don’t think this is an impossible task. You don’t even need CalTran’s help in this. No, there’s no signage that needs to be put up, no studies that need to be implemented, no board that needs to convene, all that is needed is for law enforcement to do their job!

          This is how streets get to where there’s 85% or more going over the speed limits. The officers are not doing their jobs! Everyone has gotten so wrapped up in their cars as their life lines, they’ve taken it for granted that this is just how it is. Well almost everyone. I myself have been carless for two years and I know many people around me that it’s been far longer.

          So how bout doing some Public Safety Commissioner stuff and tell everyone how evil their auto driving has become? BTW, what is the number one cause of death with young people 16-20 years old?

          • Chris Frost says:

            Allan,

            First off…I’m not embarrased at all to say that I dont know something. I’m not a traffic commissioner and I will always be in a learning process. Yes I could Google it, and since you didnt give me the answer either….

            We are very aware of the role that law enforcement plays in this and interact closely with them. We have hired more deputies and right now have a substantial presence on PCH. Problem is we are a resort town during the summer and 22 or so miles long. You try to cover as much as you can and it is still not enough. We are also trying to get the CHP back in Malibu for traffic enforcement.

            To address your statement that we have much bigger concerns than cyclists running red lights.This isn’t the only subject that we are working on. It just happens to be that cyclists and red lights are in this forum right now. We deal with the other problems on PCH on a daily basis. I drive this road every day and am just as concerned (probably more) as everyone else.

            I think it’s a little judgemental to automatically say I am out speeding on PCH. Reserve your judgement until you know a little bit more about who i am and what I do.

            Come to one of our meetings and voice your opinions. If you have solutions, lets hear em.
            If you need a ride out here, we will get one for you.

            Thanks for your dialogue.

            Best,
            Chris Frost

            • Allan says:

              Chris,
              OK you aren’t a traffic commissioner but part of your job description as a public safety commissioner does include “traffic safety (including traffic law enforcement and traffic engineering)” ref. As a public safety commissioner I would suspect that they would be concerned about the safety of the largest majority possible, instead of a fairly low percentage of road users, e.g. bicyclists. Sadly I suspect the decision has already been made as to how these officers and possibly the CHP will be used in the foreseeable future. They will be used placate a grumbling minority of the Malibu residence who are upset seeing some cyclists running the red lights. And the larger problem of bad drivers driving recklessly over the speed limits gets tamped down, for now. BTW, I was just playing the percentages when I assumed you are a speeder on PCH. Chances that you are one of the drivers driving the speed limit are pretty slim, statically speaking.

              Thanks for the offer on getting out there. I live in Long Beach, so the chances of me getting there is pretty slim, but I have ventured out there before, and on my bike no less! My biggest concern is lack of a shoulder on PCH on the way back. Which brings me to a point I wanna make.

              Start making bicyclist feel like they’re apart of the traffic on PCH, not as if something you want to get rid of. Build a safe lane for them to ride on going up and down PCH. You do that, and you may get more of them following the traffic laws. It happened in Belmont Shores with the green bike lane. It’s really weird, but all the sudden when you have a lane and a right, you suddenly become more responsible.

              You mentioned that bicyclists running red lights isn’t the only subject that the commission is tackling. So what are the other subjects that you are tackling that concerns the safety of all users of PCH?

              Finally if no one has driven home the point to you about what a failure automobiles are, I’d like to share this from Sierra Club. The Latest From the Labs, at the bottom it lists “Techno-Fails”.

              Internal Combustion Vehicles
              Is it fair to brand one of the most successful and ubiquitous
              technologies ever invented a flop? Consider what would happen
              today if a company brought to market a new product that wasted
              85 percent of the energy you put into it, spewed toxins and
              greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, made us vulnerable to
              hostile foreign powers through oil dependence, and has caused
              cancer, birth defects, childhood asthma, and a host of other
              respiratory ailments in tens of millions of people. But the
              internal combustion engine has gotten a free pass on these
              costs—in effect, a massive subsidy—that has allowed it to
              dominate transportation since the days of the Model T. More than
              anything else, the internal combustion engine fails in its
              extreme wastefulness: The average modern car uses only 15
              percent of every gallon of gas put into it to actually move,
              compared with the 90 percent efficiency of electric motors.
              —E.H.

            • Chris Frost says:

              Allan,
              Could you please re-post. It came over in a tall narrow format and is near impossible to read and reply too.

              Thank You,
              Chris Frost

      • DanaPointer says:

        Ubrayj2, as usual I agree with you 100%, thanks for piping in here, only detail I would add that calpranks controlled PCH is arguably the most egregious example of the messed up attitude this state has to roads, maybe even more so in Laguna Beach that us 100% residential st that. Is handled like freeway by caltrans.

        Bikingla, great to hear work on AB766 is progressing, just waiting for the AAA etc lobby to rear it’s ugly head soon…

  11. TR says:

    Chris…major props for coming on this site and taking the Q&A.

    I doubt you will ever hear anyone say they regretted being too careful out on the road. If anything, there is a lot in this blog to ponder.

    Thanks.

    • Chris Frost says:

      TR

      Thank you….My objective here was not to ridicule anyone. I am not an expert at everything, just very concerned with the safety of everyone within the city that I live. I happen to be a cyclist and a Public Safety Commissioner at the same time…kind of the best of both worlds. i enjoy both and hope that I will make a difference.

      Best,
      Chris Frost

  12. Rach Stevo says:

    I’m not entirely sure where to start with this so let me begin by saying thanks to Chris and Ted for putting the effort in.

    The lack of quoted studies or surveys in this piece does concern me. It’s a sad fact that as human beings we are much more likely to remember negative experiences than positive ones. For example, from my morning commute the driver that sticks in my mind is the driver of a white Toyota Corolla that ran a stop sign and nearly hit me. I don’t remember details of the other 200 drivers that safely passed me. We are all much more likely to remember the one cyclist that dangerously ran a red light than the 12 that didn’t. For this reason, personal anecdotes are not enough to build a public safety campaign around. Do you have statistics to back up your claim that “The City of Malibu has been inundated with cyclists who fail to stop for the required red lights on Pacific Coast Hwy”? Is the number on the rise? Is the number of motorists that also run red lights also on the rise, suggesting cyclists are one part of a bigger problem?

    Please understand, I am not excusing cyclists that run red lights. I believe that those cyclists and motorists that break the law should be ticketed. But it’s imperative that we all back up our arguments with fact.

    And in regards to the suggestion that we “police our sport”: if I see a cyclist running a red light, I’m not going to mash like crazy to catch up after the light has changed and then, with whatever breath I have left, educate him/her on the stupidity and illegality of his/her actions. I’ve been on a group ride where I stopped for a red light and everyone else went through. They pulled over ahead and waited for me as I sat at the light, alone. They didn’t ridicule me for stopping, I didn’t berate them for continuing. We all knew the arguments for and against running lights in that part of town. Education is really the key. I suspect many cyclists are unaware that residents along PCH are having genuine difficulties with safely exiting their driveways. So tell us about it! Begin a campaign. Put up posters and signs at stoplights. And by all means, ticket those cyclists that flaunt the law. But please don’t suggest that it is every cyclists responsibility to reign in the behavior of other cyclists, simply because our mode of transportation has the same number of wheels. That’s like saying you are responsible for stopping drivers speeding on the 405. It’s not your fault they’re idiots and I wouldn’t think you less law-abiding simply because you drive the same kind of vehicle.

    If I can make it to the meeting in early September, I will. I look forward to meeting you then, Chris.

  13. Chris Frost says:

    Rach Stevo

    Thank you for being concerned enough to post. First off, I ride the highway quite a bit and have for the last 30 years. Much of what I have shared here is from personal experience and a lot of time spent amongst the cyclists, listening to what they have to say.Plus, i drive this highway all day long. I have spent more hours at the Trancas Starbucks than I can recall or afford. You would be amazed at the cross section of cyclists and life in general that pass through on a Sunday morning.

    The ratio of riders running red lights is much higher than 1 in 12. On one Sunday morning I watched approx. 60% blast through the red just at Busch Dr. alone. Other intersections are 40-50%. You can sit at Starbucks and see every variation of, cruising through, rolling through and just outright blasting through the red at Trancas Cyn. Ratios there are not quite as high because so many stop or turn around there.

    I can give you the statistics on cars running red lights (at least the ones that were ticketed)by going back through our monthly stats. But that’s not what I’m trying to get out here. I am trying to get PCH, cyclists, drivers, peddstrians…everyone on the same page. You may or may not agree with me, but this is the way I’m going about it. Yes, I would like to see us police our own sport.
    If I’m out there giving everyone else a bad name, then call me out. I’m not above anyone and I am certainly not so entitled that I get to pick and choose which red lights I get to blast through.

    I don’t believe I have said that it is every cyclists responsibility. Each person has to make their own decisions as to what they are comfortable with. Our accountability is ultimately to ourselves anyway. In many organizations, 5% of the people do 90% of the work. I just prefer to be in that 5%. It’s where I like my accountability to be. I have never really stepped into the big ring and gone after someone on the highway. But I have approached them if I have seen them later in the day. Not from a judgemental standpoint, just to get their reason for running through red lights. Most of them had no good reason, although recently I was told that a local group was running all the lights and when asked about said “we are time trialing”. I call BS. take it up to the west end where there are no stop lights.

    As for Big Rock and the residents problems there…I have been talking about them. You can also go online and pull up our minutes for the PSC. That’s where it was first brought to our attention. I have spoken to several of the clubs and a lot of individuals. Bottom line..what is so difficult about stopping at a red light…T-intersection or not.

    Please let me know when you are out here. Love to go riding with you. Is it ok if I dont wear a helmet? Just kidding.

    Best,
    Chris Frost

    • Allan says:

      Sorry for getting to the game so late, but are you considering riders that blow through the red light heading south on PCH at Busch Dr. and also at Big Rock as part of your observed infractions? Also, aren’t the owners parked here, the four cars on the right, aren’t they illegally parked? If so, wouldn’t ticketing them solve the problem you mentioned above for this intersection? Personally I think you’re going to have a very hard time convincing riders that they should be stopping here when they’re heading South. Ticketing the riders heading south while ignoring the parking of these residences will only exacerbate the problem.

      While we’re at it, can you state the intersections in question? I see that there’s one that’s mentioned that doesn’t even have any bicycle lane, (Busch Dr heading north). I can see why riders would blow through that one, going either way! Heading north they are out in the middle of the road with no cover, such as a bike lane. Heading south, they aren’t bothering a soul riding through the light.

      • Chris Frost says:

        Alan,

        Yes, I am considering those inetersections along with Kanan, Trancas, Malibu Cyn, Webb Way, Las Flores etc. I am on this Hwy just about every day. I am telling you what I see. This is my opinion based on what I see and I see quite a bit.

        No, I don’t believe they are illegally parked. Why do you think they are?

        So you think it’s just ok to ignore red lights that you feel dont fit within the scope of your ride. A red light is a red light, no matter what intersection it is at. Pedestrians also use this light and how well can you see them through a bunch of cars.

        I dont know what you are trying to point out when you say there is no bike lane at Busch Dr (north) and you can see why cyclists just blast through it. It is a heavily traveled intersection. What makes you think you should blast through it? There’s no bike lane anywhere on PCH.

        The red lights are for stopping.
        Come on out and go riding with me. I would like to see how you safely dance around these issues. Maybe you should show me why we all should ignore certain red lights.

        Seriously the offers is there.

        Chris Frost

        • Allan says:

          Chris,

          What I’m referring to is a lack of a bike lane heading west, (I mistakenly referred to directions as N and S, but these are mostly E and W) as shown here. A properly designed intersection with bicycle traffic SHOULD have a bike lane for riders like this this one. When the cyclist does not have a good place to wait for the red lights, they feel like they’re out to fend for themselves, which they are. The choices they have are all not good on a heavily traveled road like PCH. If they take the right turn lane, they’ll piss off the locals that are making a right. If they take the slow lane heading straight, they piss off the locals traveling straight through the intersection. And you know as well as I do, if the locals are pissed at riders going through a T intersection, you better believe it that they’ll be pissed any time a bicyclist is in front of them slowing their precious day. The final option the bicyclist has is to run the light as best they can. Or get off the f***ing road like the locals would like to see!

          So with that in mind, I took a look at the intersections you mentioned, and show you what the bicyclist has to deal.

          Pacific Coast Hwy & Kanan – unsafe-no bike lane W, safe to blow through the light E
          Pacific Coast Hwy & Trancas – safe to wait and should stop at the light, W and E
          Pacific Coast Hwy & Malibu Cyn – unsafe-no bike lane heading W, safe to wait E
          Pacific Coast Hwy & Webb Way – inadvertant bike lane W, unsafe-no bike lane heading E
          Pacific Coast Hwy & Las Flores – unsafe-no bike lane W, toss up E

          I’ve heard your offer once about coming out to join you in a ride, repeating the offer is not doing you any good. Please stop. I can offer you a tip on getting around some of these intersections though. For instance Pacific Coast Hwy & Las Flores, you could make a right at the intersection, then a quick u-turn to get you back on to PCH. This image will help explain it better. Other intersections is a possibility, you just got to play it by ear.

          I really think those four cars I mentioned at Big Rock are illegally parked. The driveway was never designed for cars to be parked like that, and part of the car is actually parked on PCH. If no other cars can park there, which they can’t, then it shouldn’t be used by the residents there. I’m also betting that they’re infringing on the clearance for bicyclists in that section. I’ll see if I can get to the bottom of that. If I’m correct on this, it’ll affect quite a few people living on PCH. Should be interesting if law enforcement actually do anything about it too.

          • Chris Frost says:

            Allan,

            The cars are not parked illegally. They are to the right of the fog line.

            Busch Dr has never been a problem for me. I come up to a red light, I pull to the right, I stop and then I wait for the green to go. No problem. I don’t piss off the locals or anyone else, because I stop for the red. there is plenty of room for everyone.

            You want to redesign PCH, crucify the drivers, hammer law enforcement figure out ways to get around the system, run T-intersections….what else.

            All I am here to do…is ask everyone to please consider stopping at red lights. If you have some other agenda, then start your own post.

            Oh, and you send me google earth photos like you were actually here. If you have history at these intersections, then lets’s hear about it.

            Best,
            Chris Frost

  14. Anonymous says:

    Twitter Trackbacks…

  15. Allan says:

    (Continued from above)
    Chris,
    OK you aren’t a traffic commissioner but part of your job description as a public safety commissioner does include “traffic safety (including traffic law enforcement and traffic engineering)” ref. As a public safety commissioner I would suspect that they would be concerned about the safety of the largest majority possible, instead of a fairly low percentage of road users, e.g. bicyclists. Sadly I suspect the decision has already been made as to how these officers and possibly the CHP will be used in the foreseeable future. They will be used placate a grumbling minority of the Malibu residence who are upset seeing some cyclists running the red lights. And the larger problem of bad drivers driving recklessly over the speed limits gets tamped down, for now. BTW, I was just playing the percentages when I assumed you are a speeder on PCH. Chances that you are one of the drivers driving the speed limit are pretty slim, statically speaking.
    Thanks for the offer on getting out there. I live in Long Beach, so the chances of me getting there is pretty slim, but I have ventured out there before, and on my bike no less! My biggest concern is lack of a shoulder on PCH on the way back. Which brings me to a point I wanna make.
    Start making bicyclist feel like they’re apart of the traffic on PCH, not as if something you want to get rid of. Build a safe lane for them to ride on going up and down PCH. You do that, and you may get more of them following the traffic laws. It happened in Belmont Shores with the green bike lane. It’s really weird, but all the sudden when you have a lane and a right, you suddenly become more responsible.
    You mentioned that bicyclists running red lights isn’t the only subject that the commission is tackling. So what are the other subjects that you are tackling that concerns the safety of all users of PCH?
    Finally if no one has driven home the point to you about what a failure automobiles are, I’d like to share this from my current issue of Sierra from the Sierra Club. The Latest From the Labs, at the bottom it lists “Techno-Fails”.

    Internal Combustion Vehicles
    Is it fair to brand one of the most successful and ubiquitous technologies ever invented a flop? Consider what would happen today if a company brought to market a new product that wasted 85 percent of the energy you put into it, spewed toxins and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, made us vulnerable to hostile foreign powers through oil dependence, and has caused cancer, birth defects, childhood asthma, and a host of other respiratory ailments in tens of millions of people. But the
    internal combustion engine has gotten a free pass on these costs—in effect, a massive subsidy—that has allowed it to dominate transportation since the days of the Model T. More than anything else, the internal combustion engine fails in its extreme wastefulness: The average modern car uses only 15
    percent of every gallon of gas put into it to actually move, compared with the 90 percent efficiency of electric motors.

    —E.H.

    • Chris Frost says:

      Allan,

      We are Public Safety. That is our designation. Yes, we look at where we can do the most good for the most amount of people. But that does not include ignoring any issue that becomes apparent to us or the City.

      CHP and Sheriff; First off, our law enforcement team is here to enforce the laws. I have no recolection of any pre-decided policy that is there to placate grumbling residents. First off all those residents pay for law enforcement. If they see people breaking the law, they have a right to speak up. If you have watched the news over the last 6 months, you won’t see grumbling residents, but a group of impassioned residents speaking up at all costs to rein in all areas of safety on PCH. Try driving through, the whole length, of our city, with your foot to the floor. You will be ticketed by one of the motorcycle officers westbound or eastbound. The ramped up speed enforcement has made a difference. But you would have to be here daily to see that. We have added law enforcement, and the presence on PCH is the best I have seen to date. It doesnt mean that every issue is solved, but it does mean that we are very aware of what goes on out there and we are trying to make a difference.

      You asked what else we do. This forum was just for the one issue, so I will keep it brief. Every issue carries its own degree of importance and that level is going to vary from one person to the next. We take all issues seriously and try to find reasonable solutions. We have DUI checkpoints, A beach team who cover a lot of area and are one of the key elements in keeping the alcohol of the beach and hopefully out of the driver going home on PCH. We deal with the Fire Dept, Lifeguards and our city wide disaster team.
      We are presently ramping up for a Volunteer On Patrol Program to assist law enforcement, with more eyes out there. We are a unique city in configuration, being 22 miles long and will welcome more help at critical times. West Hollywood’s VOP Program has been very successful.

      These are just part of what we do. I can’t cover everything here, but you are welcome to look at our minutes if you want. Or go west and look at the median along Zuma. That Quick Curb was lobbied for and pushed by our commission, and most notably me in particular. It took awhile because it involved CalTrans and their budget, but I stayed in their face and got the project completed. The day it was being installed I went down the highway thanking every worker for their effort. That stretch had seen several deaths from U-turns over the double-double line. It is infinatly safer now and I believe we have saved lives. We have a lot to do and for the most part we all enjoy it.

      As for making Malibu bike friendly. We are not trying to discourage cyclists. We are trying to get a handle on the safety issue. Sure I would like a bike lane on PCH…but engineering and budgeting has told us we cant, at least at this point. We can’t do anything to PCH without CalTrans apporoval and budget. Although we did go out and get a grant for a bike route on the west end, CalTrans still has the last word.

      Look, I am a cyclist, and I want a lot of the same things that you do. Come out and ride and let’s talk further. Any solutions to this problem are welcome.

      Best,
      Chris Frost

  16. Joe says:

    Here’s what I don’t get.

    If there were vigilantes with guns shooting near misses at cyclists due to their anger at seeing some cyclists run red lights, we would NEVER hear the following:

    “Snipers have developed a kind of tunnel vision that does not differentiate one cyclist from another. That means that the law-abiding rider gets treated pretty much the same as one who continually flaunts the law. So when you get shot at for no apparent reason, the cause may well be an incident you had no part of.”

    “…certainly the sniper is wrong and certainly the cyclist’s who continually run red lights are wrong.”

    “Of course we need to get snipers off the road. We also need to stop at red lights….why draw more attention to yourself.”

    But when the weapon is a car instead of a gun, we get the above. I don’t understand why the choice of weapon makes a difference. Can someone explain it to me?

    • Chris Frost says:

      Joe,

      I am not sure what you are asking…A car aimed at someone is a weapon. I use the term car, because that is what it is…a car. It doesnt become a weapon until it is used as such.

      Best,
      Chris Frost

      • But when you say “why draw attention to yourself”…you really just don’t get it. Running or not running a red light does not give ANYONE the right to injure me. But you excuse drivers by saying that someone running a red light is drawing attention to themself and, therefore, deserves whatever punishment a driver deserves to give to them. I find your “why draw attention to yourself” argument offensive in the most disgusting way. THAT’S where I see you excusing drivers and PACIFYING them, instead of calling a spade a spade. A vigilante driver with road rage who is targeting and attempting to kill cyclists by running them off the road. Do you even ride? Because based on your arguments and extremely poor word choice, it doesn’t sound like it.

        If a motorist is going to purposely buzz or run off the road a cyclist because of any perceived offense, then they are using their car as a weapon. And this happens everyday, and it doesn’t matter if that motorist saw the cyclist run a light or not. It’s inexcusable, but you are excusing it. If I was in my car and saw a motorist roll a stop sign, would you excuse me pulling a pit maneuver on said motorist?!!!

        If a motorist is going to get upset just because they have noticed me for some reason (I’ve somehow “drawn attention to myself), then that motorist isn’t fit to be behind the wheel.

        Your logic is so faulty it’s disgusting coming from someone in public safety.

        • Chris Frost says:

          dancer,

          I never said anything about pacifying drivers who use their cars as weapons. Just exactly where is that coming from. You are way off base. Just where do you see me saying it is ok to aim at a cyclist if he ran a red light.Gimmee a break

          If you want to ride down the Hwy, running red’s and attracting attention, that is certainly not smart. We all know there are idiots out there in cars, I just prefer to not be in their sights.
          There is nothing pacifying about it. I want them off the road too and spend a good part of my time in that pursuit. How many DUI’s you called in on PCH in Malibu?
          How many accidents scenes have you been at trying to pull bikes out from under cars? How many friends have you lost on PCH?

          As far as riding, why dont you come out and ride with me and judge that for yourself. Or do you have some excuse not to. Actually I was looking for a partner for the 508, you interested.

          Since I am so digusting to you, dont waste any more time here.
          Unless of course, you want to take me up on my offer.

          By the way, thats the first comment I have had like that in 6 years on this commission. But it’s ok, because I have received a nice e-mail from one of the clubs on PCH, thanking me for spending my time, having their back. Guess it all balances out.

          Best,
          Chris Frost

          • Just because no one else wants to call you out on spreading the idea that cyclists are 2nd class citizens by using phrases like “should not draw attention to ourselves” doesn’t mean I won’t. I don’t care what your track record is, if you continue to say something as a public official that I disagree with, I’m going to refute it.

            • Chris Frost says:

              dancer,

              That comment borders on malicious. I’m not spreading the idea that cyclists are 2nd class citizens. That is your “term” and you are spinning it.If you think that drawing attention to yourself by breaking the law is a good idea, your probably going to be in the minority.

              Best,
              Chris Frost

      • Anytime someone operates their vehicle in an unsafe and reckless manner that vehicle has become a weapon. Ask the 40,000 people who died last year. Anytime you purposely buzz a cyclist FOR ANY REASON, you are using your vehicle as a weapon.

        I mean, a gun isn’t a weapon until you point at something, right?

        • Chris Frost says:

          dancer,

          See the above reply.

          Hope you come out and go riding. Love to see you back all of this up.

          Best,
          Chris

          • I don’t have to prove anything to you. As you see, if you bothered to click on my handle, I keep a blog about my riding, and everyone here can vouch for the number of miles and bike-related activity I do every day.

            I have clearly explained how your choice of words insinuates pacifying drivers, whether you mean it or not. And I can continue to ask, push, and solicit a public official to state his argument in a non-offensive way until I see that change.

            Furthermore, I never suggested that I practice running red lights or any other traffic violations to get motorists attention. But I certainly don’t feel like NOR DO I HAVE TO make myself small so I don’t aggravate some poor driver who can’t be bothered to change lanes pass. All your rhetoric still just alleviates responsibility from reckless drivers.

            I have had a number of friends hit in collisions and one very good friend completely disfigured and life ruined by a drunk driver.

            My argument with you is not about red lights, it’s about your continued insistence that we not “draw attention” to ourselves.

  17. cody says:

    Wow – this is a lot of comments and heated discussion!

    I think the bottom line is to respect the law. I used to go through T’s, but now I don’t. What more is there to discuss? Do I hate drivers on PCH when I’m on my bike….yes, most of the time. But there are some nice ones too.

    So lead by example and ride smart and safe – and within the law. I think just being an example suffices for policing our sport.

    The real enforcement will hopefully improve if we can ever get the CHP patrolling Malibu along with the Sheriff. They would enforce not only speeding cars and those driving recklessly, but those riding recklessly too. We’re equals to cars out there unfortunately – I sure wish we had our own road! :)

  18. bikinginla says:

    I’ve been letting this conversation run its course, but let me jump in here for a moment and try to cool down the rhetoric a little.

    As I noted at the beginning of this page, this post reflects Chris Frost’s opinions, without editing or comments on my part. It does not necessarily reflect my opinion; there are some things he wrote that I agree with, and some I don’t.

    However, I can say that Chris is in fact an avid cyclist who frequently rides PCH, and he’s also someone I’ve come to like and respect. As a matter of fact, at this moment he’s part of a crew fighting a wildfire in Arizona.

    Again, as my introduction indicated, I met with both Chris and Susan Tellem a few weeks ago. Despite my previous criticism of Tellem, I walked away liking them both. They have strong feelings about the situation on PCH from a Malibu-centric perspective, but they are concerned about making PCH safer for everyone, and equal enforcement of all violations, whether they’re committed by drivers, cyclists or pedestrians. In fact, the local paper reported that in the first weeks that new sheriff’s deputy was patrolling PCH, virtually all of the tickets he wrote were for violations by motorists.

    They are also open to discussion; during our meeting, they accepted some of the arguments that Jay and I made about the rights of cyclists. I left believing they are people we can work with, and nothing I’ve seen since then has changed that opinion.

    However, just as cyclists had to work with the Mayor and the LAPD to get them to see things from our perspective, we need to have an open and honest discussion with them. Both Tellem and Frost have indicated that they are willing to listen to us, which is an important first step; we need to listen to them as well.

    • Brent says:

      Thanks for posting this coda. I think Chris (and Malibu residents in general) are in a bit of straitjacket. Without direct control over PCH, they are hard-pressed to make substantive changes to speed limits, road furniture, etc. Perhaps someday that’ll change, but for now it seems the options are limited.

    • And just like working with the LAPD and the Mayor, they have to learn that the words they use and the phrasing they use is important. We don’t have to make ourselves small or get out of the way on any road, and this continued using of phrasing that we don’t “draw attention” to ourselves is ridiculous. Cyclists are more likely to get hit when they don’t “draw attention” to themselves by riding where they can’t be seen, like in the gutter, all the way in the shoulder, or on the sidewalk.

      You may like them, but I have particular misgivings about liking anyone who has called a whole class of people criminals (Susan Tellem) and can’t be bothered to publicly apologize.

  19. Chris Frost says:

    dancer,

    I do not operate through Facebook and dont know what Susan Tellem said or didn’t say. Respectfully, she is her own person, and those are her words not mine. Please do not go any further with your rhetoric about snipers and weapons and ciminals and guided missles or whatever. That’s not what any of this was about. It was about stopping for red lights on PCH. I am a long time cyclist and proud of it. I am also a big fan of Public safety and equally proud of that. Enough said. Hope to see you on Wednesday night.

    Best,
    Chris Frost

  20. Allan says:

    Chris-
    “The cars are not parked illegally. They are to the right of the fog line.”

    So I take it that this Jeep here isn’t parked illegally either? Looks like they have at least two feet to spare, right? As a public safety commissioner you don’t have a problem with the way these people park on PCH? Using that spare two feet wouldn’t be a problem with you? How bout this guy? No problem, right? As a public safety commissioner/bicyclist safety advocate you would say that the rider on the left here is out of position and should get into the door zone like the other two riders? Isn’t this area on the right of the fog line a riding lane? The sign here states it is. So the question should be how far does this riding lane extend to the right? Do you know the answer to that?

    I find it alarming that you don’t know your fellow commission members position and cyclist’s rights to the road. Or even their attitudes regarding cyclists. I’m wondering if they think these cyclists are just a nuisance on the roads of Malibu?

    I really haven’t heard much from you in regards to providing more harmony with all road users on PCH either. The only thing I’m really hearing is “either you’re with us, or your part of the problem.” I guess I’m part of the problem, cause I don’t think you’re going about this right. You want more harmony with the bicyclists and drivers, you make bicyclists part of the traffic patterns. Make them a part of the movement of people on PCH, not a nuisance. You do this by building and fighting for infrastructure for bicyclists. There is practically NOTHING in Malibu where the bicyclist feels safe and covered. And there’s NO drive from city officials to rectify that problem.

    Finally you said “Busch Dr has never been a problem for me. I come up to a red light, I pull to the right, I stop and then I wait for the green to go. No problem.”, could you possibly be more vague? There’s no where good for the cyclists to stop at these lights as I pointed out. I haven’t a clue what you are referring to here.

    Also in regards to me being out in Malibu. I probably end up out there about twice a year. Not enough for me to get too concerned about showing up for the meetings, but I do know that there’s room for improvement from city officials regarding bicycle infrastructure there. For example you got some REALLY BAD non-existence shoulders on part of PCH.

    • Chris Frost says:

      Alan,

      The cars are parked legally. In fact they may very well be on their own property, But inside the right of way.
      The cyclists is riding legally.The area to the right of the fog line is not a lane, it is the shoulder.
      There is no bike lane in this picture. The sign says Pacific Coast (on top) and Bike Route (below).

      I am aware of the commissioners attitudes toward cyclists. I am also aware of their attitudes toward Public Safety.

      My idea of providing more “harmony” on PCH would involve an effort on the part of everyone to obey the law. Maybe then we can gain back some of the respect that has been lost by the constant abuse of the “red Light” on PCH. By the way…I never hear complaints from cyclists riding west of Trancas. You say we never do anything as a city. Check on the grant we have obtained from the TSO to make the west end more bicycle friendly, through possible widening, signage, etc.

      Regarding Busch Dr; What don’t you understand? When I approach a red light at that intersection, I pull to the right and stop. When it is green I go. That way I have the least exposure possible to traffic. Please do not start in that by being less visible I am making cyclists 2nd class citizens or whatever. What I am doing is being less exposed to traffic which make it safer. And that my friend is what I am preaching…safety.

      I have heard all of the complaints about law enforcement, hwy engineering, the residents, parked cars, and all the rest. We each have to take responability for our actions. If you want to have a safer ride, then adjust your style to fit your circumstances.If you want change then come with solutions. But how about starting with obeying the law.

      This blog was about the red light issue and it morphed into other areas. Someone else can come forward now and start their own post about some other aspect of safety.

      Goggle on,

      Chris Frost

  21. Chad says:

    There are many aspects to traffic safety. The one aspect that Chris chose to write about is cyclist running red lights. Not once did he ever say this was the only unsafe traffic issue. This is one safety concern that cyclists can change immediately. There is no study needed. In fact, it sounds like he has taken other measures to increase enforcement by funding another motors position for the Sheriff’s Department. Chris, if you’re not careful, you will next be accused of being responsible for turning California into a police state! He is just one cyclist making an immediate change in driver’s attitudes/behavior and cycling safety.

    Confused Dancer with ice cream…do you even read your own posts? And I quote, “These laws were enacted for a reason: to improve safety for all road users. I don’t care how safe you think you are or how good a driver you think you are, turn the f**king phone off. You don’t get to decide which stop lights to stop at, do you? No! You have to stop at all stop lights.” You stopped to confront a driver about an unsafe issue (talking on the phone), but you won’t confront a fellow cyclist when they are committing an unsafe act. It sounds like it is you who are treating cyclists as second class citizens.

  22. Chris Frost says:

    Chad,

    Thank you for taking the time to post here. You pretty much nailed my purpose for this in the first place.

    Best,
    Chris Frost

  23. Allan says:

    Chris -
    “When I approach a red light at that intersection, I pull to the right and stop. When it is green I go.”

    Where exactly do you pull to the right to when approching Busch Dr. here? Right as in the right portion of the slow lane heading straight? Or right as in the middle of the turn lane turning left? Or right as in stopped on the red curb next to the fire hydrant? Or right as in waiting to cross at that cross walk? (I think I got all the possibilities) And where are you positioned approaching the intersection?

    Regarding the parked cars pointed out, I never realized cyclists have been relegated to riding in the curb of THEIR property. I always assumed it was part of PCH. You my friend have bigger problems than I thought! But I really don’t understand why you have decided to tackle bicyclists running the red lights and or stop signs. Yeah sure it’s illegal and dangerous for the cyclist, but there are FAR FAR bigger problems that should be focused upon. You literally have people dying because cars are driving recklessly and far higher than the posted speed. This endangers everyone from pedestrians to motorists. Can you even come up with one incident of an accident involving a bicyclist running a red light in Malibu? The PCH Task force sited speeding cars as the cause of most of the collisions on PCH. I’m not an expert, but it seems like that’s where I would spend most, if not all my time as a public safety officer if I was concerned about public safety. I would not be spending my time appeasing a few of the old grumbly residents that are pissed and probably jealous that they can’t flaunt the law, how ever few that is. And yes you’d probably catch me rolling in the shoulder (thinking it was a bike lane) on through the T intersection.

    OK so you want more posts about safety on PCH? Can I suggest you read Stanley E. Goldich article 8/30/10

    A PCH cyclist responds to Malibu Public Safety Commissioner Chris Frost

    I agree with everything Mr. Goldich has to say. He has far more of the facts on this than I do and knows more about the legality of things than me too. I do possess an ability to know what is right and what is wrong, and when someone is getting the raw end of a deal, and right now, bicyclists are getting the raw end of a deal. They are being taken for a ride, if you will.

    So please do me a favor and spend your time addressing his points. He’s laid it out pretty well and the points I’ve made are included. I kinda like this article better, but take your choice.

    • Chris Frost says:

      Alan,

      I really feel all you want to do is argue. My original point was in asking that cyclists please stop at red lights. That is something you say you will probably not do(T-Intersection anyway). so we are not on the same page as far as safety.

      As for Busch Dr. I generally am approaching the intersection close to the right hand side of the road. You said something about a left turn. There is no lft turn lane involved. There is a right turn lane and where i go may depend on whether or not it is occupied. Why all the fuss about this.
      If I come up to the light I generally pull over to the right, as in next to the curb. I wait for the cars to turn right and then I proceed on the green. I know how to ride my bike so don’t start telling me the proper way to stop. That’s enough about this. It is a simple procedure. Quit googling earth and go out there yourself.

      As for the parked cars. No one is relegated to anything. If you want to ride in the lane and next to the fog line, that is permitted under the law. If you want to ride on the shoulder, that is your choice.

      I didn’t just arbitrarily take up the subject of cyclists running red lights. I saw a need for talking about this and here we are. Just take it at that, okay. Yes, there are bigger problems, and those problems are on our radar as well. When you have a solution to crazy or irrational drivers, other than law enforcement , let me know.
      Then maybe you can really help.

      Your last paragraph about old grumbly residents shows what kind of respect you have for others. It is also pretty damm judgemental. Maybe you would like to make that statement to my folks. You might be surprised by the reaction you get…hah

      So roll on down the shoulder and through the lights and be as disrespectful as you can. That’s sure to get people to listen to you.

  24. Allan says:

    Chris-
    “I really feel all you want to do is argue. ”

    I’m surprised to hear this from you. The subject may have been stopping cyclists from running red lights, but for me it’s safety of all road users on PCH. As a public safety commissioner, wouldn’t that be a more ambitious goal? To reduce accidents and fatalities on PCH in Malibu? This what I’m arguing for. I’m sorry if this is not your goal and you don’t want to debate this.

    Or could it be my inquisition on how you handle a typical intersection of the area in question? And thanks by the way at figuring out that I was referring to making a right and not a left at the Busch Dr example. I wanted to inquire on the skills of a bicycle riding public safety commissioner’s ability at making the right decision at a troubling intersection and show what many others face. At this intersection there’s no good choice for the cyclists. It is not in the right turn lane and riding straight, which is illegal. It is not to stop at the red curb, which is also illegal. What the cyclist should do here is take the right lane that heads forward. If there’s cars at the light, he needs to get in line with the other cars stopped there. I invite you to ask Dan Gutierrez, http://cyclistview.com/ , YouTube Channel: CyclistLorax , League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor, and whole list of other credentials. He’ll tell you the same thing. The best option and what should be followed in this situation is for the cyclist to take the lane. Ideally what there should be is infrastructure for cyclists, such as a bicycle lane between the slow lane and the right turn lane. As I pointed out in one of my post above. Which btw, why is there such resentment towards me using Google maps? You have a better suggestion? A picture is worth a thousand words sir. If you have a better suggestion, I would love to hear it. This just goes to show how far we (cyclists) have to go if not even our government officials know the law. Heck from my experience, not even the law enforcers know the law!

    So anyways I’ve gotten a pretty good idea of who you are and what your position is. I’m all for cyclists stopping at red lights, but I also know that’s not the source of your problems. If you magically were able to stop all cyclists from running red lights in Malibu, you would still have the same problem you do now. Nothing will have changed with the fatalities.

    Oh and you did ask for solutions to your problems from me. If it was up to me I would start with a relatively cheap solution that would bring down car speeds, and that is speed bumps. The speed limit on PCH is 45 mph. Design the speed bump to accommodate that speed. Once speeds have been driven down, then you could introduce traffic calming and other measures. But we know that would never happen. Too many people would be up in arms at the first mention of speed bumps.

    Go ahead and have the last word on this, I’m pretty much done.

    • Chad says:

      I bet Dan Gutierrez stops at stop lights/signs. You guys are way over thinking this and making it more difficult than it has to be. The point Chris is trying to make is this: Stop at red lights and stop signs. Doing so will increase the safety of the rider from being hit by cross traffic. And since we are ambassadors of our sport (while some may not agree) every time we ride, it is important that our conduct reflect a positive image for cycling. It’s really very simple.

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