There’s been a significant movement to protect the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians in Southern California in recent years. However, there have been some notable exceptions.
One of those is on the Palos Verdes peninsula, where challenging hills and stunning views have made it one of the region’s most popular riding areas.
Yet despite three riding deaths in just the past year, exclusive Palos Verdes Estates has repeatedly refused to take even the most basic steps to improve safety, rejecting calls from their own safety committee to install Bikes May Use Full Lane signs. Which only confirm what the law already allows, even though many motorists — and some police departments — may be unaware of the fact.
As a result, cyclists have called for a die-in tomorrow afternoon to protest their decision and call for better safety in the community.
Delia Park and Kristie Fox explain.
WHAT: Die In protest. Bring your bikes with you, if possible. Lay down with us in Malaga Cove Plaza, Palos Verdes Estates to show passing motorists the bloody reality of what happens when bikers get hit by cars.
WHEN: 4:00 – 5:00 PM this Tuesday, December 13, 2016.
WHY #1: To demand that the city install bicycle safety signage that says, “Bikes May Use Full Lane” (BMUFL signage) which have been recommended by the Palos Verdes Estates Traffic and Safety Committee but rejected by the PVE City Council for no reason other than opposition by a handful of angry residents.
WHY #2: This year, over a three-month period, three cyclists were killed in bike-car collisions on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. This is an unprecedented number of fatalities for this location. Protest activities began after the last of these fatalities, a hit and run in which no one was ever apprehended.
After working patiently with the city council, and with dozens of cyclists attending many council and committee meetings, the BMUFL signs were unanimously approved and recommended by the traffic and safety committee but rejected by the PVE City Council, who caved in to the localism for which PVE has become globally recognized via media exposure of the Lunada Bay Boys, a local group that has allegedly impeded non-local surfers from using local public beaches.
The new target of localism has become cyclists. A small contingent of Lunada Bay residents mobilized and ultimately swayed the City Council to vote against the recommendations of its own traffic engineer and its own traffic safety committee, which recommended installation of the BMUFL signage.
After decades of complaints, the PVE City Council has finally begun to address the Lunada Bay Boy surfer issues following a public outcry through intense media scrutiny, surfer protests, and a class action lawsuit alleging gang activities against members of the surfer locals. However, the same discrimination that has impacted surfing in Lunada Bay for decades is now directed towards cyclists. The PVE City Council chose to side with the local residents and protect their convenience and “way of life” over the lives and safety of cyclists.
It is time for all cyclists to join in solidarity and support safe cycling for everyone in the LA region, particularly PV, where thousands of cyclists come to enjoy the coastline views and hills that have served as training grounds for locals and professionals for decades.
Show up tomorrow in Malaga Cove at 4:00 PM and support the effort to advance cycling safety and awareness!
Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson discusses the die-in, as well as calls to install a crosswalk for kids walking to school.