LA doesn’t have many carfree places where people can walk and ride carefree.
And right now, one of the most popular ones is under attack.
I’ll let CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew explain.
I’m not going to mix words. Griffith Park is the greatest urban open space in the country.
While the park is filled with many attractions that would take days to frequent, the star is its natural beauty.
Many homes are blanketed across the Santa Monica Mountains, but Angelenos have been eternally blessed to be gifted this land that largely preserves its original character.
In what seems to be a move to placate those living below the Hollywood Sign, the Griffith Park Advisory Board is considering opening up Mount Hollywood Drive to vehicular traffic. I don’t have specifics, but cars would be allowed to travel and park close to the peak of the road.
While we already have examples of these traffic problems across the park, this move would pave the way for trams taking tourists up to the Hollywood sign, impacting yet another prized local resource.
Speaking as a cyclist, Griffith Park has the only paved accessway that climbs the hills of Los Angeles without the threat of vehicular traffic. The road is used by cyclists of every age, skill level and bike style.
To the many hikers and horse riders that also utilize the same paths, we share the same plight.
Not only does the addition of cars ruin this stretch for those that frequent it, but it would also add congestion to both stretches of Vermont and Western Canyon.
Please come to the Griffith Park Advisory Board Meeting this Thursday at 6:30pm at the Ranger Station on Crystal Springs & Fire Rd to show your support to preserve the nature of the park.
Griffith Park is our park. It should never be anything other than that.
There are very few places in this city that have been given over to people, rather than cars. Griffith Park needs to remain one of them.
The Sierra Club agrees.
Writing for HuffPo, Joel Epstein makes the point I’ve been trying to drive home — CicLAvia is good for business.
I was particularly impressed by the car dealer who handed out lip balm to passing riders, as well as the pet store employees who called out to ask people going by if they owned a dog or cat, then gave out pet-specific shopping bags to anyone who said yes.
Just two examples of smart marketing that will undoubtedly result in more sales later. Which beats the hell out of complaining about any possible negative impact on sales for a single day.
I was also impressed by an 80-something grandfather I met who rode to Studio City from Sylmar to meet his grandson to bike the full CicLAvia route, and planned to ride back home afterwards. Then again, he said he barely drives anymore, preferring to take his bike everywhere — despite, or perhaps because of, a hip and knee replacement.
I want to be like him when I grow up.
CiclaValley explains what CicLAvia means to the Valley, and provides great photos of the day, as does Curbed LA and LA Magazine. Streeetsblog offers an open CicLAvia thread, allowing anyone to voice their mostly positive opinions on the day.
LA’s wildly popular open streets event even makes an appearance in fictional Springfield.
Meanwhile, CicLAvia visitors give a thumbs up to a temporary parking-protected bike lane demonstration; unfortunately, it had been taken down by the time I got there. And Boyonabike paraphrases Che in saying we need “one, two, many CicLAvias” to overthrow the tyranny of the automobile.
Note to press: CicLAvia is not a bike festival, it is a human festival, open to all regardless of travel mode, as long as they leave their motors behind.
Somehow, Scotland cops manage to get it unbelievably wrong, as cyclist picks up a cup a littering driver had tossed out, and tosses it back into the man’s car.
The driver responded by getting out of his car and demanding to know if the rider wanted to fight.
So instead of citing the driver for littering or threatening the bicyclist, police naturally threaten to file assault charges against the cyclist for instigating the incident.
I’ve often wanted to do the same thing to jerks besmirching our planet.
Then again, I may, in my younger days, have politely attempted returned a lit cigarette or two to those who tossed one out of an open car window, inquiring if the driver had lost it.
The response was usually an embarrassed apology. Though on occasion, the reaction may have been an offer to break my face, which I invariably declined.
These days, it’s just not worth the aggravation.
But I’m glad someone, somewhere, picked where I may have left off.
Let’s just hope the local Scottish authorities manage to get their heads out of their collective posteriors and do the right thing.
A writer for calls for banning right turns on red rights in the City of LA to protect pedestrians and bike riders.
Peloton takes the day off for a casual 27-mile, five stop ride through the LA area.
Bike SGV holds their monthly meeting tonight.
New bike lanes make their appearance on Mission Street in South Pasadena.
A Lennox bike rider was killed when he was shot repeatedly by a man who exited a car to fire before getting back in and being driven away.
An El Segundo surfer encourages wave riders to bike to the breaks instead of driving.
An Orange County mountain biker was airlifted to safety after suffering serious facial injuries while riding in Crystal Cove Park.
A teenage girl suffers minor injuries when she’s the victim of a hit-and-run driver while rider her bike in Stanton. Thanks to BikinginLA sponsor Michael Rubinstein for the link.
Someone is apparently sabotaging signs calling for a community meeting in opposition to planned pedestrian and bike improvements in San Diego’s Hillcrest; things like that only convince people we’re exactly who they think we are.
Despite a threatened $50 impound fee, San Diego State students continue to lock their bikes to railings instead of the school’s bike racks; which suggests that the bike racks are either inadequate or in the wrong damn place.
A San Diego bicyclist offers a classic retort to the standard complaint about unemployed cyclists on five-figure bikes ruining everything for people who have to get to work.
A project to widen the 101 Freeway from Ventura to Carpenteria, which includes a bike path on the ocean side of the highway, finishes ahead of schedule. Let’s hope it’s more successful than the effort to widen the 405 through the Sepulveda pass, which didn’t even include bike lanes despite the more than $1 billion cost.
A Lompoc bike rider suffers life-threatening injuries, despite wearing a helmet, when a mechanical failure caused him to go over his handlebars. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.
San Francisco police refuse to explain why they blamed the victim in a bicycling collision, even though a witness saw the driver blew through the red light.
Just one day left to get in on an interesting Kickstarter campaign for a new and improved kind of air pump head that promises to be easier to connect and disconnect to your tires; for $180, you can get a new bike light that’s as bright as a car headlight.
Grist says the most ecologically sound material for your bike frame is anything as long as you actually ride it.
Yuma AZ cyclists want more bike lanes in unincorporated areas of the county.
That wasn’t a gunshot that prompted a lockdown of the St. Cloud MN sheriff’s office, it was a bike tire blowout.
A Connecticut man gets eight years in prison for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist, proving to California authorities that it is possible to take the crime seriously.
New York’s Daily News makes a truly bizarre argument in favor of drivers being able to kill without legal consequences.
Five thousand cyclists rode through Lima on Sunday to promote bicycling as a way to travel between Peru and Columbia, and bring the two nations closer together.
Bike officials take the doping hunt to the next level, unsuccessfully searching 36 bikes used in the Milan-San Remo race for hidden motors; next they’ll be inspecting the riders for cyborg implants.
That’s more like it. North Vancouver agrees to widen an existing causeway to make room for bike lanes and better pedestrian access. They could give lessons to Alaska’s DOT, which robbed Anchorage cyclists of $1.3 million intended for bikeways in the city.
In the latest episode of a near-universal argument, Edmonton business owners question the removal of parking to make room for bike lanes, despite studies showing it’s good for business.
A London man is punched and pushed off his bike in an attempted bike jacking; he got it back when the thieves abandoned the bike after other riders gave chase.
A Yorkshire writer asks if cycling to work is really worth the risk, despite having apparently survived his commute.
Anti-bike Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson was spotted riding one himself as he awaits discipline for punching a producer on the popular BBC show; maybe if he rode one more often he wouldn’t be so angry. A Brit bike thief with 41 previous convictions explains the presence of shoe prints matching his by saying he loaned his loafers to someone else that day.
And a Euro triathlete site offers advice on how to turn yourself into a cyclist. Actually, to be a cyclist, you just have to get on your bike; to stop being one, simply get off.
Allow me a brief personal note.
When I returned home from Sunday’s CicLAvia, I received word that a woman I knew had died after a long and devastating battle with dementia.
The first time I met her, long before her disease took its toll, I observed a small, frail woman with a heavy accent and a number tattooed on her arm.
In an attempt to make casual conversation, I asked how she came to this country.
Instead of the brief answer I expected, I got a fascinating, hours-long recitation of a journey that began as a child in Hitler’s death camps, followed by a voyage to what was then British Palestine as part of the flotilla that included the Exodus. As a young woman, she carried — and used — a rifle in the fight for Israeli independence, knew the legendary Gold Meir on a first name basis, and founded a successful kibbutz before migrating to the US to raise a family.
The world is a poorer place today.
As this older generation slips away, we lose a measure of greatness our world may never see again. Or at least, let’s hope we never again see a time that demands such greatness.
My heart and prayers go out to her husband, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and all those who loved her.