Tag Archive for Stupid Police Tricks

Morning Links: Beverly Hills considers SaMo Blvd bike lanes, bikes as mobility aids, and not speeding fast enough

Don’t miss yesterday’s great guest post by Better Bike’s Mark Elliot about the return of the never-ending debate over bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd through Beverly Hills. After being rejected several times in recent years, they will be back before the Beverly Hills City Council at 7 pm tonight.

The anti-bike NIMBYs will undoubtedly be out in force once again. So turn out in person if you can; if not, email to voice your support for a desperately needed safe route through the city.

Here are the vital details from Elliot’s post.

Help us support bicycle lanes for Santa Monica Boulevard!

Please contact City Council by email with your support for high-visibility bicycle lanes. Reach Council [email protected] Your short statement should indicate whether you are a resident and/or if you work here. Those are important considerations for any councilmember.

Plan to attend the meting on Tuesday, June 20th in Council Chambers, City Hall, 455 N. Rexford Drive. The curtain will rise at 7 p.m. and the main act should hit the stage at 7:45 or so (please refer to the agenda).

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A British survey confirms that many disabled people use bicycles as a mobility aid, finding that traveling by bike is easier on them and healthier than other means.

Yet they are frequently required to dismount and walk their bikes, despite using them in the same way someone might use a wheelchair or mobility scooter.

Which is something else to consider in bike-unfriendly Los Angeles, where the city’s disconnected bike non-network could raise issues of compliance with the ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act), if it prevents people with physical mobility issues from using their bikes to get around.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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A Canadian cyclist got pulled over by a cop, not because he was speeding on a descent, which he was. But because he was doing it in the traffic lane, which forced drivers who wanted to zoom even faster above the speed limit to change lanes to pass him.

Go ahead and think about that one for awhile.

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Italian cyclist Gianni Moscon is back to racing after a six-week suspension for making an alleged racist comment to another rider, which he kind of denies.

Hundreds of cyclists have competed in RAAM. But how many have done it without any legs? Then again, racing with one arm and a bum leg isn’t exactly easy, either.

The 25th annual Yukon to Alaska Kluane-Chilkat International Bike Relay will have to wait a year, after the race was cancelled due to a very late spring snow storm — except for the unicyclists, who decided to ride it anyway. And no, you won’t be getting your money back.

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Local

Transportation planner and UCLA faculty member Ryan Snyder says LA must be a bikeable city in order to be a world class city.

Apparently, Elon Musk thinks you’re going to want to walk or bike through his underground tunnels.

LA designer Phillip Lim was inspired to get into the movie business while on a bike ride along New York’s East river with a director friend.

CiclaValley explores the eastern portion of Angeles Crest Highway.

Santa Monica Spoke is hosting a community ride with the mayor of Santa Monica this Sunday.

 

State

Bicycling injuries have dropped for children and teens in California, while more bike riders over 55 are suffering injuries serious enough to visit the ER. The most obvious explanation is that fewer children and teens are riding bikes, while more people over 55 have taken up recreational riding.

A transient bicyclist was injured when he was hit by a car in Anaheim while ghost riding a second bicycle. Let’s hope police checked the ownership of the second bike; ghost riding is a common way to transport a freshly stolen bicycle.

People continue to be attacked by rock-throwing residents of homeless camps, for no apparent reason, along a popular bike path on the American River in Sacramento; one rider was seriously injured last week.

A mobile bike co-op helps keep Ukiah bicyclists on the road.

A pro skier is spending her summer selling homemade gourmet popsicles by bicycle in Lake Tahoe.

 

National

Deadspin offers a comprehensive guide to riding your bike, saying buy a goddam helmet and don’t buy that fixie; thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link. Meanwhile, Bicycling explains everything you need to know about ebikes.

A Texas writer says yes, bicyclists have to obey the law, too. But we bear the brunt of collisions when drivers don’t.

After an Arkansas teenager set up a lemonade stand to try earn money for a bicycle, kindhearted strangers gave him two bikes, and bought more lemonade than he could make.

Austin TX residents have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the Spanish-speaking bike rider who was shot in the face with a shotgun by a man who said he was just blowing off steam.

A writer for the New York Post seems to think she’s the victim after people take offense at her tweet that she’s nearly been run down by cars twice and by bikes 3,763,459 times, and that we should be grateful that the city has been transformed for bike riders. Maybe she could try looking up before she steps off the curb next time.

A New Jersey man gets 35 years for killing a bike-riding man who got caught in the crossfire of a shootout near his home. Now if they’d just take it that seriously when people use their cars as weapons.

A Philly writer takes offense when two cops refer to bicyclists as “hood ornaments” on Facebook. Although it’s more offensive that police officials didn’t.

 

International

In a report that should surprise no one, a Canadian newspaper concludes that drivers usually receive nothing more than a fine for hitting a bike rider. Which makes Canada pretty much like just about everywhere else.

After 14 months of sobriety, a Canadian man is riding over 5,100 miles across the country to raise awareness of addiction.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 85-year old Quebec man is still riding 25 miles a day, and says crashing is just part of the sport. Except for the crashing part, that is.

A Montreal cyclist survives by hiding in a small hole after encountering a tornado on his ride.

Lululemon is getting into the “small” bicycling market by investing in a Canadian bikewear maker.

Bike riders in Canada’s Maritime Provinces call for more to be done to protect people on bicycles.

London’s new walking and cycling czar lays out plans for the future of bicycling in the city; the city’s new cycle superhighways and quietways have boosted bicycling rates 56%.

A British bicyclist nearly died when paramedics misdiagnosed a rare adrenal condition due to a benign tumor, assuming he was just a drunk tourist before sending him to the hospital. If anything ever happens to me, promise you’ll smack anyone who refers to me an “avid cyclist.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine takes a tour of Fausto Pinarello’s personal bicycle collection.

The Italian soccer coach who promised his team he’d ride across the country if they avoided relegation to a lower league finishes his 800-mile journey in nine days.

Caught on video: A bike-raging Aussie cyclist lashes out at a woman driver after she pulls out of a parking space into his path, apparently without looking. Seriously, don’t throw a temper tantrum like that. And if you do, don’t be stupid enough to post it online.

A new survey says more women in Canberra, Australia are riding bikes — including BMX bikes. However, the opposite is true in the country’s New South Wales state, where cycling rates are dropping, especially among women. Which couldn’t possibly have anything to do with NSW’s draconian fines for cycling violations that went into effect last year.

 

Finally…

No, Fox News host Sean Hannity was not killed in a bike crash — and didn’t fake it to catch a terrorist, either. Hold your horses on getting that poop transplant.

And don’t chase bike riders in your creepy clown suit.

 

Morning Links: Culver City TOD study, putting immigration before injuries, and a comprehensive look at bike locks

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from bike lawyer and BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass. So come back later this morning, when he’ll be back with a new guest post discussing the problems with police reports after a crash.

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Things are changing in Culver City.

What used to be a bike-unfriendly city where the police would line up to turn back nighttime group rides has made great strides in recent years to become a safer and more inviting place to ride.

And that focus continues with a Transit Oriented District (TOD) Visioning Study to establish “an innovative Transit Oriented Development framework that could become a model for the larger Los Angeles region,” according to an email I received from David Alpaugh of Johnson Fain urban design and planning.

According to Alpaugh, Culver City’s planning efforts have already resulted in a higher-density, transit-served neighborhood that is improving both regional mobility and air quality. The goal of the study is to understand how to evolve the City into a “Transit Oriented Community” where people continue to drive less and walk, bike, and take transit more.

From now until August 2017, the Culver City TOD Visioning Study team is helping stakeholders collaborate through a series of workshops and an interactive website. Our aim is to explore measures and interventions that would lead to sustained alternative transit and mobility improvements. The primary study area is defined as the area within the half-mile walk and 3-mile biking radiuses from the Culver City Expo Station.

As of this writing, there are three more public workshops left:

  1. Thursday,May 25 – Workshop VI: Design Charrette (6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.) – Rotunda Room, Veterans Memorial Building – 4117 Overland Ave, Culver City, CA 9023
  2. Thursday,June 15 – Workshop VII: Review of Preliminary Recommendations (7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.) – Multipurpose Room, VeteransMemorial Building – 4117 Overland Ave, Culver City, CA 90230
  3. Thursday,July 6 – Workshop VIII: Presentation of Final Recommendations (6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.) – Location TBA

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In a horrifying example of just how bad things have gotten in this country, a Honduran immigrant was struck by a pickup while riding his bike to work in Key West FL.

But instead of calling for help or asking if he was okay, the first words out of the responding cop’s mouth were to question his immigration status.

So much for only going after the bad guys.

Basic police work, let alone common human decency, would dictate that investigating the crash and tending to the victim’s injuries should take precedence over any questions of immigration status.

It’s not a question of right or left.

Just right and wrong.

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Mike Wilkinson forwards a lengthy bike lock review from The Sweethome, in which they tried break to 27 locks using every method they could come up with.

And come up with this conclusion.

So why bother to lock a bike? That’s the question most people ask once they realize the general disregard most pedestrians show toward a bike being stolen and what modern cordless power tools have done to bicycle security. Why bother securing your bike with a better lock if it means only an extra minute at most, maybe even mere seconds, to a thief? It unfortunately comes down to beating the people around you—after all, you don’t need to outrun a bear, only the person next to you. If you can ride a less expensive bike and lock it up properly with a better lock in a safer location, you can remove the temptation for a thief to pick your bike over an easier target.

In some situations even the cheapest lock can provide this amount of security, but we believe that a small upgrade to the Kryptonite Evolution Mini-7 allows you to eliminate more methods of attack over the competition at this price—and as a result, in most cities your bike will be targeted only by very determined thieves. Most thieves don’t want to steal your bike, they want only to steal a bike. If one is easier to steal and valued more, that’s the one they want. If you can persuade them to pick another target, that’s all you need, but if they still decide to target your bike, we think you should at least give yourself a chance of catching them, by using a lock that needs to be cut with a grinder.

It’s worth a read if you’re concerned about protecting your bike from thieves.

And if you’re not, you should be.

As Wilkinson points out, it’s also a good reminder to register your bike, particularly since they were able to eventually defeat every lock they tested.

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And while we’re on the subject —

Culver City police uncovered a bicycle chop shop at a homeless encampment under a bridge over Ballona Creek. On the other hand, about the only reason police wouldn’t find a bike chop shop at a homeless camp is if they’re not looking.

Santa Cruz police bust a bike thief after he stole a $5,000 mountain bike and was photographed and chased by a witness; police suspect he also stole a $3,000 bicycle they found hidden in some bushes nearby.

A Dallas TV station sets out their own bait bikes to see how fast they’d get stolen, and where they’d end up. Neither of which should surprise anyone.

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Wednesday’s spoiler-free mountain stage of the Giro ended in a solo breakaway, while a Danish rider won 100 bottles of beer for being the heaviest cyclist to make it over the Stelvia pass in Tuesday’s stage of the Giro. Which should make him even heavier next time.

Teams were announced for the new four-stage Colorado Classic bike race, including four WorldTour teams.

Good thing the doping era is over. A pair of Russian and Azerbaijan cyclists have been banned for using prohibited substances. And a Brazilian cycling team has been suspended for the second time due to doping violations.

Speaking of which, Lance just got engaged to his live-in girlfriend of ten years.

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Local

After one bike rider was killed and another injured in what a witness described as a deliberate attack, the LAPD offered a tone-deaf suggestion to use helmets and lights.

 

State

Newport Beach considers restricting ebikes on the boardwalk.

Ride without a light in Sacramento, and you could get ticketed by a state Alcohol Beverage Control agent. Even if you haven’t been drinking.

The Whiskeytown National Recreation Area has been a popular site for mountain biking and MTB racing for decades — never mind that it happens to be illegal. National Park officials are trying to change that.

 

National

Streetsblog says Trump’s proposed budget would be a disaster for transit, walking and bicycling.

The brother of a Seattle bicyclist files suit against the city and the transit agency, claiming streetcar tracks were responsible for her death.

A Montana man got a well-deserved 15 to 25 years behind bars for deliberately running down a man on a bicycle with his car so he could rifle through the man’s backpack and steal his wallet; his victim is still recovering from his injuries.

Denver Streetsblog suggests that maybe the Colorado Department of Transportation should focus on building safe streets instead of looking for exotic safety concepts.

An Oklahoma paper talks with a man who’s been riding across the US for 26 years to raise funds and attention for multiple sclerosis, covering 287,000 miles and raising $148,740, inspired by a fellow cyclist who died of the disease.

Michigan offers more bike trails than any other state, with over 12,500 miles of state–designated trails and 2,600 miles of rail trails.

A Boston columnist says bike crashes are down, so what are all these enraged cyclists — and politicians who cater to them — complaining about? Meanwhile, a writer for the Globe says it’s up to everyone to learn how to share the streets safely, and pitting one side against the other doesn’t help anyone.

Caught on video: A handcuffed bike thief performs a pretty impressive flying faceplant fleeing from police in Florida.

 

International

How about a fat bike ride along the Northwest Passage, 500 miles above the Arctic Circle?

A Montreal parking enforcement officer has taken to posting photos on Twitter of trucks that park in bike lanes.

The war on bikes continues, as a British driver followed a pair of bicyclists onto the grass to run one down before fleeing the scene.

Tired of hearing there’s no room for bike lanes on the streets of the Latvian capital, Riga bike advocates paint their own to prove city officials wrong.

A BBC TV host discusses her participation in Tour d’Afrique, the world’s longest bike race, which runs nearly 7,500 miles from Cairo to Capetown. And getting chased by elephants and pelted with rocks and a whip along the way.

A new Myanmar bike tour follows the route of a 16th Century king, while showing off the countryside, and the people.

 

Finally…

Evidently, summer cyclists are edible. It takes a village to make a kid wear his bike helmet.

And seriously, if you’re carrying meth, marijuana, syringes and other drug paraphernalia on your bike, just put a damn light on it, already.

 

Morning Links: Teenage bike crash victim pepper sprayed by police, and help make Westwood bike friendly

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now the problem is figuring out how to fix it. Hopefully we’ll have it working again soon.

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Evidently, you don’t want to get hit by a car when riding while mixed-race in Hagerstown, Maryland.

A 15-year old girl was handcuffed, pepper sprayed and arrested for the crime of refusing transport to a hospital after she was struck by a car while riding her bike.

Even though there’s no law requiring collision victims to accept medical treatment against their will.

And instead of being transported to the hospital, she was taken to the police station, where she was charged with disorderly conduct, two counts of second degree assault, possession of marijuana and failure to obey a traffic device.

Although her attorney describes the amount of marijuana found in her backpack as “a flake.”

Then to cap matters, police later said she wasn’t booked for refusing treatment, but because she failed to provide proof of insurance.

For a 15-year old. On a bicycle.

Police officials claim they used “appropriate force” in pepper spraying the five-foot tall, 105 pound girl, saying it was the minimal amount needed to gain her cooperation; meanwhile, the town’s mayor crashed a press conference with the girl, turning it into a shouting match with her lawyer.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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UCLA’s Daily Bruin writes about the city council’s vote to remove the bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd from the Mobility Plan, and move them to Gayley instead.

Meanwhile, Westwood Village is looking for community members to help revise the area’s specific plan. Which would be a perfect opportunity to suggest making the village more bike and pedestrian friendly.

And moving the bike lanes back to Westwood Blvd.

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Weshigh had an unpleasant encounter of the cop kind on his ride home last night, as an officer yells at him to get to the right on a non-sharable lane before passing other traffic on the right.

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Today is the last day to apply for the LACBC’s Policy and Outreach Coordinator position.

And Multicultural Communities for Mobility says several positions are available to help make LA’s nascent bikeshare system equitable for all constituents of the city.

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Local

Streetsblog strongly endorses Measure M to impose a half-cent sales tax to fund a wide rage of road, transit and active transportation projects. Just for the record, it has my support, as well.

CiclaValley endorses bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd, and asks you to stand up for people spaces on the North Hollywood corridor.

Fourth District Councilmember David Ryu calls on the city to eliminate human-operated vehicles from LA streets by 2035.

There will be a free bike valet at Sunday’s Abbott Kinney Festival, where $25 in purchases will enter you in a drawing for a Linus Roadster Classic bike. Biking there makes a lot of sense, given the large crowds, heavy traffic and extreme parking shortage at the annual event.

Deputies with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station are looking for the owners of several bicycles they recovered from a homeless encampment, some of which have been partially dismounted and repainted.

Congratulations to the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition’s Kevin Burton, who will be honored on Sunday for Outstanding Contribution to Public Safety for his work with the group.

Santa Monica police are conducting yet another of their bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operations today.

 

State

Australian BMX silver medalist Sam Willoughby suffered a severe spinal injury while riding at the Olympic training center in Chula Vista two weeks ago; following surgery, he’s regained use of his arms, but is still unable to move from the chest down.

The Camarillo Rotary Club will host a Biking, Brews and BBQ Ride this Saturday to raise funds for local causes.

Uber is teaming with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to provide bicycle safety training for their drivers; the SFBC prepared four videos instructing them how to drive around bicyclists.

Benicia police pitch in to buy a new bicycle for a 19-year old man who had to walk two hours each way to work after his car broke down.

 

National

Oregon is less than nine miles, though several years, from completing what will eventually be a 73-mile bikeway along the Columbia River Gorge.

Colorado authorities are looking for a hit-and-run bicyclist who injured an 86-year old man on a walking trail where bikes are banned; the rider stopped to ask if the man was okay, then took off when he answered no. Bike collisions are no different from car crashes; you are legally required to stay at the scene and exchange information, on or offroad.

An Ohio woman accuses the local police of failing to properly investigate the collision that killed her husband as he rode his bicycle with a friend; even though the driver had two prior convictions for driving under the influence and had admitted to drinking the night before, police claimed they had no probable cause to test for drugs or alcohol. If killing someone isn’t probable cause, what the hell is?

The co-defensive coordinator for the Ohio State University football team hit a bike rider as he was driving near the campus Thursday morning.

More on the wealthy opponents of New York’s Prospect Park West bike lanes finally giving up their lawsuit after five years, after claiming they had been vindicated; Streetsblog says they did irreparable harm to the city.

Challenging piece from a DC cyclist, who is giving up on America after being unable to find a safe city to ride, and considering a move to the Netherlands.

A writer for Forbes explains why she put her life on hold to ride across the country from Georgia to California.

 

International

Caught on video: A British bike rider is harassed and threatened by a road raging FedEx driver who lurched just inches from his rear wheel.

When a Brit cyclist wrote the head of a company complaining about repeated harassment by one of its drivers, he was stunned to receive a response blaming him for his own stupidity and suggesting that he use the non-existent bike lanes.

An Aussie study concludes requiring helmets for motor vehicle occupants could save 17 times as many people as a bike helmet mandate.

A Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce official says a proposed rail to trail conversion could open the Australian state up to an avalanche of tourism.

 

Finally…

Apparently, not everyone is a fan of bicycles. Your bike could be why you have trouble having an orgasm.

And now you can make tax deductible donation to a pro cycling team.

 

Guest Post: Law Enforcement Needs to Understand Traffic Laws

Despite years of effort, we still have a long way to go in educating police officers on the rights of bicyclists. 

It seemed like we had solved the problem, in Los Angeles at least, five years ago when the LAPD worked with bike riders and the City Attorney to clarify the laws governing bicycling, and create a bicycle training module that all street level officers were required to complete.

Yet bicyclists still encounter officers who seem to have missed, or forgotten, that training. And as architect and bike commuter Michael MacDonald learned the hard way, we still haven’t made any progress with the Sheriff’s Department. 

lasd_interaction

By Michael MacDonald

I’m frequently the recipient of harassment, insults, and aggression from drivers who don’t understand that riding on the street is perfectly legal. Commuting by bike around Los Angeles — with little-to-no bike infrastructure within a 5-mile radius of my house, I’ve come to expect the regular rage-fueled driver. And yet as frustrating as this aggression is from the motoring public, it is even more demoralizing to receive similar harassment from law enforcement personnel. Too many officers in Los Angeles aren’t familiar with the fact that a person on a bike is perfectly within their rights to control a travel lane on almost all Los Angeles streets, and that cyclists take the lane for safety.

Before I started riding a bike in Los Angeles, I had thankfully had very few interactions with law enforcement. But then in 2013, I was detained in the back of a Sheriff’s Department squad car because 2 deputies thought that a person riding a bike on the street in Rosemead didn’t look right.

Over the last 2 weeks, motorcycle officers have twice stopped me – for riding in the street, legally.

The first incident was on returning from the wonderful CicLAvia Southeast Cities on May, 15 2016. On my way home by bike, still on a high note from the event, I took Central Avenue. Despite its lack of bike lanes, Central is a critical North/South connector within South L.A. Proposed bike lanes on Central are included in the City’s Mobility Plan 2035, have widespread community support, and are needed to address Central’s horrific safety record. But frustratingly, Councilmember Curren Price has blocked the bike lanes from being installed and is working with Councilmember Paul Koretz to try to get them removed from the Plan, so they won’t even be considered in the future.

While I was waiting at a red light in the rightmost travel lane on Central at 27th Street, an LAPD motorcycle officer approached at a rapid pace and stopped inches from me. He proceeded to aggressively explain, “This isn’t your lane – you can’t ride in the middle.” I have been riding long enough to have nearly memorized California Vehicle Code, not just CVC 21202(a)(3), but 21656, 21760, and 22400 too. I knew he was wrong. And yet his tone and demeanor made it clear this wasn’t a conversation. This was a stern demand with the threat of a ticket seconds away.

As he pulled off, I wasn’t even clear on how he expected me to ride since the lanes on Central are so narrow. I stopped and took some time to compose myself after this demoralizing experience of state-sponsored harassment. Then, I continued to ride in the middle of the lane: where it’s safest when bike lanes aren’t provided, and where California’s Vehicle Code says I have the right to ride.

……..

10 days later, I was again confronted with a similar situation – but this time I had my helmet camera rolling. During the Tuesday evening rush hour on May 24th, a Sheriff’s deputy pulled up alongside me as I rode in the Wilshire Blvd bus/bike lane through Koreatown (Wilshire & Kingsley). Just as before, the deputy clearly wasn’t familiar with relevant California traffic laws, but still felt the need to tell me what I was doing would not be permitted and that I would receive a ticket if I continued on.

First, as an aside, I will say that these Wilshire bus/bike lanes are so frequently filled with dangerous scofflaw drivers that it’s a tiny bit refreshing to see them actually being patrolled, and I commend Metro/the Sheriff’s Department for efforts to try to speed up the 20 & 720 buses on this route. But this deputy seems to be completely unaware that these lanes are also for the use of people on bikes, just as the lane’s signage says.

Photo of Los Angeles’ peak hour bus/bike lane signage, credit: Marc Caswell

Photo of Los Angeles’ peak hour bus/bike lane signage, credit: Marc Caswell

He started by claiming that cyclists are not permitted to use the bus/bike lane whatsoever. After I pointed out the sign ahead saying, ‘Bikes OK,’ he said that cyclists must ride the curb edge, which is dangerous and without legal basis. Finally, he claimed that cyclists are required to get out of the way of buses. Of course, how people on bikes are supposed to accomplish this feat within this tightly sized lane with no turnouts is a mystery to me.

Just to state the obvious: this deputy is wrong on all counts. First, LADOT has designated these lanes for the use of bicycles and accordingly posted signs stating “Bikes OK.” Second, there is no requirement to ride along the curb as CVC 21202(a)(3) applies, since the lane is too narrow to for a bicycle to be safely be ridden side-by-side with a vehicle, let alone a bus. Metro’s own “Bike Guide” even instructs people on bikes to ride at the center of the lane when proceeding straight. Third, there is no requirement for bikes or slower vehicles to turn-out on a multi-lane roadway. CVC 21656, the law requiring vehicles to turn out, only applies on 2-lane highways – and even then, it only is triggered when there is a queue of 5 vehicles behind.

This isn’t the first time someone has been pulled over by LASD in a bus/bike lane in Los Angeles. In 2014, my friend, Marc Caswell, was wrongly ticketed by a Sheriff’s deputy for legally riding in a bus/bike lane on Sunset Blvd. In the end, the deputy failed to appear at the hearing, so the ticket was dismissed.

But it isn’t just being pulled over. Twice last year, I was aggressively instructed by Sheriff’s deputies to ride up onto the sidewalk to let a bus pass while in the Sunset Boulevard bus/bike lane. And when I called to report Tuesday’s incident on Wilshire, the LASD Watch Commander also appeared to be completely unfamiliar that bikes might be permitted to ride in bus/bike lanes or centered within a lane.

If I have been the recipient of these types of incidents three times in the last year, how many other Angelenos have received the same dangerous misinformation, been ticketed incorrectly, or had an unwarranted traffic stop trigger other policing problems? If we are to look to officers to enforce traffic laws, it seems only reasonable to expect that they would understand the law. And, certainly, we should not accept these officers instructing people to endanger themselves by riding in an unsafe way just to speed up motor vehicle traffic.

……..

It’s obvious to me at this point that LADOT, Metro & the Sheriff’s Department need to sit down and get on the same page about bus/bike lanes and the Vehicle Code. There is a simple fix: Sheriff’s Department deputies, who are acting on Metro’s behalf, need to understand the laws they are sworn to enforce. Since these patrols are funded by Metro, the Agency has the responsibility to ensure that these deputies are performing enforcement in compliance with Metro policies.

The bigger picture is that all L.A. law enforcement needs to step up their game on bikes. I am not suggesting special treatment, just that officers take some time to better understand the laws they enforce. Different departments have made some commendable strides, recognizing that cyclists belong on the street and don’t deserve extra scrutiny beyond that which is applied to motorists. But we are well past the point where any law enforcement officer patrolling L.A. streets has an excuse to not be familiar with the fact that people are allowed to ride bikes in the street and legally afforded options to maintain their own safety.

The City, County, and State all have ambitious goals to increase bicycle commuting to increase public health and reduce greenhouse emissions. To paraphrase a friend of mine: People are not going to be attracted to cycling as long as you need to be a traffic law expert – capable of citing Vehicle Code chapter, line, and verse – just to ride on L.A. streets.

We need law enforcement to get on board. And fast.

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South Los Angeles-based architect Michael MacDonald is a frequent bike commuter and a steering committee member of local advocacy group, Bike The Vote L.A. His architectural practice, Studio MMD, provided design for Street Beats, one of 8 project teams awarded by the Mayor’s Great Streets LA challenge grant program to re-envision Los Angeles streets.

Morning Links: Welcome new LADOT GM, and German police ticket one-armed man for having just one brake

A round of applause for newly approved LADOT head Seleta Reynolds, following her confirmation by the full city council today.

Now, will she please get to work on getting bike lanes on Westwood, Lankershim and North Figueroa, as well as that long-promised Bicycle Friendly Street on 4th Street?

Pretty please?

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Local

This weekend’s LACBC Sunday Funday ride travels from City Hall to see Michael Parker’s The Unfinished.

Cyclists are gearing up for Wolfpack Hustle’s Civic Center Crit on July 12th.

A Santa Clarita cyclist say no other city can come close to their bike trail network. Meanwhile, a sixth suspect has been arrested in a string of armed robberies on those same bike paths.

 

State

Newport Beach unveils the city’s draft bicycle plan.

Huntington Beach police use Facebook to bust a thief caught on film stealing a bike.

A Marin woman swears she didn’t have anything to do with the theft of 130 bikes recently recovered by police.

 

National

Fox News ranks the five safest cities for cyclists. And is anyone shocked to learn Los Angeles is not on the list?

A new bike radar system promises to give you the speed and distance of vehicles approaching from the rear, while alerting drivers to your presence.

Oklahoma City will add 62 miles of new bike lanes, after installing 70 in 2012.

A Minnesota cyclist is killed by a cell phone-using driver while towing her children in a bike trailer; fortunately, the two girls were not seriously injured.

A New Orleans women’s bike collective will ride in protest of the dangers female riders face when traveling home alone at night, after several recent incidents.

 

International

A UK cyclist warns that bike trailers can be deadly to your dog.

A British rider is killed descending France’s famed Alpe D’Huez; oddly, the driver who hit him was a British tourist, as well.

A Fresno paper says this year’s Tour de France is controversial; no more than usual, really. Meanwhile, Colorado’s Peter Stetina hopes to help lead BMC’s Tejay van Garderen to victory.

And actually, this isn’t the first time women have competed in the Tour de France.

 

Finally…

German police apologize for ticketing a cyclist for only having one hand brake on his bike after realizing he only has one arm.

 

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