Only by the grace of God, or good fortune, or karma, or whatever you happen to believe in, did local riders avoid yet another ghost bike ceremony this week.
Late Monday night, Roadblock, one of the original Midnight Ridazz and a leader in the L.A. bike community, was struck from behind at high speed while riding on Glendale Boulevard and flipped up onto the hood of the car. The driver then braked, dumping him onto the pavement, before speeding off without so much as pausing to see if he was injured or dead.
Fortunately — miraculously — he avoided serious injuries and was able to get the first six digits of the license plate number, along with a general description of the vehicle as it sped off.
And yes, he was riding legally, using both a headlight and rear light, as well as reflectors on his shoes, and was wearing a helmet.
In some ways, he may be lucky that the driver fled the scene, making it a crime rather than a mere traffic accident. Otherwise, the LAPD Traffic Division might be twisting itself in knots to come up with evidence proving he backed into the car at high speed.
There are two things that have to be done in response to this. The first is to get the a**hole who did this off the streets, and behind bars. Fortunately, the police take hit-and-run very seriously, and will do their best to catch the people responsible.
But we can help, too.
There are far more cyclists than there are police on the streets of L.A. So let’s be their eyes and ears, and keep a close lookout for a dark sedan — Roadblock describes it as dark gray — with a license plate reading 6GYC11-.
If you see it, don’t try to do anything yourself. Call the police and let them deal with it. And if you have any information, call the tip line at 213/972-1825 or email BikeHitAndRun@gmail.com.
Secondly, call or email your councilmember today and demand action to stop the epidemic of hit-and-runs in this city. There’s a reason that was the first question I asked both of the candidates for CD5 (which remains too close to call).
And on a semi-related note, tonight is the annual worldwide Ride of Silence to honor fallen cyclists; maybe next year, we can hold one here. And maybe, with luck, we won’t have any local riders to honor.
I’ll leave the last words to Roadblock, on a comment he left today as part of that thread:
You guys are crackin me up. Love you guise seriously. Feels great to be part of this big family of caring ridazz.
Just fed myself a big ole breakfast and I’m on my way to grab some wood and spray paint…. gonna put up some big signs and see if I can get more witnesses. There was a witness last night who said she saw the driver and gave the cops a description, so that coupled with hopefully an accurate plate and boom, fingers crossed this guy gets caught…
Sorry for my angry words up there, I was so steamed up that someone could be that careless and ruthless. The law will run its course and hopefully this guy had insurance or something I can sue for in a civil suit. I’m hobbling around cause I’m sore as hell but again, I got lucky nothing broke.
Wear your helmets, use bright bike lights in the daytime as well…. you need to be 100% and even then something like this can still happen and it won’t change until there is paint on the streets and traffic is tamed… wow.
According to Streetsblog, we may actually see an Expo Bikeway in our lifetime; they also ask if there’s too much emphasis on safety. Uh, no. Russ Roca offers good advice on how to introduce sharrows to the driving public. Ubrayj suggests that now may be the time to break up the LADOT. Green LA Girl calls your attention to the upcoming World Naked Bike Ride. Finally, an Aussie writer suggests cyclists should be forced to register their bikes, but only so the government knows where to send the checks for all the good we do — and adds that all drivers should be required to spend 100 hours on a bike before they can get a license.
And as for that post I promised on Election Day, it’s still coming. I promise. But somehow, this seemed more important.