In sentencing the soon-to-be ex-doctor Christopher Thompson for the road rage assault on two cyclists in Mandeville Canyon, Judge Scott Millington called the case a wake-up call for motorists and cyclists. And said that people on bikes are particularly vulnerable on the streets of L.A.
A few members of the City Council already knew that.
Transportation Committee Chair Bill Rosendahl and Ed Reyes, Chair of the Planning and Land-Use Management committee, co-sponsored a resolution requesting that the City Attorney work with LADOT to craft an ordinance that would prohibit harassment of bicyclists in Los Angeles.
A motion in favor of the ordinance was approved by the Transportation Committee last month, with the support of Rosendahl and Paul Koretz (CD5) — the only two members still present when it came up for a vote.
Now it’s scheduled for a hearing before the Public Safety Committee this Monday.
As Dr. Alex Thompson notes on Westside Bikeside, attendance by bicyclists probably isn’t necessary at this point.
On the other hand, this is your chance to take a stand in front of a committee that has yet to demonstrate its support for the bicycling community the way Rosendahl and the Transportation Committee have — and to make your suggestions about what should be included in a new law designed to protect cyclists.
And maybe help make us just a little less vulnerable in the years to come.
The hearing will take place Monday, January 11 at 9:30 am in room 1010 of the Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N. Spring St. The motion — 09-2895 — is #4 on the agenda.
Speaking of the road rage doctor, Bob Mionske offers his own insights on the sentencing, as well as what it really does — and doesn’t — mean for drivers and the cycling community. Including this:
And just as cyclists notice—and remember—the occasional dangerous motorist, it is the occasional rude cyclist that motorists notice and remember. It is these minority of bad actors on the road that lead to much of the resentment towards each other. However, the real issue here is not “scofflaw cyclists,” or “motorists hell-bent on killing cyclists,” it is competition for the limited resource of space on the road. And for that, motorists owe a debt of gratitude to cyclists. First, every cyclist on the road represents one less car contributing to congestion. Yes, sometimes motorists will be slowed for a few seconds, but in the larger picture, those few seconds will be offset by the time they save for every car that is not on the road ahead of them. Second, every cyclist on the road represents one less car consuming gasoline, and one less car contributing to air pollution and climate change. Finally, every cyclist on the road represents less wear and tear on the roads. These are benefits that accrue directly to all motorists in the form of less demand for limited resources, less demand for regulation of driving, and less demand for our limited tax dollars. Instead of attempting to harass cyclists off the road and back into their cars, motorists should be thanking cyclists for the benefits they provide — and they can do that by simply respecting cyclists’ need for a safe space on the road.
And L.A. Eastside, which captures the real eastern section of the city — as opposed to what those too afraid to cross the L.A. River consider the Eastside — notes that it’s one down, and thousands more to go. CBS and FoxLA offer coverage, as well.
On the final day to submit comment on the proposed bike plan, LACBC receives strong support for a better bike plan. Travelin’ Local guides you to the best views in Los Angeles. Bicycle Fixation enjoys a used-tire sculpture at Hel-Mel. Long Beach’s cycling expats take a photo tour of Tucson, including the beautiful Bike Church. Bike San Diego reports that carelessly killing a well-lighted, bike lane-riding cyclist isn’t worth a single day in behind bars. But S.D. traffic signals are finally starting to respond to bikes. Philadelphia creates an online system to report bike-related incidents directly to the police. A Wichita rider dies four months after being struck by a hit-and-run driver. Indianapolis adopts a three-foot passing law and gives cyclists exclusive right-of-way in bike lanes; Iowa considers a cycling Bill of Rights. A skinny Lycra-clad columnist for the Orlando Sentinel responds to bike haters. Our forecast may call for rain next week, but things could be worse. Finally, a global campaign is underway to remove the latest bike-hating page on Facebook.