¡Viva CicLAvia! Part 2, and why you need to know the law

photo from LADOT Bike Blog

I really had no intention of talking more CicLAvia today.

To be honest, I’ve been itching to get to the Time’s Sandy Banks’ misguided motorhead perspective on the Wilbur Avenue road diet.

But frankly, everyone is still talking about Sunday’s CicLAvia. I spent all day yesterday just trying to keep up with all the great coverage popping up online — and these are just the ones that crossed my radar, without looking for them.

Urban Adonia writes about CicLAvia from the perspective ofone of the key movers who helped make it a reality. LADOT Bike Blog recounts his day at CicLAvia, and offers my favorite photo of the day (see above) among others. LAist calls it 7.5 miles of 100,000 smiles. Curbed says it brought out the best of L.A. Blogdowntown offered photos and live updates throughout the morning. Where the Sidewalk Starts offers an overview of key reviews, while Neon Tommy suggests there were only 50,000 people there, not the 100,000 the Times reported. KPCC says thousandslived the fantasy of a car-free L.A. for a few hours. El Chavo says cyclists want three feet, but wouldn’t give CicLAvia walkers the same consideration. LA Loyalist calls it a unique and wonderful experience.Maddie looks at CicLAvia from an urban planning perspective.

Stephen & Enci Box interview a handful of leading CicLAvistas, and CD4 candidate Stephen offers his view on the day. Sunday featured biking, walking, skating — and marriage. Alex Thompson employs his usual great eye behind the camera. Bicycle Fixation isn’t too bad behind the lens, either. The Source’s Steve Hymon offers more great photos; that view leading to the First Congregational Church was my favorite vista of the day, but then, I’m a sucker for traditional religious architecture. And still more photos from Melissa F, Joel Epstein, Megan Hirsch and GTWODT. KCBC Channel 2 says there wasn’t a car in sight, and Ohai Joe posts a great video record of the day. Even the formerly alternative curmudgeons at the L.A. Weekly say maybe they got it wrong.

But maybe Unja sums it up best, by saying you just had to experience it for yourself. And you could have a chance as soon as next August, with the possibility of three more before the end of next year. Personally, I vote for another one next spring.

One suggestion for next time — put out some donation buckets at major intersections where everyone will see them, and ask people to drop in a dollar. I have a feeling if they’d done that this time, it would have more than paid for the next one.

In the meantime, maybe you can satisfy that bike urge at the Tour de Fat in two more weeks.


Just a quick reminder why you need to know the law at least as well as the authorities.

A cyclist in San Anselmo CA was hit by a car while riding through a crosswalk last week, and the local police demonstrated their failure to keep up with the actions of the state legislature.

According to a local report, a spokeswoman for the San Anselmo police department said that “if a cyclist rides his or her bike from the sidewalk into the crosswalk, then the cyclist is legally at fault.”

So for any cyclists — or yes, law enforcement personnel — who are unclear on the concept, CVC 21650 (g), which took effect last year, specifically permits cyclists to ride in the crosswalk anywhere riding on the sidewalk is allowed.

This section does not prohibit the operation of bicycles on any shoulder of a highway, on any sidewalk, on any bicycle path within a highway, or along any crosswalk or bicycle path crossing, where the operation is not otherwise prohibited by this code or local ordinance.

Riding on the sidewalk may or may not be legal in San Anselmo. After scouring the city’s website and its 2008 bike plan, I couldn’t find anything that addressed the matter.

But if it isn’t prohibited, the victim was perfectly within his rights to ride in the crosswalk; if it is, the violation occurred long before he got to the intersection, which the police spokeswoman fails to note.

I hope he’s got a good lawyer.


Reuters reports on an interesting study of 11 New York city bike lanes by Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, finding that the success of Gotham’s growing network of bikeways is being undermined by just about everyone. The most common violations include salmon and red-light running riders, as well as cars and pedestrians blocking bike lanes — and police using the lanes to bypass traffic even when there’s no emergency. But even with the problems, it’s evidently still a great way to see the city. Thanks to Matthew Spence for the heads-up.


LACBC’s City of Lights program celebrates new bike parking in Pico-Union. Gary gets another response from a candidate of Santa Monica City Council. Becks and his boys bike along Venice Beach; hint to the $250 million man — your kids’ helmets would work better if they buckle the straps. If you haven’t OD’d on bike photos yet, the South Bay Bicycle Coalition offers shots of Sunday’s PedalPalooza. San Diego State University unbans bikes after building a separated bike and skateboard path; maybe USC should be taking notes. Evidently, the mean streets of San Francisco’s are that way because they’re full of potholes. Bike zombies invade Oakland; probably because potholes drove them out of Bagdad by the Bay. Levi Leipheimer leads 6,000 riders in Sonoma County’s King Ridge Grand Fondo; riders included TV star Patrick Dempsey, who seems to be on his bike everywhere but L.A. Unfortunately, one of the Grand Fondo riders remains in serious condition after a hit-and-run on the ride.

Portland bike maven Elly Blue says there’s bike safety in numbers, and offers the research to back it up.Biking infrastructure is all the rage throughout the U.S. AAA now offers bike coverage in Oregon and Idaho, but their policies still are anti-bike; competitor Better World Club — which offers bike coverage here — calls it greenwashing. Will a bike that makes you virtually lie forward make you a faster rider? The Virginia Bicycling Federation says same road, same rules, rights, and responsibilities. Charleston police crack down on salmon and sidewalk cyclists. An interview with cyclocross champ Katie Compton.

A popular Victoria bike and hike trail is reopened after people repeatedly tear down barricades blocking it. Dorset’s pedaling plumber takes to his bike to avoid pre-Olympic traffic jams. Attempting to set the world’s land speed record for wooden bikes. It was a deadly weekend on the roads for UK cyclists. A Scot schoolboy is impaled on his BMX bike when a stunt goes wrong. Riding on the Appian Way.

Finally, detectives are being driven ape dealing with the case of a teenage cyclist in Rocky Point NY who suffered minor injuries when he was punched by two people in gorilla suits, while a third suspect in a chicken suit rode off with his bike.

No, seriously.


  1. Joe Linton says:

    Go easy on the L.A. Weekly – they (and others) certainly came around! The downright wonderfulness of the event surprised some of the organizers (or at least one – me!) I didn’t expect the massive crowds that we got. We have been saying 10-20 thousand folks would show up.

    It’s a first time event. I am not surprised that many Angelenos, including those in our media, didn’t quite grasp the full idea in advance. I am really happy with the L.A. Weekly coverage of the event. They definitely got it!

  2. Joe Linton says:

    and I should also say a big “THANKS” to you, BikinginLA for getting it in advance, and consistently promoting it in advance. Keep up the great work!

    • bikinginla says:

      Thanks, Joe. But I played such a small part in this, it’s not even worth mentioning.

      The real thanks go out to you and the rest of the CicLAvia team who did the impossible — not only did you pull off an incredibly successful event, you proved once and for all that the capital of car culture is really a bike town.

  3. There is an ongoing discussion on the Wilbur road diet on Midnight Ridazz.
    A community meeting about the subject will be held tonight.

    You should hit up Roadblock if you are looking for the full scoop, he spends a lot of time on that street and has been way out front on this issue.

  4. Salmonselmo says:

    In the above post you refer to CVC 21650(g) for the bicyclist that was hit in a crosswalk. Please re-read the code, it says along the crosswalk not going through it. Remember it is a crosswalk, not crossride. Please also read CVC21200(a) regarding the duties of a person operating a bicycle upon the roadway. Looks like you may need the legal representation.

    • bikinginla says:

      You’re right, Salmonselmo — it says along, not across or beside. Along means riding on and in the direction of the crosswalk; that is, crossing the street. And the express purpose of adding this section to the code was to eliminate any confusion as to whether cyclists have to dismount as crosswalks.

      Sorry if you disagree, but the law is very clear on this one. A crosswalk is an extension of the sidewalk, and cyclists are allowed to ride in the crosswalk anywhere they can legally ride on the sidewalk.

      And I am quite well versed on 21200, thank you.

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