Cyclist refuses to back Governor’s Prop 30 in response to Brown’s repeated 3-foot vetoes

I got an interesting email tonight from a regular reader and bicycling advocate who asked that his name be kept private.

He forwarded an email he sent to Governor Jerry Brown, connecting the dots between Brown’s ill-advised vetoes of two three-foot passing laws, and support for the tax increase Brown is currently pushing. As well as his own safety.

After much soul searching I have decided not to support Prop 30.

As someone who commutes over 5,000 miles per year by bicycle, the Governor’s callous unwillingness to protect my safety by twice vetoing the 3 ft passing law is so important to me, that I cannot bring myself to cooperate with him on an issue of far less importance to me.  Just today I was again struck by a motorist (thankfully uninjured) while riding home in Hollywood.  My life, my safety, is personally more important than the solvency of this state.

If he can’t be bothered to protect me, I can’t be bothered to help him.


First of all, let me say I’m glad he’s okay; collisions with cars don’t always turn out so well.

Second, I have to admit, the same thought has occurred to me.

I can’t say I’d recommend basing your vote on a funding measure on Brown’s lack of support for California cyclists. On the other hand, I couldn’t blame you if you did; the governor shouldn’t expect our support when he won’t give us his. Which is something he can ill afford right now.

Meanwhile, Bike San Diego offers an in-depth two-part look at Brown’s veto.


On a related subject, I’ve been wracking my brain trying to remember who first came up with the term Jerry Browned to describe getting dangerously buzzed at less than three feet while riding your bike.

I remember seeing it on Twitter. And that took the ball and ran with it, as did Gary the always insightful of Gary Rides Bikes.

It turns out that credit for originally coming up with it goes to our friends at L.A.-based bikewear manufacturer Swrve.


The LACBC endorses Proposition J to speed up transit projects. Fighting a valet blocked bike lane. Motor Avenue gets a much needed road diet. Multicultural Communities for Mobility — the former City of Lights program — hosted their annual awards dinner on Wednesday. The history of PCH reveals a troubled and dangerous highway. In an absolutely absurd opinion piece, the L.A. Times compares the green credibility of a $20 cardboard bike with an $845,000 plug-in hybrid Porsche. Malibu officials confirm their commitment to bike safety following the death of Mari Echeverria on PCH this month; Cycling in the South Bay responds with the real problem on PCH. What happens to abandoned bikes in Hermosa Beach. CLR Effect takes a look at fire bikes.

Don’t forget this weekend’s Newport Beach Memorial Ride and Fundraiser; if you ride in Orange County you need to be there. An Orange County assailant escapes by BMX bike after stabbing a woman multiple times; fortunately, her injuries weren’t serious. Signs appear announcing the forthcoming sharrows in Corona del Mar. A Los Olivas DUI driver gets four years and four months in prison for plowing into a group of riders, leaving one in a semi-comatose state with serious brain injuries. A dangerous Santa Barbara street gets the blame for putting a cyclist on life support — though police say it’s because she didn’t use a crosswalk. San Francisco police allegedly beat the crap out of a popular cyclist and bike cap maker for exercising his 1st Amendment rights — then charge him with assaulting three officers and resisting arrest. Bay Area bicyclists say thanks to drivers.

The Bike League has recognized this year’s Bike Friendly Businesses — including Santa Monica’s Helen’s Cycles and Irvine’s Jax Bicycle Center — along with their new Bike Friendly Universities; sorry, USC. Thirteen reasons you should start biking to work. Winter bike commuting in Anchorage AK. An Arizona writer gets it right in responding to complaints from motorists. A Salt Lake City man is under arrest after taking a $5,900 for a test ride and not coming back. A Native American driver shows no remorse when he pleads guilty to running down a cross-county cyclist on a New Mexico reservation; the tribal court has jurisdiction, which is seldom a good thing. A drunk Texas cyclist pulls a machete on a cop; usually not a good idea. A Pittsburgh mom thanks the strangers who helped her bike-riding daughter. An arrest has been made in the case of the Pittsburgh cyclist whose throat was slashed last month. In a horrifying case, two New Jersey brothers are accused of killing a 12-year old girl to steal her BMX bike. Bike Portland says New York streets really do live up to the hype. NYPD forgets to investigate the fatal dooring of a cyclist last April. New York plazas and bike lanes are good for business. Russell Crowe leads the paparazzi on a 7.7 mile bike chase. AAA insists DC-area drivers are the victims of a war on cars; if they don’t figure out soon that a lot of their members also ride bikes, they may lose that war.

America’s only surviving Tour de France winner calls on the head of competitive cycling’s governing body to resign. Lancegate claims another victim, as Team Sky’s Bobby Julich resigns as cycling coach. Motorists say cyclists are endangering their lives by riding on divided highways; yeah, they couldn’t just slow down and drive safely. So much for that cycling paradise, as a Danish princess collides with a cyclist on the streets of Copenhagen. Bangalore gets its first bike lane. Real justice for a fallen cyclist as a Kenyan driver gets life in prison for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider.

Finally, let me get this straight — if 25% of drivers want those “inconsiderate cyclists” to be  taxed and licensed, doesn’t that mean an overwhelming 75% don’t? And a UK cyclist punches a car passenger in an unprovoked assault. So who said it was unprovoked?

Oh, right, the guy who got punched.


  1. Joe B says:

    Unfortunately, if we don’t pass 30, it’s primarily students (and teachers) who will suffer. So I’ll be voting for 30…and wishing the very worst unto Jerry Brown. He deserves it, for what he has done to me and every other cyclist in California.

  2. Enhager says:

    Incredibly short sighted to de-fund education because of a 3-foot law.

  3. I’ll join the chorus thatProp 30 is now tied to most public schools and colleges budgets througout the state. Not passing 30 WILL trigger significant cuts in public education and it WILL be the kids who suffer.

    Its also ironic that the rider who was hit and thankfully OK was in the City of LA which HAS the 3′ passing law in place and in force. Let’s get some perspective bit folks. We got some good bills passed by Brown this year along the lines of CEQA reviews and bike lanes by-passing this expensive and often lane killing step. We need to take the good with the bad and press forward. Do we really belive that Meg Whitman would have passed any of this?

    Keep on the good fight but don’t punish schools because we didn’t get our way on state wide 3′ passing. We’ll get it done.

  4. boyonabike says:

    As an educator and a parent of two children, please allow me to respectfully add my voice to those who think voting no on 30 is an inappropriate response to the Governor’s dimwitted veto of the 3-foot law. Voting no on 30 will not punish Brown. It will instead punish thousands of teachers and millions of schoolkids and college students. Nor will it make it any more likely that he’ll sign a 3-foot law in the future. I, too am angry at Jerry Brown, but we cyclists need to be smart and constructive about how we mobilize our political pressure.

  5. Eric W says:

    Questions to the masses – doesn’t prop 38 also help keep schools going? Would it be responsiable to vote for 38 that and not 30? My understanding is whichever proposition gets the most votes past majority will be the one put into use.

    And while we’re on the subject. I’m considering voting for the Grren presidential party canidate. This is an indicator of my political leanings, and I don’t think my single vote is critical to getting the President re-elected here in LA, California as this state isn’t close, so it’s electoral college vote will all go to Obama. I’d like to make a statement, without jepordizing a clear choice.

    • boyonabike says:

      Eric, the main difference, as I see it, between 30 and 38 is that 30 will provide much needed funding for k-12 AND higher education (where I teach), whereas 38 only provides funding for k-12. If 30 does not pass, the community colleges, CSU, and UC will all take massive cuts, resulting in very large midyear tuition increases for college students.

  6. Enhager says:

    A nice discussion.

  7. […] Cyclist Angered By Brown’s 3 Feet Please Veto Vows to Vote Against Gov.’s Tax Plan (Biking In L.A.) […]

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