Tag Archive for Chris Frost

A PCH cyclist responds to Malibu Public Safety Commissioner Chris Frost

Last month, Stanley E. Goldich, a Century City attorney and member of Velo Club LaGrange, wrote about the road conditions and safety problems on Pacific Coast Highway, based on his own personal experiences riding thousands of miles per year on PCH, as well as climbing the canyons of the Malibu area for over 20 years.

Today, he writes again in response to the recent post by Malibu Public Safety Commissioner Chris Frost, as well as the opinions expressed by fellow Public Safety Commissioner Susan Tellem in a recent letter to the editor and on a now-deleted Facebook group.


I have not met Chris Frost or Susan Tellum and cannot speak to whether or not they are nice people.  However, there is nothing nice or decent about their words and misguided efforts to target cyclists, who almost always are victims and not perpetrators with respect to safety conditions on PCH.  I am completely supportive of efforts to educate cyclists about the issues confronting Malibu residents with respect to exiting their driveways and U-turns and their need to be more considerate of these concerns, however the efforts of Tellum and Frost to target cyclists are grounded in fallacious arguments and facts that do not have any evidentiary basis.

1.   What is particularly pernicious in the views expressed by Frost and Tellum is the linkage between running of stop signs and lights with the aggression of motorists against cyclists and deaths and serious injuries of cyclists.  Frost’s denial is belied by his words:  “That means the law abiding rider gets treated pretty much the same as one who continually flaunts the law.  So when you get buzzed for no apparent reason, the cause may well be an incident you had no part of.  This is happening much too frequently now, and it has developed into a breeding ground for animosity and worse – injury and death.”

2.   The contentions that cyclists are a cause of any major safety problems on PCH and their flaunting of the law is a cause of “injury and death” are patently false and flawed justifications to unnecessarily target cyclists instead of other far more significant safety concerns.  My prior email that you published detailed the safety problems on PCH including what was identified in the PCH Taskforce Report – nothing Frost alleges is identified in that Report or any other report that I am aware of.  The deaths of Debra Goldsmith, Scott Bleifer, Stanislov Ionov and others were acts of careless and reckless drivers and/or unsafe road conditions and were not acts of vengeance.  Even the road rage incidents of Dr. Thompson on Mandeville were driven by not wanting cyclists in his neighborhood, not running of lights and stop signs. The suggestion that deliberate acts of violence against cyclists is defensible because of running of lights by scofflaw cyclists is outrageous and targeting cyclists to address such inexcusable actions is hardly an appropriate solution

3.    While it is true that cyclists are subject to the same rules of the road as motorists, the circumstances are not the same (or equal).  As a cyclist on PCH I get to ride on a shoulder that is not a true lane and deal with all of the dangers resulting from this.  I am not surrounded by a steel frame and am virtually always the victim in any truly dangerous situation on the road.  Yes, as a general matter cyclists should stop at lights.  However, there are times and some lights on PCH where it is unquestionably safer to go thru the light ahead of traffic due to dangerous roadway conditions including inadequate shoulders, lack of space next to parked cars, and cars pulling out requiring the cyclist to move into the right hand traffic lane.  Contrary to Frost’s contention, most of the T-intersections do not involve cars making U-turns or trying to pull out (an exception are cars U-turning at Corral).  Certainly, cyclists should be considerate of residents/motorists trying to make U-turns or pull out, particularly at lights; however, the primary dangers are motorists making U-turns in front of cyclists and pulling out or turning in front of them.

4.   The central reason a minority of motorists and Malibu residents are hostile is because cyclists impede them or they simply don’t want cyclists using the roads period, not because of running of stop signs or our Lycra clothes.  Many motorists do not take offense at running of stop signs or lights where the cyclist is not getting in their path (and sometimes trying to avoid doing so) – I regularly get waived thru stop signs by drivers.

5.   I am not arguing that I and other cyclists are free to break the law with impunity.  My point is simply that the targeting of cyclists is not justified by the fictions advanced and that a much more productive discussion would be trying to understand why cyclists are running the lights and addressing conditions that require cyclists to move out of the shoulder into the right hand lane.

6.  Finally, it would be one thing if Frost just argued that cyclists should stop at all lights (and presumably stop signs) to be “ambassadors of our sport.”  While I may disagree with singling out bicyclists to be role models (rather than all road users) and whether stopping at all lights is required to be an ambassador of cycling (rather than simply being courteous and considerate), I have no quarrel with Frost promoting this. However, Frost is not leaving things at encouraging what he believes is good bike-riding behavior.  Rather, it appears he seeks to misuse his position as a safety commissioner to threaten and punish cyclists who do not comply with his views.


In the comments to his post, Chris Frost invited a number of the people who responded to attend a meeting of the Malibu Public Safety Commission.

As Gary noted today, the next meeting will take place at 6 pm this Wednesday at the Council Chambers at Malibu City Hall, 23815 Stuart Ranch Road.

Running red lights on PCH: Malibu Public Safety Commissioner Chris Frost speaks out

A couple weeks ago, I met with Malibu Public Safety Commissioners Susan Tellem and Chris Frost, along with LaGrange member and BAC Vice Chair Jay Slater, and a representative from the Sheriff’s Department, to discuss safety issues in the Malibu area.

While there was disagreement on some issues, one thing we all agreed on was the need for cyclists to observe stop lights on PCH. A serious cyclist himself, Frost made a compelling argument that riders who run red lights in that area pose a significant risk to their own safety, as well as needlessly causing problems for other road users.

As a result, I offered to let him write about the issue from his own perspective, as a rider and Public Safety Commissioner. What follows is his comments, presented without input or editing on my part.


The City of Malibu has been inundated with cyclists who fail to stop for the required red lights on Pacific Coast Hwy. I am a cyclist myself and put in a great many miles out there amongst you. Many of you know me, as I have taken the time to poll you (mostly at the Trancas Starbucks) on your feelings about PCH. I have ridden with many of you, and know you outside of my duties as a Public Safety Commissioner. I have asked you about your riding habits, and from that have culled a pretty good understanding of what goes on out there. This, coupled with what I personally observe and experience, has led me to the following.

The red light issue has reached a level that is causing problems for all cyclists, even those who obey the law. Motorists have developed a kind of tunnel vision that does not differentiate one cyclist from another. That means that the law-abiding rider gets treated pretty much the same as one who continually flaunts the law. So when you get buzzed for no apparent reason, the cause may well be an incident you had no part of.

This is happening much too frequently now, and it has developed into a breeding ground for animosity and worse–injury and death.

No one is so entitled that they are permitted to ignore a red light. And for you top tier riders, this means being a role model, not the cause of an accident. I know firsthand what is like to lose a friend out on this highway; and many of you do as well. It changes the lives of many forever–including the motorist involved. Recently, I have had reports of riders who claim they are time trialing down PCH, and thus will ignore the red lights whenever convenient. I’m not even going to comment on this. These riders know who they are, and they need to change their riding style. This is completely unacceptable, and is looked at by the majority of the cycling community as unacceptable. There are stretches of this highway with no lights that allow you to ride without stopping. If you don’t like stop lights, this might be your alternative.

On the subject of T-intersections (e.g., Busch Dr,  Kanan Rd, Paradise Cove, Malibu Pier, Carbon Cyn, Big Rock): we have all taken liberties with these types of intersections. A whole pack of riders was recently written up at Big Rock for running the red light. This was not the case of the lead riders entering on a yellow, but the whole group blasting through a red. That ticket cost each rider approximately $400. Please take into consideration that the residents east of that light use the red light interval to exit their garages and driveways. If there are riders coming through, the drivers have very little time to see this and react. Reports of near collisions and angry exchanges between the cyclists and drivers have become all too common. I have spoken with these residents, and heard about too many cases of these residents being flipped off and having water sprayed at them. Come on everyone, is this the way we want to be portrayed? A T-intersection with a stop light is the same as any other and carries the same requirements as any other.

So in finishing, please stop at the red lights and stop signs. They are there for a reason. If you want to question why, I will be happy to hear your comments at a Public Safety Commission Meeting. Meetings are held at 6 PM the first Wednesday of each month at the Malibu City Hall. Bring your complaints, and try to have solutions as well. Don’t think of it as someone else’s responsibility. It belongs to all of us.

Please understand that I am a long-time cyclist, and will always stand up for cyclists rights. I am also a big fan of public safety because it benefits everyone, not just the cyclists. You are all ambassadors of our sport and what you do on the highway is viewed by other cyclists, motorists, residents, and–most of all–by the youth who will possibly be riders themselves.  So what kind of impression do you want to leave? Remember you are no more entitled than anyone else. And the responsibility belongs to every cyclist out there.

Please police your own sport. It will lessen the impact of having it policed for us.

Thank You,

Chris Frost
City Of Malibu
Public Safety Commission


The Reseda Blvd bike lanes are nearly finished, while the Wilbur Ave. road diet and bike lanes are threatened. More on Wednesday’s upcoming Streetsblog fundraiser and silent auction, with sponsorship from Ralphs, Trader Joes and my favorite American brewery. Eight members of the oddly, but somewhat appropriately, named Palisades Literary Society bike club follow the Tour de France route through the Pyrenees; thanks to George Wolfberg for the link. From my friends at Altadena blog comes word of a $50 reward for a stolen Schwinn Voyageur. Witnesses say the drunk driver charged with killing a biking German tourist in San Francisco got out of his car, moved the bike out of his way, then switched seats with his girlfriend passenger before fleeing the scene.

Levi Leipheimer wins the Tour of Utah. A study shows cars really do make Americans fat. A Pittsburgh man makes his own bike map to guide even timid cyclists through the city’s busiest areas. An NYC proposal to clear out abandoned bikes threatens to sweep up ghost bikes as well. A ciclovía by any other name, as New York closes down Park Avenue to vehicle traffic. A Missouri driver ignores police traffic directions and kills a caring cyclist during a fund raising ride. An Oklahoma State student gets the beer-inspired idea to ride from Stillwater to Alaska, then actually does it. Framebuilder Dave Moulton opens an online registry for current owners of his classic bikes.

Raúl Alcalá, winner of the 1987 Coors Classic and the Best Young Rider classification in the ’87 Tour de France, caps a remarkable comeback by winning the Mexican time trial championship at age 46; thanks to Claremont Cyclist for the heads-up. In a twist on vulnerable user laws, Japanese courts rule that in principle, pedestrians are not at fault for collisions with cyclists on sidewalks. A cyclist is seriously injured after hitting the back of a parked car; residents blame the road, not the rider. A motorcyclist hits a bicyclist; for a change, it’s the guy on the bike who walks away. Great Britain’s Bikeability cycling proficiency program — and the organization behind it — could be on the chopping block. A British writer discovers Mexico City is surprisingly bike friendly. Join the campaign to keep Pat the Postie on his Pashley. Brit cyclists fight a proposed mandatory helmet law in Northern Ireland. London’s Guardian says there’s a bike niche for everyone. Coke discovers bicycling in Turkish with English subtitles; if the video won’t play, try this link.

Finally, police backup is required to pull an 84-year old great-grandfather out of a British bank to ticket him for riding on the sidewalk; meanwhile, a Salinas cyclist says sidewalks don’t belong to pedestrians. And maybe that gesture is actually a roadway blessing.