Sunday, November 21, 2010

Riding around town

Some recent group rides I've been on:

Santa Monica Critical Mass


Taco Tuesdays


Ride With No Name


This coming friday is Los Angeles Critical Mass. There's been a lot of discussion about how the LAPD will be monitoring the ride. In the past few months, we have seen various strategies employed by LAPD ranging from rolling street closures and full escort to haphazard enforcement of CVC. This has resulted in many cyclists complaining of a lack of clarity on behalf of LAPD. Are they here to keep us safe and escort the ride or are they here to crack down on violations of the vehicle code? I think LAPD will attempt to bring greater clarity to what they are looking for LACM to provide in terms of compliance with CVC. Here's what I'd like to see happen:

LAPD fully enforce the following violations:

1. Crossing the double yellow
2. Tagging
3. Harassment by cyclists of pedestrians and motorists and vice versa
4. Unsafe riding, especially if it leads to injury of fellow ridazz
5. Blantant public consumption of alcohol and other controlled substances
6. Littering

LAPD turns a blind eye to the following violations:

1. Red Light Violations committed by the Mass, including cyclists stopping in intersections to control cross traffic
2. Bicycle Light and Brake Equipment “Fix It” citations
3. Helmet citations for minors

LAPD either assists the ride by providing rolling street closures or allows the Mass to "cork" intersections as they have done safely for many years in hundreds of cities around the world.

LAPD has recently offered some of these concessions if the route were to be made available to them. Critical Mass is inherently a group with no leader and routes are not preselected. Could there be a compromise between these two poles? Come out this Friday and find out. Be prepared! Bike Lights, Hemlets, Spare Tubes and an Understanding of California Vehicle Code are highly recommended!

What do you think? More importantly: What does your council member think?

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