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Friday, July 25, 2014

Cyclist and volunteer collide during L.A. River clean up

An Elysian Valley resident is calling for more to be done to reduce conflict and collisions between cyclists and pedestrians on the L.A. River bike path after a teenage girl was knocked down by a bike rider while she volunteered at Saturday’s annual Los Angeles River clean up. Elysian Valley resident Allen Anderson heard about the incident from volunteers as he walked along the path on Saturday during Friends of the Los Angeles River’s annual clean up.  The cyclist, according to volunteers, did not even bother to stop. Anderson did not see the collision himself but he was on hand when a male cyclist clad in yellow bike gear barreled through the crowd of volunteers, yelling “Get off the bike path!” as he zoomed by.

An official with the Friends of the Los Angeles River confirmed that a female volunteer was knocked down by a cyclist but the woman, who scraped her knees during the fall, declined medical attention and remained at the clean up site in Elysian Valley.  The FOLAR officials did not have further details about the incident, which took place at one of 15 clean up sites that attracted thousand of volunteers.

Saturday’s incident was the most recent example of  collisions, near-misses and and tension between cyclists and pedestrians on the narrow river path that was extended through Elysian Valley in late 2010.  Last summer, signs reading “Share the Path” were installed along the pathway in Elysian Valley but problems have persisted.

“We need to do something more than has been done about this shared-path conflict,” said Anderson, who lives a short walk from the river and pathway. “Other cities have clearly marked paths that reference municipal codes regarding shared bike paths. It seems that we just can’t quite get that to happen here. Let’s not wait until a serious injury occurs before we take some more positive action.”

86 comments

  1. What an idiot to think that path is only for bikes and not to realize that volunteers work hard to clean an area that he enjoys. If he had hit my dogs while walking there, I would not have let it go.

    • When road crews are doing construction there is a sign posted to slow down…….
      Cleanup is great but without notice a bicyclist would not expect pedestrians on a “Bike Path”

  2. Need a crosswalk, bumps, signal?

  3. conflicting relationship – as a los angeles enthusiast, I love the fact that the river is being cleaned up and becoming more of an outdoor space to visit and enjoy. As a cyclist, I don’t understand why the bike lane shouldn’t be for bikes only?…..with a separate path or entrance for non-bikers. Whats the point of having a great bike lane that you can exercise on with a threat of children and adults crossing in front of you and causing an accident? Obviously I think its terrible that the girl was hit, I myself would be scared to be walking on the bike lane. Clearly the two types of visitors can not negate the same space, why are we forcing them to?

    • That strip along the river in Frogtown is very narrow — there’s no room to have separate walking and biking lanes as the whole thing is barely 10-12 feet wide (with foliage on one side making it narrower in places). So bikers, walkers and dog walkers need to learn to share the path.

      I used to live near there, and often visit. It used to be really low-key, but now that the bike path is getting a lot more use (overall, a really good thing), there are going to be more conflicts.

    • jm,
      I suppose you are against bicycles riding on the city streets as well? What’s the point of having great streets that I can drive on with a threat of children and adults crossing in front of you and causing an accident?

    • I concur with sc,

      It’s not a ‘bike lane’ it’s a path for everyone that has a bike lane. That yellow clad ‘bicyclist’ should have been tarred and feathered …and then thrown from the bridge. He embarrasses all of the rest of us who enjoy cycling yet know how difficult it is to share the spaces we have. We should be more than happy to share them.

  4. It stinks that this should happen to a volunteer who was donating their efforts to make the river a better place. I ride this path all the time, and when I see pedestrians I slow down and give them a wide berth. All it takes is a few inconsiderate, selfish jerks to create conflict and ruin things for the rest of us.

  5. Some of us, it seems, would kill our own mothers for impeding our forward progress. Slow down, stay alive, stay out of court. The cyclist is lucky that he didn’t seriously injure the volunteer.

  6. Hmm. People have been complaining that cars are the problem, we should have more bicyclists. Anytime there is a problem involving a car in Echo Park or Silver Lake area, people start yelling how evil the car driver is and how we need to get rid of car drivers and make everyone ride a bike. This even, as in the case on Rowena Avenue recently, when the pedestrian is the one who jumped out from behind a parked car into the traffic lane and got hit.

    Well, taking that line of thinking to this incident, should we not now start running the bicyclists out as evil and dangerous? Should we now put these bike lanes on a “bike lane diet” so that we can thwart them in hopes they will just get so jammed up in traffic they will give up? Should we put in bicycle stop signs at every corner just to irritate bike riders who all are speeding along so much over the speed limit (of course they are, you don’t know what you’re talking about, they’re all speeding)? Shouldn’t we close down these bike lanes and make them into neon plazas where no one wants to go (but we will say they are heavily used anyway)? Can’t we reduce the speed limit for these bicyclists — they’re clearly dangerous? Can’t we …

    • It’s a bummer that some sh*thead couldn’t slow down and share the path, but comparing a skinned knee with a lost life is hyperbolic and callous.

    • “This even, as in the case on Rowena Avenue recently, when the pedestrian is the one who jumped out from behind a parked car into the traffic lane and got hit.”… That woman was killed by a car travelling westbound, ie on the opposite side of the road to that which she started on. She was also crossing the road behind her father, so the driver that struck her had time to see two people cross three lanes before he killed one of them. But good for you, defending someone who actually killed another person while attacking an entire group of people over an incident in which nobody was seriously injured.

      • You don’t seem to grasp the OP’s point: that bikers have been complaining about cars, yet bikers seem to do the same thing to pedestrians. That is, bikers, despite their holier than thou attitude, are no better than they have been complaining car drivers are. Maybe even worse, as this guy’s comments indicate he hit the woman on purpose.

        Also, I will note, the police decided the car driver did no wrong — they didn’t so much as ticket him. And that means they do not think the woman readily visible, dispute your assertions, because if she were, then the driver would have been in violation of the law and not only could have been ticketed but could have been charged with manslaughter. The police say he was not in violation, and so that means she was not readily visible.

  7. He’s lucky it was not my kid, I would have knocked him off that BIKE! What a Punk to hit a girl!!!!!

  8. The bikes are moving fast I have been in a few near misses its up to all involved to be alert.

  9. I’ve been told by Elysian Valley pedestrains who hug the sides of the path so they are not run over by bicyclists that we pedestrains are supposed to walk in the same direction as the cyclists – our backs to oncoming traffic.

    I say that’s just wrong – because of the very loud freeway & train noise – I can’t always hear bikes coming up behind me and am usually taken by surprise. It makes more sense for pedestrians to walk on the opposite side of the bike lane so they can see the bikes coming at them.

    And everyone needs to take it down a notch. Its a VERY narrow path.

  10. cyclists need to chill out. self-righteous tools decked out head-to-toe in spandex yelling at people, not stopping even if they basically run someone over… what a douche. totally unacceptable behavior. not riding the tour de france, jackass. he’ll get what’s coming to him. if not, he’s still a fag daily riding around in yellow spandex taking himself seriously. feel free to point and laugh when you see these losers ride past you.

    • Um…yeah so we’re complaining about assholes. Clearly this issue deserves the utterance of a homophobic epithet. Er…you tell’em Chris…I guess…

    • “Feel free to point and laugh”
      Are you still in kindergarten ?
      Feel free to point and laugh at yourself in the mirror for letting guys in spandex upset you to the point to where you call them “fags” .
      Pretty pathetic.

    • I dislike homophobes even more than jerky bike riders.

    • Civilization has most likely peaked. We are devolving…

  11. bikers/walkers/kids/etc all seem to coexist on the beach path.

    • That’s probably because they’re having a leisurely ride at the beach, not commuting to work (and probably late).

  12. Jim is right. The bike patch should be for bikes ONLY. the other side of the river should be for pedestrians.

    There are lots of trails in Elysian Park for people to walk and hike. The bike path should be for bikes only.

    • As someone who bikes and walks the river, I find the willingness of some to so readily prohibit pedestrians from the path strictly for the benefit of cyclists — with the flippant rationalization that there are plenty of walking and hiking alternatives elsewhere — to be reprehensibly inconsiderate and selfish.

    • Roads without marked bike lanes should be for motorized vehicles ONLY. Next time some jerkoff cyclist slows me down I am running over him. /sarcasm

    • Elysian Valley/Frogtown is an old residential neighborhood tucked in between Riverside Drive and the river. Most of the people walking along that strip live nearby – including old people, kids, families. It is hardly reasonable to expect them to get in a car and drive to Elysian Park to walk!

    • As a community member involved with this issue, I am both a cyclist and a pedestrian.

      The river path in Elysian Valley is a shared bike and pedestrian path. It has been officially deemed to be the case. Signs paid for by City of LA and the Neighborhood Council and CD13 were placed to let everyone know they are “Entering Elysian Valley a Residential Community” and the share the path. This path has been the Main Street of Elysian Valley since eminent domain took large portions of Riverside Drive (the prior main street) for the 5 freeway. The path has been used for walking, talking and access to the river long before the new path improvements. In fact, in many area here property owners actual have fee ownership of the pathway and parts of the river. The public use was granted by an easement to the City. Those of you advocating for exclusive use by bikes are way off track. The public use is shared and that will not change. You would be best to put your energies toward more bike paths and best practices in design.

      Cyclists and pedestrians need to get along. Sure pedestrians can work on being thoughtful about their walking styles but among the walkers there will be children, elderly, strollers etc. The river is possibly at its most beautiful in this stretch and many people have a more contemplative approach to this stretch. This is not a racetrack or a road- it is not a place for fast race training. Here you can have the rare opportunity in Los Angeles to slow down and see a mix of people enjoying open space, nature, conversation and exercise at once.

      Take heart : we are having debates about walking v. biking in Los Angeles!

    • Susan,
      Please note that this part of the path is the only one that passes through a residential neighborhood, one with a long history of using the river as a recreation spot. The bikes are a recent addition. There is no access (sadly) for residents to use the opposite bank. The two users have to learn to coexist! It happens all up and down the coast bike paths. No reason we can’t be as accepting.

  13. I do agree with Diane E’s comment about the loud freeway and train noise. The loud noise is a real distraction. And, the neighborhood’s around the river and residents that live around the river deserve peace and quiet.

    FOLAR is only concerned about animals and the river. They do not care about the quality of life for people that live and bicycle along the river.

  14. “…but he was on hand when a male cyclist clad in yellow bike gear barreled through the crowd of volunteers, yelling ‘Get off the bike path!’ as he zoomed by.” Some things are stereotypes because they’re true. Five minutes later, I’m guessing he rode through a red light screaming “Treat me like a vehicle!” as he crossed the intersection.

  15. Behavior like this makes me so mad… I am a cyclist and I share the lanes with pedestrians and bikers alike. We bike riders need to be respectful of everyone we share the bike paths with, here along the 5, along the Ballona Creek path, and in Venice down to Manhattan. WTF is wrong with this jerk screaming “get off the path,” it’s dicks like him that give a bad rap to the rest of us who are courteous and respectful. Get a bell, call out to people you’re riding up to from behind, and allow space/slow down. It’s common f***king sense. And now I’m going to sound like a dick for saying this, but honestly most of the time peds are clueless and unaware anyways, so you have to ride defensively to avoid any collisions.

  16. A dick is a dick no matter what vehicle he is operating. This cyclist would still be a dick if/when he drives a car.

  17. Cyclist need to slow down and be courtious, pedestrians need to be alert and move out of the way. The only way the path can be safely shared is if both groups look out for each other. Sounds like none of that happened.

  18. I cycle on the path and must say that the pedestrians need to share and learn too. If I am coming up behind someone I always call out “On your left.”, to let them know I’m coming and intend to pass on the left. I cannot tell you how many times people then step to the left instead of their right, or yell/swear at me as I pass them. It is a BIKE path after all do you yell at the cars if you are walking in the road?

  19. Both groups need to be alert, responsible and careful. There are plenty of responsible cyclists and pedestrians but there are enough of both groups that aren’t. I ride along the path and slow down and give pedestrians especially kids plenty of room. I expect the same in return from pedestrians. I often encounter dogs without leashes – super dangerous for both the dog and the cyclist. So everyone chill act responsibly – including the stupid cyclist that started this – and we can all share the path. As for “Chris” and “cs” seriously? Wake up. Are you living in the same century as the rest of us?

  20. That path in Frogtown has been used by pedestrians for DECADES; it wasn’t until the dips and cracks and bumps were removed that it became easily usable by bicyclists as well. This didn’t mean, however, that it was suddenly meant to be a bikes-only speedway. The section of the path from the Figueroa bridge to Fletcher is an integral exercise, social, and recreational venue for the local community (many of whom are elderly) and should be regarded very differently from the path above Fletcher, which can be defined as primarily for bikes (and higher speeds), as there are really no adjacent residential areas there. Signs should DEMAND that bikers not just “share the road” but USE SLOWER SPEEDS through Frogtown. To say nothing of using better manners. As one of those long-time Elysian Valley pedestrians, I am furious about this latest event, because it is so typical of so many bicycle users in LA. I totally support the use of bicycles whenever and wherever possible all over the city, but I have had it up to here with the arrogant and entitled attitude of much of the biking population. And not just on this particular path; there have been dozens of posts here and elsewhere about inconsiderate riders going at reckless speeds in places all over town where they have no business doing so. Even at CicLAvia! I walked for 20 blocks downtown with a friend in a wheelchair at the recent event, and we were harassed and intimidated almost the entire time by rude bikers who couldn’t be bothered to slow down or change course for someone who wasn’t going as fast as they were. Riding a bike instead of driving a car may be a noble act, but it does NOT entitle you to act like an inconsiderate jerk towards other members of your community. Show some respect and common sense, people.

    • Agree with much of what you said- especially about common sense.
      As a cyclist and pedestrian on the path and frogtown resident wonder if I could suggest (without seeming divisive) that while there is no excuse for being inconsiderate, and I try me best not to be, I think that a lot of cyclists are constantly on the defense. There are so many jerky drivers (cars, buses, trucks) intentionally running us off the road, honking for no reason (or just to be jerks) or simply not paying attention, I think that cyclists become defensive all the time on their bikes, even when it’s not appropriate (community areas). This is just to say that I don’t necessarily think most cyclists (cyclist in this article excluded of course) are intending to be arrogant or entitled, I think they are fighting for safety and a place where they can legitimately ride fast and safely- using a bike for real transportation to result in less pollution, better health and less cars on the street. Unfortunately a bike-not-so-friendly city seems to have created a few aggressive cyclists. Hopefully with more bike lanes opening up and more understanding on how to share spaces (cars-bikes-pedestrians) this will get better :)

  21. There are assholes on both sides. Stop blaming one side or the other. Its a pain in the ass as a cyclist when pedestrians aren’t paying attention or don’t move when you are trying to pass but at the same time knocking a pedestrian down without concern or checking to see if their okay is completely unacceptable. Why must it be one group or the other at fault. Its the same with bikes and cars.

    • How is it that you have so much contact with pedestrians? Do you frequently ride on the sidewalk?

      Is it acceptable if you hold up a car and the car knocks you down without concern or checking to see if you are okay?

      • If the commenter is riding on the sidewalk, it’s his legal right to do so.

        Also, reading is fundamental to any exchange of comments: “knocking a pedestrian down without concern or checking to see if their okay is completely unacceptable.”

        • Hey Justin.
          http://ladotbikeblog.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/la-county-sidewalk-riding-part1/

          Sidewalk riding is hardly legal everywhere. Sorry that the world doesn’t revolve around you and your bicycle.

          • Thanks Justin. CS has obviously missed the point of my comment that we shouldn’t condemn any single group because there are problems on every side. I thought was pretty clear when I said “there are assholes on both sides. Stop blaming one side or the other” and gave an example of each. CS you did note that this article was about pedestrians and bikers conflicting on the LA river path didn’t you? Could that possibly have been where I have had issues with pedestrians that don’t move out of the way? It helps to read the article and comments before responding. As Justin said “Reading is fundamental.”

          • Hey cs,

            Sorry you had to undermine your point with a personal attack, but the fact remains that sidewalk riding in Los Angeles is legal… and this site is called The Eastsider – as in, discussions of WH, BH, SM, Burbank or Glendale can be had elsewhere.

            Cheers.

          • Though I’m not really sure what CS’s point is since my comment was neither pro bicyclist nor pro pedestrian.

  22. Individual selfishness and inconsiderate behavior aside – we all could learn to share a little better – I see this conflict partly as the consequence of the fact that this city has given so much land over to automobile use and squeezed pedestrians and bicyclists onto narrow strips of land. If you don’t see it or believe it, get out of your car, take a walk or ride a bike once in a while.

  23. It’s pure idiocy to walk with your family or stroller on a bike path. At CycLAvia, the families walking with their children amid 500 bikes riding in either direction is by far the worst thing about the event. I watched a father yell at cyclists with a 9mo in a stroller and an empty double wide sidewalk just ten feet away, even as he created a bottleneck of hundreds of bikers rounding a corner.

    It’s not that pedestrians on bike paths ‘deserve’ what comes to them, not at all, but that, in the legal sense, the pedestrian or parent is being reckless and negligent. If you’re a parent and your kid gets hit on the bike path in your presence, you should get a visit from a social worker. It’s no less stupid or reckless than putting your 3yo on your lap while driving a car.

    As for the beach, stand in one place and watch the Venice Boardwalk – virtually no cyclists ride the sidewalk and those that do are warned or ticketed, but pedestrians lazily stroll down the bike path, sometimes four abreast, and cause near-misses several times an hour… with impunity.

    There is no solution that involves pedestrians and cyclists on the same path. Peds and cyclists should be separated and pads should be ticketed for jaywalking on bike paths.

    • To underscore Sue’s point above, the path along the river in Frogtown was a pedestrian path for decades, and this only became a problem when the path was repaved and made easier to bike. I lived in Frogtown for years before 2010 and used the path as a jogging route, as did most of my neighbors to walk, run, fish, socialize with friends and play with their kids. Asking pedestrians to now vacate the area they’ve used as an extension of their backyards is completely unrealistic. I agree with Sue, bikers are the newcomers and should be asked to respect the neighborhood, not the other way around.

      • So when the city paved the road, landscaped it, put up solar LED lighting, painted lines and put up signs… and donors built pocket parks and commissioned public art and wildlife education… was that not enough warning and respect for the locals?

        You make a fine point about the history of the path’s use that supports my advocacy of two paths on either side of the river, but ‘respect’ is not a solution for people who step into the path from the pedestrian bridge with their heads down… or parents who walk the path 3-4 abreast like they’re at Disneyland. It’s not a park. It’s a bike and jogging path. If you use it like a park, you assume added responsibility to keep your head up and your kids safe.

        • Considering the fact that it has been a pedestrian path for decades, repaving and adding lights does not constitute “education,” nor does it mean pedestrians should be displaced to the other side of the river because bikers want an additional 3 miles of bike path. It took years for the city to make the improvements to the path that they did. Now you’re expecting pedestrians to stay away until the city finds the funds to create an additional pedestrian path on the other side of the river. I’m for sharing the path, I’m for bicyclists respecting that they’re visitors to the area. Your tone in this and other responses below represent the arrogance that gives bicyclists a bad wrap.

    • But cyclists can ride on the sidewalk too? Cyclists seem to demand a lot don’t they? No wonder they are frequently thought of as obnoxious, entitled aholes.

    • Justin,

      you miss the point. This is not a BIKE path. It’s a PATH that allows bikes, bit is not exclusive. It’s called a SHARED or MULTI USE path. A term the Bike advocates use to persuade municipalities to allow them on PATHS and in some cases DIRT TRAILS. The only thing you say that is valid is “cyclists should be separated”. The bad apples in the bunch do not understand sharing, and for safety need to be separated from the other considerate users.

      E.

      • Walking on a bike path is legal… just like cycling on Sunset Blvd through Pacific Palisades. But they’re both about as advisable as smoking a pack of cigarettes. Taking a slow walk with your kids on a bike path or pushing a stroller through CycLAvia is like smoking with your kids in the car.

    • You clearly don’t understand what CicLAvia is all about. Please read this before you go to another and embarrass yourself further: http://www.ciclavia.org/about

      • corner soul,

        Notably, it’s called CycLAvia. Not Ped-topia or WalkLAvia. With thousands of miles of sidewalk in Los Angeles and a near-universal right of way for even jaywalkers, it’s not clear why someone would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a pedestrian event, but who am I to judge your adorable rhetoric.

        I’m all for the open access at CycLAvia. I’m mostly addressing parents who let their kids amble around and create dangerous bottlenecks walking abreast with strollers. If the girl who was hurt on the Bike Path was a minor, both her parents and the organizers of the volunteer effort share responsibility with the dick who failed to stop.

        As another commenter mentions above, road workers on public streets use cones, signage and so forth to warn drivers. It’s pathetic that the LA River has to be cleaned up by volunteers, rather than city workers with proper equipment and safety measures.

        • Justin,

          Sorry if I came across as harsh about CicLAvia, but the event is supposed to be more of a block party than a bike race (hence the pedestrians in the street). I guess the event has outgrown the route and needs to be expanded to accommodate more people, but until than we should all share the space. To me this means cyclists must slow down and accommodate kids being unpredictable in the shared roadway.

          Anyway, I think everyone in this city needs to pay more attention, slow down, look around and be more accommodating on our streets and in our public spaces. Of course, the burden is highest on LADOT for their indifference towards traffic calming and dragging their feet on pedestrian/cyclist infrastructure. Their inaction just perpetuates the status quo of aggressive “LA” driving, and ultimately results in thousands of preventable deaths a year.

          Let’s look out for one another and keep the target on those who most deserve the criticism instead of arguing with one another over minor incidents. Ride safe out there!

          • Agreed. The LAPD has a “don’t be a jerk” rule for cyclists that gave me perfect clarity. I just wish it was a citywide campaign for pedestrians and motorists as well as cyclists.

            I think some people interpret a cyclist shouting “get off the path” as entitlement only, but it’s -also- about the fear of getting hurt or hurting people who are being negligent… and the anger stemming from that fear. I can only speak for myself and entitlement is way the heck down there when I bark at a pedestrian.

  24. peds [not pads]

  25. mike gonzales cienfuegos

    Barbed Wire should do the trick.

  26. Yeah that sucks. It’s totally possible to share this path though. This is my neighborhood. Yesterday I walked my dog on it, rode my bike the entire length of it (FAST when it’s safe and considerately) and ran 7 miles on it. I walk/run or ride on this path almost daily and 98% of the time see dogs/kids/elderly/skateboarders/cyclists co-existing. This isn’t a park though, it’s a path so as long as everyone is somewhat aware of their surroundings (and not walking/riding taking up both lanes), it should help avoid regular incidents (unfortunately, not ones where people are being jerks though). It’s an amazing space and let’s keep it a fun, safe space for vehicle-free recreation. :)

    PS- a HUGE thank you to all the LA River Volunteers!

  27. When driving I am very aware and cautious when passing cyclists. However I think cyclists need to follow traffic rules. I have had several close calls lately and NOT because of anything I was doing.

    #1 While walking down the sidewalk in South Pasadena I was almost hit by a young man barreling down the sidewalk with his girl friend sitting on the handlebars. If I hadn’t managed to jump out of the way I would have been knocked down. It was daylight so I could easily be seen.

    #2 I was at a stop sign (not light) getting ready to make a left hand turn (my turn signal was ON). Just as I started to pull out a cyclist passed me on my right, blew through the stop sign and made a left hand turn in front of me. Fortunately I was able to stop and not hit him. I paused for a moment to collect myself and made the turn. As I passed him I saw that he was holding a cell phone to his ear and smoking a cigarette.

    I see cyclists on the street routinely ignoring traffic rules, blowing through red lights and stop signs and not signaling before making a turn.

    • Alright, then we need more people on the streets to report these little bastards.

    • I routinely see cars rolling through stop signs, failing to stop completely when making a right on red, and exceeding posted speed limits. All of these things are both against the law, and endanger others’ safety.

      Yet, I do not hear much outcry about these drivers, or cries for them to modify their behaviors, or calls for vigilante action against these drivers.

      Why the double standard?

      • this isn’t a situation pertaining to a car running a stop sign – the story is about a cyclist hitting a pedestrian. however, because you brought it up – yes it is also a HUGE problem when motorists blow through stop signs or red lights. unfortunately, people just don’t show any respect and there’s no one there to ticket them or lead them in the correct direction. there’s no reason to stop doing something wrong if you aren’t held accountable for it.
        obviously no matter what those abusing the issues are doing — driving, flying, walking, biking — they feel they are entitled to do whatever they want without regard to those around them. it’s a respect issue and it seems a lot of those in this city have no respect for those around them sharing their space. it’s back to kindergarten rules – learn to share + respect others.

        • @six: Yes. There are rude cyclists, and rude drivers. Some drivers want to use the actions of rude cyclists to write off the whole population of cyclists. You can read this attitude here in the comments.

          As an occasional cyclist, I’ve interacted with drivers who aggressively try to “teach me a lesson” about using the roads — cut me off, yell, honk. This lesson-teaching amounts to threatening serious injury.

          I believe that the “cyclists are rude”/”cyclists break the law” idea is what they’re using to justify this behavior.

          I’m trying to plant the idea that just about everyone (alas) operates vehicles incorrectly, so that hopefully they don’t take it upon themselves to teach lessons like this.

  28. As a long time resident of Elysian Valley/Frogtown I have really enjoyed the pathway and the river. A special thanks to all those people who volunteered to clean the river during La Gran Limpieza. What we forget is that the pathway that runs through Elysian Valley is a pathway the is subjected to the rules/laws of the road, which means that pedestrians and bicyclist have to each play a role in sharing and obeying the road regulations. Typically, pedestrians have the right of way when in a marked/un-marked cross walk, however, they don’t not have the right to wonder as they please onto the pathway especially into heading traffic, albeit a automobile or bicycle. We need to ask ourselves, “Do pedestrians have the right to cross and meander onto a major street like Riverside Dr or Sunset Blvd. I think this sort of act would be considered dangerous by most and also illegal for pedestrians (jay-walking?). In my opinion a good amount of the antagonism between bicyclist and Elysian Valley residents stems from the territorial attitude some residents have for outsiders and also some mixed/misinformed ideas residents have when it comes to using the pathway. Rules are rules and we are expected to inform ourselves and follow them otherwise we can be legally responsible for not doing so. As a resident of Elysian Valley I feel we all want to share the road and that making up laws in order to isolate outsiders is not the way to go. In fact, as a bicyclist I feel that peoples attempts to make up rules and regulations as they go along takes away from my civil rights.

  29. My proposal is that we start some sort of vigilante / neighborhood watch group. Unarmed, of course! If we can get out there and see which cyclists are causing problems or endangering residents, we can make citizen’s arrests or report them to the police department. As far as I know, running into somebody with your bike counts as battery and sending a few people to jail for it should change things quickly.

  30. Also, I want to say that many times I have witnessed cyclists breaking traffic laws recklessly and endangering themselves and putting motorists at risk. I hear cyclists yelling “Share The Road!” all the time. Great…but if you want to share the road you need to obey the laws that all other vehicles obey. And don’t get in the way of cars just because you can, if you don’t need to. This kind of thing really makes motorists not want to work with cyclists. Most of us are willing to work with cyclists, but there are a handful with a really crappy attitude who sour the entire view of the group. Dropping the self-righteous “cars are evil” tone would be a big step into making the world better for all.

  31. Get off the bike path!

  32. Hey sorry ya’lls. I thought fag meant the grizzly old dudes that ride loud obnoxious motorcycles. It was a poor choice of words, but I think you got my drift. Replace fag with jojo.

  33. Henry, How does a 20lb bike endanger a driver in a 3000lb car. When I ride I always feel in danger. I witness plenty of drivers who put others at risk on a daily basis – running lights, stop signs, speeding, talking on cell phones and texting.

    We are talking about one stupid cyclist who should probably be arrested. Not all cyclists. In the same way that there are stupid drivers but not all drivers are stupid.

    Enough of the vigilantism talk. So far in this blog there have been threats of running down cyclists, vigilantism, and other forms of threats. Last I checked that was illegal too.

  34. This weekend, on May 6th, apparently there will be a 5k run sponsored by Councilman Tom Labonge and a runners group.

    http://www.yelp.com/events/los-angeles-la-river-5k-fun-run .

    Signs have been posted by the co sponsoring group that say that the path is closed from 5am to 9am that day.

  35. Typical LA City bike nazi. They through street traffic with little concern for stop lights/signs, turning restrictions, ect., always claiming that it’s the cars that put them endanger, yet when it’s the bike nazi that collides with a ped on a shared bike/ped path, oh well, the ped should have paid more attention. Typical.

  36. It’s not so much about one group versus another for access, who rides or drives what, it’s more about being a considerate human being.

  37. An 8 MPH speed limit is one solution for many boardwalks at the beach. Sharing the road is easier if you are going slow. The path is not a typical “Bike Path.” It is not designed exclusively for bikes. As many have noted, it is a longstanding neighborhood walkway that happens to recently have become bicycle friendly because the city took out the tree ruts, repaved and painted it. The skin tight riders see the Elysian Valley Bike Trail as a race track/work out area. It is not. This is a peaceful, nature filled path that should be shared by peds and cyclists at a slow speed, 8 MPH maximum.

  38. Shawn Freeman: The 8 MPH speed limit on the beach path is kinda slow for cyclists, and who would enforce the limit? It won’t cure the common problem, which is inconsiderate behavior. I walk and ride on the LA River bike path, and I’ve been on the receiving end of inconsiderate and even aggressive behavior while riding and walking, from people on foot and people on bikes. Also plenty of polite behavior. I think the solution lies in revisiting that concept we are supposed to learn in kindergarten: sharing. Whether you are on a bike or on foot, please remember you are sharing the path with others.

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