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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lights, camera, shut down the bike lane!

Photo by Erik Knutzen

Location film shoots sometimes draws the ire of neighbors who complain about noisy crews, fake explosions and lost parking. Apparently some cyclists are also not too happy with some film crews. A recent film shoot on Sunset Boulevard near Vendome Street in Silver Lake blocked a section of the westbound bike lane, a common and dangerous practice, said Silver Lake resident and cyclist Erik Knutzen. Knutzen posted photos of the lane closure on his Root Simple blog  and explained his concern:

Film industry trucks block bike lanes all the time here in Los Angeles, particularly along busy and fast moving Sunset Boulevard. Shutting down a bike lane on Sunset forces cyclists to merge into traffic that is sometimes going as fast as 50 miles an hour. It’s a tragedy waiting to happen.

Knutzen asks other bike riders to contact city officials to complain about the practice. Film crews often have to designate a detour or hire traffic cops when they shut down a street.  But what happens when they block a bike lane? The Eastsider has contacted FilmLA, which issues filming permits, to find out what if anything is required when bike lanes gets blocked.

Update: FilmLA spokesman Philip Sokoloski said that “mitigation” is required when film crew vehicles intrude on bike lanes. “Bike lane closures and reroutes are permissible with appropriate barricades and signage,” he said. In the case of the Silver Lake shoot, the crew had initially failed to set up the proper signage and barricades until the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition got involved.

Said Sokoloski:

FilmL.A. was first made aware of this issue on Thursday, August 23. A representative from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition contacted our office and the Los Angeles Police Department with concerns about bike lanes at the location. FilmL.A. contacted the production company to get the matter resolved and asked the production company to hire a barricade service to put out the proper signs/barricades. Friday morning, a FilmL.A. production coordinator pedaled by the location on his morning commute to work to see if the signs and barricades were installed. At that point they were not, but at around noon that day LAPD officers made a visit to the location to confirm that new signs and barricades [pictured below] were by then present and in compliance with current regulations.

Photo courtesy FilmLA

88 comments

  1. I biked past here both Friday and Saturday evening and also thought it was totally ridiculous that film crews are allowed to do this. Can you imagine how many people would be complaining if they closed a lane of traffic? *sigh*

    Oh Los Angeles…

  2. Um, people need to work and film shoots are an important part of the local economy.
    From failing to obey traffic laws, riding without helmets and proper reflectors/lights to this it sure seems the bicycle community is feeling very entitled.

  3. This lane closure may be “permissible” but that doesn’t make it safe or the right thing to do. The fact is that this lane closure is dangerous. Clearly, FilmLA puts a low value on human life. Furthermore, I’m sure that the bike coalition does not consider the matter to be “resolved”.

    • “Clearly, FilmLA puts a low value on human life.” Eric, that’s really a stretch. Road closures happen all the time, even traffic lights go out and yet the “driving community” knows what to do and mostly handles things properly. My point is that everyone needs to take responsibility for their own safety first. If a bike lane is closed what are your options? Can you ride or walk down a nearby sidewalk? Turn around and go a different route? Be extra careful for a block or two and ride in traffic?

      • Well, that’s the point. If a bike lane is closed, your options may suck: ride on the sidewalk (not very safe, sometimes not legal), ride in traffic (darn scary in places), or find an alternate route (often impractical, particularly at Sunset and Vendome, where it would take you close to a mile out of your way, up some very steep streets).

        Bike lanes are a scarce resource — which is why blocking them should be avoided.

        • OK, I definitely see your point, but the fact remains that many people ride safe;y without bike lanes every day, so if this happens once and a while it’s not the end of the world. What about walking your bike down the sidewalk on the other side of the street?

          • @eastsidearts The dangers involved in trying to cross 4 lanes of speeding traffic from a far right bike lane to walk a bicycle down the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street is no less dangerous than being forced to ride in traffic, especially down this particular stretch of Sunset. While, yes, there are not bike lanes everywhere and cyclists still manage, the reason bike lanes are installed on roads like Sunset is because the traffic is faster and the road is a main artery of travel for all types of transportation. The larger issue is that drivers are not anticipating cyclists in traffic when a bike lane is present, and that this particular shoot did not comply with the rules regarding signage and possible detours. If you have ever rode a bicycle down Sunset you would understand the frustration of having to jump into traffic and compete with cars driving upwards of 50mph, when the average cyclist rides 10-18mph.

  4. Bikers constantly complain, yet they always break the rules of the rode running red lights stop signs and then cry when they get hit. If no movies aren’t shot in Los Angeles people cry they go to other places and everyone wonders why as a city we are broke. Everything would be normal if people didn’t cry so much, I lived in this city especially north east Los Angeles and the real neighbors who lived here all our lives don’t get bothered yet the newer residents want to change everything stop crying and just live your lives instead of bothering others who are.

  5. I fail to see how putting up signs that say “Bike lane closed” constitutes “mitigation” — which by definition entails the alleviation or moderation of negative impact.

  6. FilmLA is ridiculous. They always try and bend the rules until they’re caught. While filming in EP once, they put no parking signs on my street, even though their permit didn’t list the street. I took them down and the production people got mad and sent someone to talk to me. When I called them on it, he got all apologetic and offered to pay to block my driveway.

    I was driving past the Bright Spot a couple of months ago and they were filming while blocking the bike lane. Their form of “mitigation” was a hand drawn sign that said “share the road.” Seemed spiteful to me; as if they had been hearing it all morning and made up a sign to mock people.

  7. I biked past this bike lane closure on Saturday and Sunday. The biggest problem with this was the that the signs didn’t appear until I was right up on the closure, so I had no alternative but to ride in traffic. I couldn’t get up on to the sidewalk because the trailers were entirely blocking the sidewalk. There was no place the cross the street safely to ride on the sidewalk on the other side of the street. It was really scary – cars were going by extremely fast and there was hardly any room between me and the trailers. Putting up a sign doesn’t alleviate the extreme danger of this situation.

  8. I live near here and have a few comments:

    First, a very large proportion of the people who use the bike lanes on Sunset are older Latino folks who use bicyles to get to work because they cannot afford to buy cars. The disrespect and the apparent eager desire to have to have these folks killed is appalling.

    Second, they can’t use the sidewalks here because for all practial purposes these folks are blocking the sidewalks, too.

    Third, they can’t use other streets. This part of Sunset goes through a narrow area with steep hills on both sides. The nearest flat parallel streets that are not steep, hilly streets are two to three mile to the south and the same to the north.

    Fourth, the trucks are seriously impairing the sight lines at the intersection of Sunset and Westerly. I’ve seen several close calls between vehicles as well as vehicles and pedestrians at this intersection as a result. This is not just about bicycles.

    • “The disrespect and the apparent eager desire to have to have these folks killed is appalling.” Mike, that’s even stretching it more. No one is saying these sorts of things.

    • “Bikers constantly complain, yet they always break the rules of the rode running red lights stop signs and then cry when they get hit.” “From failing to obey traffic laws, riding without helmets and proper reflectors/lights to this it sure seems the bicycle community is feeling very entitled” Sorry, not absurd.

      Two people of bicycles almost got hit there just as I was going going by there.

      • I love the way the phrase “people of bikes” sounds. It could be a Rage Against the Machine song: “This is for the people of the bike! Comin’ back around again …”

  9. Film companies are going nowhere. The fact is…these companies are a good source of revenue for the city. They get charged quite a bit on a daily basis. I used to live by Queen of Angels and would always have to park a block away from my home or get towed. Yeah, it sucks…but someone is making money. It is going to remain a sore point. Just walk your bike until it is safe to ride.

    • Actually, they are generally not filming in the city. None of the new hour dramas are being filmed in LA. It’s bad news for everyone.

      • I don’t think the majority of bikers, drivers or pedestrians protest as much. The complainants are like children expecting the world to bow to their wishes.
        A minority -Erik- feel too entitled.

        • Why is it unreasonable to complain about blocking off a heavily-used bike lane on a major thoroughfare? I’m sorry, but if this city were serious about bike lanes (and some cities are), it wouldn’t let this kind of thing happen all the time.

          This closure (which also blocks the sidewalk) pushes bike riders out into traffic on a very busy and often dangerous street.

          • Because people have to work. Streets and freeways and neighborhoods are blocked off all the time. Why should a few bike riders get preferential treatment. If you live in L.A. it should be expected.
            If you’re going to whine about a little inconvenience, call your parents.

      • Hour long dramas aren’t the only things filmed in the city. There are commercial shoots every day downtown.

  10. I haven’t been able to find out what other neighborhoods are notified when there’s filming in the area, but a Yahoo NC group receives email notices about filming in the Echo/Elysian Park areas…
    I have seen instances where LA Film has been contacted about specific filmings and esp. when the rules are not being followed.
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EchoElysianNCForum/message/31454

    Perhaps other NC (and other) yahoo groups might want to ask for notification for their areas so those within that area can be aware in advance.
    I did a search and there were 1466 messages about Filming dating back to 2003. This message from that year deals with NCs possibly becoming involved in the filming issue:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EchoElysianNCForum/message/1990

    And back in 2003, I see some messages from a Jesus Sanchez…could it be our own Eastsider LA Jesus Sanchez?

    As can be seen by the postings from LAFilm, many (most?) seem to be for commercials.

    • i was wondering about this as well. i live extremely close to this intersection and where they are actually filming (elevado st, fyi) and we got no warning. when southland was filming half a mile away, we got fliers and postings around the neighborhood.

  11. A better effort would to add a CalTrans type sign 50 ft before the blocked lane warning motorist about merging bicycle traffic. “Caution Bicycles Merging” with a bike rider graffic. Truely the bike riders deserve something more than a closed lane sign to alert all traffic.

  12. I’ve been riding by these trucks every day since they started and have absolutely no problem with it. Quit complaining about things that don’t matter.

  13. I ride a bike and I’m in the entertainment industry. Bikes, bikers, and bike lanes don’t take priority over a film crew. Yes it sucks that they block the bike lane but you should be happy that there’s a bike lane at all. Remember when there weren’t any? You’d only be riding in the streets. If you see a giant vehicle sticking out blocking a bike lane, or part of the street, slow down and do the smart thing. It’s not that difficult. Film LA does not do everything that they should, but hey, bikers don’t either. Welcome to Los Angeles.

    • Sorry, that attitude won’t help the city become more bicycle friendly. I’m not happy until LA has as many bike lanes as Portland, Seattle, or even SF.

  14. The entitlement generation strikes again!

    Do any of you assholes know how petty you sound? Aoh ma gawd somebudy like put a sighn inma path taday? Icundnt figur wat ta doo???

    It’s temporary. Go around. Show everyone your bigboy pants by going around! ALL BY YOURSELVES!! YAAAAY!!!

    • The “entitlement” in this city is so backwards it’s ridiculous. Drivers feel as though they are entitled to the entire road and that cyclists (how dare they take up 3 feet!) are in the way.

      Also, mocking people is a really great way to encourage discourse. Nice work.

      • You are missing the point. No one should have a feeling of entitlement. It ruins society.

        Take a minute to reflect on past generations such as the people who won WWII. Do you think they would have complained about shit like this? The answer is NO. It wouldn’t even enter their thoughts. They would recognize the situation and go around. That’s it, no biggie.

        And I’m not mocking. That is a direct quote…

        • That logic is really confusing. I don’t get what WWII has to do with bike lanes in 2012. I’m guessing you’re not a lawyer…

          • You are dumber than previously thought.

            So here, I’ll try again.

            It’s about your attitude of entitlement. Compared to past generations you have an unhealthy does of it. This is why you complain about petty shit like the bike lane being temporarily blocked.

            No, I’m not a lawyer. But leave it to you to think that lawyers are the ones with the highest degree of logic… I’m an engineer and a property investor. A very successful one. And I didn’t get where I am with the attitude that you have.

        • So glad you have to prove yourself. My point was that your logic in your argument was extremely poor. By that same logic I’m going to argue that cavemen would have never complained about anything other than not having enough food, so that is the only thing we’re allowed to expression opinions about today.

          • Cavemen didn’t complain. They either did what was necessary or they didn’t survive.

            To complain about something that would take you about 10 extra seconds out of your life to get around displays your inadequate survival skills. Trivial.

            This is life in the big city. Adapt or die.(to use your caveman ex) You live in LA. We shoot movies and TV shows here (in case you haven’t heard). This is quickly becoming harder and harder to do here because of people like you. It’s a shame that you can’t appreciate the industry and how important it is to this economy.

            It seriously scares me that your generation is so weak and so quick to blame someone else for “their” inconvenience. Especially for something like this!

            What will you do when (not if but when) we have a major earthquake? Will you be the one belly-aching about your power and water being out? Will you expect that the government is going to swoop down and take care of your every need? Or will you be knocking on your neighbors door to complain that FEMA hasn’t responded quickly enough?

            This is what you need to ask yourself “JOSH”. Can you take care of yourself? Based on what you complain (and to the degree of which) about, it worries me…

          • Umm first of all… you don’t what generation I’m a part of, so don’t make assumptions. And secondly, I work in entertainment. In production. So I understand EXACTLY what production is about.

            I understand that you’re subscribing to the belief that everyone need be self-sustaining and that the government helping people is a sign of weakness, but I just don’t see it that way. I am fiercely independent, but I know that there are those in this world who cannot be. Why not make the world comfortable for everyone, regardless of their ability to be independent?

          • I guess the reality is that I have high aspirations for what we as a collective can do. I understand that you value your individual contributions more than the collective, but I just don’t think we became this sophisticated of a society for working towards the ‘every man for himself’ mentality.

          • JEEZUS H. CHRIST! WHY DON’T YOU TWO SEEK COUPLES COUNSELING? SOUND LIKE A COUPLE OF OLD HENS! SHUT UP ALREADY!

          • Not too many “Joshes” before ’73. “Josh” hit it’s stride in the early ’80s… so coupled with your arguments, it’s very very safe for me to (not assume but) have a very educated guess for which generation you are from.

            “Every man for himself” is what you get out of me pointing out the absurdity of someone not being able to simply go around a blocked lane…

            Wow.

  15. this is a non-standard lane closure with no advanced warning and no tapered transition- the signs appear suddenly- blocking the lane…major liability…I noticed a decent hand written “bike lane closed ahead” sign about 1/2 mile back…I’m not sure who put it there…Yes, this is a dangerous condition; The standard lane closure package should include “bikes may use full lane”, as a 12 foot lane is too narrow to share…

  16. “Whaaaaaaaaa I cant ride my little bike…Wahaaaaaaa”

  17. Let’s just ban all bikes in Los Angeles! Those losers should get cars like the rest of us…and while we are at it, ban moving production in Los Angeles too! Problem solved…

  18. That’s it, I’m gonna kick someone off their bike just for acting like a bytch. Get off and walk, idiots.

  19. Robin and Carter I’m never ceased to be amazed at at idiotic comments left on here by people who would never dare to say the same thing in public to someone’s face. Carter your comment is basicasly a threat and an intent to injure. Hope you don’t actually do it because this could be used against you in court.
    Closing a bike lane is dangerous and the next time I see a film crew doing it I will ride on the sidewalk through their shoot. Its the safest alternative right? It’s dangerous because with very little notice you are pushed into traffic going at a dangerous speed without the traffic expecting. When someone gets hit or dies maybe this will change but too often we place human safety below all other considerations on the road.

  20. Here’s an option.
    Remove the sign blocking the bike lane saying the bike lame is closed. We dont need a sogn to tell us that . We can see it. Its almost ironic – could be in the onion. The sign is causing as many problems as the trucks. Without the sign there’s actually space to ride a bike in the bike lane. Simple huh.

  21. When I lived in DTLA film crews did this all the time, now I live in BH and they block the bridges almost weekly. Not much you can do about it, as long as they pay their fees to the city they will be allowed to do anything they want, crews even hire their own LAPD officers.

  22. My suggestion in this case is for cyclists to take the full traffic lane, as legally allowed under the California Vehicle Code. Of course, this needs to be done assertively but safely, something that isn’t easy on that part of Sunset due to the speed of traffic and the visibility issues due to the curve of the road along that stretch. My suggestion to motorists is to slow down, move to the left and respect the rights of fellow road users.

    If cyclists seem sensitive about having the bike lane compromised, bear in mind that it’s taken many years and a great deal of effort to develop a bike infrastructure in this city. No one likes having their journey inconvenienced – note the outrage over closures due to the Silver Lake pipeline project.

    For what it’s worth, I’m both a cyclist and a motorist. We all need to learn to get along and share.

    • Amen mr rollers!

      Take some initiative and personal responsibility for yourselves peeps!

    • Permitted Movements from Bicycle Lanes

      CVC 21208.
      (a) Whenever a bicycle lane has been established on a roadway pursuant to Section 21207, any person operating a bicycle upon the roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride within the bicycle lane, except that the person may move out of the lane under any of the following situations:

      (1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle, vehicle, or pedestrian within the lane or about to enter the lane if the overtaking and passing cannot be done safely within the lane.
      (2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
      (3) When reasonably necessary to leave the bicycle lane to avoid debris or other hazardous conditions.
      (4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
      (b) No person operating a bicycle shall leave a bicycle lane until the movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided in Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 22100) in the event that any vehicle may be affected by the movement.

      • Speaking for myself, I’d say a large film truck occupying the bike lane constitutes “a hazardous condition” and entitles (if I may use that word) the cyclist a valid legal reason to leave the bike lane under section (a)(2) 0f CVC 21208.

  23. 49 replies…wow.

  24. CVC 21211 (b)
    No person may place or park any bicycle, vehicle, or any other object upon any bikeway or bicycle path or trail, as specified in subdivision (a), which impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of any bicyclist unless the placement or parking is necessary for safe operation or is otherwise in compliance with the law.

    Are they “otherwise in compliance” with some law of which I am unaware? If not, why haven’t they been ticketed?

    • my guess is that they are in compliance as they have a permit to film (and park). sucks for bicyclists, and for cars (I don’t have a bike). if someone isn’t paying attention when a bike swerves out into the street, it could get ugly. that said: I don’t see this going away anytime soon and we’ll just have to deal.

  25. This is a tough one, but it seems that in a city like L.A. the risks are much more inherent when a bike lane is closed. As one poster mentioned bike lanes are “rare” and many bike riders tend to have only one option to get from point a to b safely and by using bike lanes so when one is shut down I can see how it could be disastrous.

  26. The bike lane on the other side of the Sunset was also blocked this morning with a number of trucks parked in front of Los Globos.

  27. What makes the abrupt closure of that lane particularly unsafe and crappy is that is happens around a curve at the bottom of a hill, so you basically have to hope the cars speeding from behind (let’s be honest, no one drives the speed limit on that section of Sunset if they don’t have to) are not driving too fast notice that you have nowhere to go except into traffic.

  28. So who has called their city council/police/whatever office and what sort of response have you received?

  29. The easiest solution for things like this is to require that a lane of traffic be closed with appropriate barricades and signs and that the cyclists be permitted to travel on the left-hand side of the closed lane, inside the barricades. Keeps the cyclists safe and requires pre-palling from the production company. I’ve seen work sites setup like I described and others like the photo that force bikes into traffic. If the bike lane is closed, I just take the entire traffic lane. I both drive and ride and I can actually manage to wait the 5 to 10 seconds for a cyclist to clear the blockage when I am driving.

  30. I’d rather have Arrested Development then a bike lane for a block.

  31. Take the lane! Take the lane! ( and yell at the #$%#$%# film crew for blocking the bike lane as you go by. ) Too cautions to take the lane? Wait for a critical mass of cyclist to come along. Then take the lane as a much safer mass. The yelling more effective as a group too. That exactly how critical mass got started and it still works.

    Complain to Film LA. Most film crews, from my observations, do whatever they feel like without any regard to anyone, much less a bike lane. They usually have a permit, but few permits allow blocking traffic, such as a bike lane. If it’s not on the permit, Film LA might shut them down. No permit = Film LA will shut them down.

    If they actually do have a permit for this: Harass them about it. If there’s enough complains there will be less permits issued, hopefully none in hazardous areas like this seems to be. Call, or better write, any elected official for that area and complain. Posting here doesn’t count for anywhere near as much. Send a copy of those letters to the LACBC. Join the LACBC. Lobby for more and better bike lanes – if that lane have been buffered with a 2 ft safety gap from both cars and travel lanes, that truck wouldn’t be such a problem. Better bike lanes will make for less problems like this.

    • Yelling at the film crew= great solution. “If they actually do have a permit for this: Harass them about it.” even better! Brilliant stuff Eric.

    • i am in agreement that this should have been done better and that it has the potential to be dangerous. but I feel like you’re screaming “take the lane, take the lane” , as well as your suggestion to yell at the film crews (who have nothing to do with this happening BTW) and your vague threats of an upcoming critical mass, all come off as aggressive and makes you seem like you are against anyone who doesn’t ride a bike; very confrontational. I’m not saying that you are that way. just saying that’s what it sounds like.

  32. It’s seriously depressing how only bikes and dogs will motivate this blog into conversation.

  33. BTW, I live on Vendome and those trucks have been there for over a week. While I can understand the need to block the bike lane for a day or two, the trucks have practically become an installation. I would think that FilmLA couldn’t get away with authorizing a car lane closure along Sunset for days/weeks on end, but apparently the same priority for transport options does not extend to bicyclists.

  34. This is total BS!

    There is no warning before that sign.
    No one without brakes can be expected to stop in time.

    And it’s not like there’s a light on the sign at night.
    How the F are we supposed to see something ahead of us in the bike lane at night if they don’t light up their signs?

  35. Jeez I was late for my first Craigslist date now I look like a flake ..hello new era there’s more cyclist traveling to work or just traveling for meetings wut a mess just to bike rideride till I die…film me riding …

  36. Its an inconvenience yea but cant people just ride heir bike up to the point where their filming then walk the bike a few blocks around the closer? I mean its a small compromise to keep the economy going.

  37. Streetsblog just posted a good article on this if anyone cares to read about how film crews are supposed to handle lane closures: http://la.streetsblog.org/2012/08/29/what-you-should-do-if-you-see-a-film-crew-blocking-the-bike-lane/

    FWIW, I seriously doubt asking for adequate signage and advance notice on lane closures has anything to do with the film industry leaving LA. I’m sure it has a lot more to do with tax incentives.

  38. The film industry and location shoots are part of this cities (the eastside in particular) history and lore. Edendale studios (Chapman, Keaton , Sennet) was here long before these two wheeled whiners began acting like they own the joint. Deal with it children, it’s only temporary!!!

  39. Film production is a large part of the LA economy and one of the businesses that built the city. It’s also one of the reasons the area is taking off as a tech hub. Yes, there are some inconveniences that come along with the industry but it’s not the only one. Think of construction crews noise and dust, moving trucks blocking streets, delivery trucks double parking etc. I live in Venice. Thousands of tourists come down here and trash the place on a regular basis. That’s the nature of the beast. LA is a film production town.

    So, the real issue here is safety. Some cyclists are concerned about the conduct of film crews and how that affects cycling in this city. A perfectly valid concern that should not be demeaned by those working in film production or anyone else. There’s no need for name calling in either direction.

    Do I agree with the idea of hassling individual productions when a cyclist comes across one? No. That will only create animosity. The only way to get this properly addressed is through the authority that issues the city permits and (for better or worse) that’s Film LA. They are the ones who make the requirements on film crews as part of the permitting process. And there are plenty of them, depending on what’s being done, where and when. This concern for the safety of the cycling public should be among them.

    I suggest some folks within the cycling community help Film LA draft requirements for infringing on bicycle lanes. I’m sure it won’t be easy, what is when dealing with a city the size of Los Angeles? But, if you want to stop film production altogether because sometimes there is a problem with how it’s being done, I’ll have a problem with that and so will many others.

  40. life in the big city

    yes, it’s a sucky situation, not only for the bicyclists but the crew working on the set, the automobile traffic traveling down sunset and the residents and business affected.

    we’re all in this together so please take a moment to look at it from the other side.

    first of all, the mickey mouse signs and closure has been in response to previous complaints by cyclists (on la.streetblog.org) about not having any notice. it’s a work in progress.

    secondly, cars regularly ignore signs, pedestrians, police officers and blind intersections in their rush to get to work/starbucks/hair salon all the time and film crews and construction workers are constantly in danger of being hit as well. in the interest of promoting the flow of traffic and sharing the road, they work in situations that aren’t necessarily the safest option. in any other city in the world, they would just close down the whole street. personally, what i think cars with deep tinted front windows (which are illegal) so i can’t tell if they see me or not, or acknowledge that i’m waving them through or they’re waving me through are just as dangerous than someone attempting to parallel park and blocking the lane or idiots who can’t make up their mind if their merging with traffic, turning right or stopping ahead of me (usually because they’re too busy texting, but i can’t tell because the windows are too dark). i slow down and safely move around them when able.

    setting up k-rails and/or completely taking over a travel lane isn’t necessarily an option for a one day shoot as it may be for a month long construction project, especially when you take into account the volume of automobile traffic over bicycle traffic. it’s not about putting the lives of cyclists in danger, it’s about weighing who is most affected and making the best of a bad situation.

    that being said, don’t be an ass and immediately swerve into the traffic lane when it’s obvious that there’s an obstruction ahead of you. slow down, look over your shoulder and take the traffic lane when it’s safe to do so just as you would if there were a car double parked or someone who insists of getting in or out of their car with the door wide open and completely oblivious to the fact that they’re in the lane.

    third, i get that traffic in la sucks and that a drive that takes 10 minutes on labor day will take 45 minutes tomorrow morning. if it’s not a film shoot, it’s construction, a moving truck, a broken water main or simply a little old lady who doesn’t drive faster than 25 mph. there are other almost 4 million other people in the city of los angeles who need to use the road as well, including bicyclists, film crews, bus drivers and little old ladies. dot has their hands full with more and more traffic, budget cuts, people complaining about the poor quality of roads while also complaining when there’s a construction crew attempting to repave a street. film studios are struggling to justify keeping filming in los angeles while more and more restrictions and regulations add to the cost of filming here while other areas are offering incentives and building up a crew base that makes it feasible to leave los angeles and the tens of thousands of jobs here for good.

    150,000 people are directly employed by hollywood every year. their combined salaries equal more than $15 billion dollars. over 6500 businesses cater exclusively to hollywood for their business who in turn employ countless other local residents. the shoot mentioned above probably employs 150 to 200 people on a daily basis, from the crew on the street to extras and office staff. all those people are thus able to pay taxes (to pay for new roads), go out to dinner and get their dry cleaning done in their respective neighborhoods all because we were able to *share* the road for a couple days. not that one group is more entitled to the road than another but that we as a community managed to find a way to make the best of a situation so we could all benefit.

  41. It’s funny that the film industry whines that they can’t put food on the table without hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies and then they call the taxpayers who subsidize them a bunch of whiners.

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