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.
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.