Film crews not welcome in Echo Park bike lanes

Traffic cones block off Sunset Boulevard bike lane | Photo courtesy Nick

A film shoot in Echo Park earlier this week found the westbound Sunset Boulevard bike lane blocked off between Alvarado and Coronado streets. That prompted an Echo Park cyclist named Nick to complain to Film LA, which oversees film permits, about what he considers a hazardous and illegal practice. Said Nick in an email:

“Most cyclists, pedestrians and drivers do not realize that the film crews are illegally violating their film permits, parking illegally, and illegally blocking the bicycle lane with trucks/ orange cones … When people see these hazards, they should immediately contact parking enforcement to have the vehicles towed and ticketed. Unfortunately most people do not realize this and it creates a hazard to our community. Film LA has informed me the correct course of action for these violations is to contact Parking Enforcement and the Police Department.

Nick, a former pro racer and who helped found Midnight Ridazz in Echo Park, said that the blockage of bike lanes happens all too frequently by film crews, bands loading equipment and cars. “Blocking them illegally for commercial filming or as a loading zone sends out the wrong message,” he said. “It’s also annoying and dangerous. When people see orange cones or flashing hazard lights they may think that the use is legal. It is not, and people should speak up and call Los Angeles Parking Enforcement.”


  1. Yeah, and Midnight Ridazz never break any laws. What a joke.

    Those groups are the absolute worst: running traffic lights, blocking up the streets, and yelling at cars. Can’t have it both ways Nick. Pull your head out of your ass

    • It is funny how you folks can justify putting people’s lives in danger because it isn’t something you choose to do or because of the behavior of totally independent, irrelevant, and unrelated groups. If you are complaining about Midnight Ridazz then presumably you feel enforcement should take place when they break the law. This breaking of the law merits enforcement too. Can’t have it both ways Tony.

  2. You know, I’m so friggin tired of the bicyclists and their holier than thou attitude! Do motorist write and complain when they block an entire street and/or lane and most of all during rush hour traffic when it’s a no parking during the specific time periods!? NICK: GET A LIFE!!!!

    • IR: when bicyclists do that they are generally legally entitled to do so for any lane less than about 14′ wide. As pointed out by the post what film LA is doing is ILLEGAL. You need to get some drivers’ education man/woman.

      I’m willing to bet that when you are stuck in traffic it is behind other cars 98% of the time, and not cyclists. Do you complain about those cars? Nick’s not the one who needs a life here.

      • You self-righteous bikers do a piss-poor job of regulating your own jerky cyclists. Regardless of the lane’s width, bicyclists are required by law to move as far to the right as possible. They usually don’t. My revenge has been to swerve around them and compel them to squeeze by my truck, which is legitimately taking up an entire lane. If possible and on narrow residential streets, I can compel them to wait for me at STOP signs and traffic lights. I own two bikes but I’m smart and considerate enough to not compete with vehicles and clog up an entire highway lane.during rush-hour.

        • You might try actually reading the law before claiming knowledge of it:

          “Operation on Roadway

          21202. (a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:

          (1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

          (2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

          (3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

          (4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

          (b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.”

      • Dear HighNoon
        My point is that bicyclists think they have this big spirit of entitlement and have superior rights than automobilists. If bicyclists want equal rights on the road, then start using turn signals when you are turning a corner or changing lanes and stay in your friggin bike lane. AND I’ve found many times when there’s traffic its because of some a**Fu** bicyclist taking up the car lane rather than riding on the bike lane that is right there for them.
        I have more of a life than this idiot complainer whining about a temporary bike closure for movie production.
        PS: It’s the bicyclists that need to get drivers education.

  3. Do they put up a couple of those orange reflective road signs (like construction crews) to alert motorists that the bike lane is closed up ahead, and to watch/slow for cyclists merging into the right lane? That would seem like a reasonable compromise to me.

    • If I recall correctly, I just went by here yesterday and there was a sign posted all along that closure saying bike lane closed. So, there was fair warning.

  4. Is it a prerequisite to be a total whining complainy-pants to ride a bike? Jesus! Every time I turn around some ahole cyclist is complaining about something! WHAAAAAA

    Here’s a helpful hint, Nick. GO AROUND!!!! YOU ARE ALLOWED TO USE THE EFFING CAR LANES!!!!!

  5. Talk about whiners – the above commenters are ridiculous. I don’t even ride a bike, and I think Nick is totally right. The film crews can stay out of the bike lane. The bike lane is there for everyones safety.

    • I’ve come across the exact same situation where a work crew has put orange cones exactly as you see them in the picture….all you have to do is ride INSIDE the cones.. I’m an avid cyclist and I ride in that area frequently, I’ve never had a problem with it. The above posters are correct, Nick is a whining complainy pants….sorry for the vulgar language.

      • It may not be clear from the above photo, but riding inside the cones was not an option in this case – there were a lot of very wide trucks and trailers that pretty much took up the bike lane. In general, I assume cones are there for a reason. Take the lane!

    • Nick is right–this happens all too often and it’s really dangerous. FilmLA cares more about the bottom line than human lives. They also campaigned to de-green the Spring St. bike lanes downtown.

    • So, Barb, where are the production crew suppose to put their trailers? on the sidewalk? My GOD this is a temporary closure. It happens to all of us bicyclists and/or motorists.

  6. I rode along there a couple of days ago and didn’t see any signs indicating that the bike lane was blocked. I don’t have a problem taking the lane in such an instance, especially if I’m given fair warning – just don’t yell at me for only going 20mph when you want to drive 45.

  7. I commute to work down Sunset, on a bike. Who do I get to call and complain to when the bike lane is blocked by construction, a moving van, an illegally parked car, a double parked police officer who is just idling in their squad car, or rocks and debris? Call the city to complain about any of the aforementioned, and I guarantee they’ll roll their eyes and do nothing. I don’t think it’s fair to single out film production when the bike lanes get blocked for so many other reasons, many of which are done far less safely than a simple curb lane closure for production trucks. We just happen to have the option of calling up the whipping boy that is Film LA, when it’s production.

    Personally, out of all of them, I find film crews to be the least invasive. Like Oziumzx said, they usually set up so it’s easy and safe to just ride within the orange cones.

  8. I ride my bike on the sidewalk. Catch me if you can!

  9. What kind of a name is “HAHAHA”? The guy is not identified-just says Nick.
    How often do you hate troll under really uncreative avatar names?

  10. Again,a poorly reported story by Eastsider. Could you please actually establish that Nick know anything at all about what he is talking about. Maybe he does — but Eastside needs to point out the law that backs up what Nick is saying, as frankly, I think he’s wrong, and Eastsider should not be reporting and citing illegalities that are not illegal.

    As far as I know, those film tucks have special permits spefifically to allow them to park there or wherever it is they might be filming. And they have a permit for the size of trucks all the film crews use — big trucks, bigger and wider than any car, so of course they go farther out in the street than a car — and that is what the permit allows. So, they are not illegal, as Nick asserts, they have a special permit to do that.

    And if that is so, Eastsider should not be putting up a report saying it is illegal, as this report says. If you want to say a cyclist doesn’t like it, fine. But hey, he isn’t the first one to not like filming on his street, for all kinds of reasons.

    • oh that’s cute how you assume they even have a permit for parking there. You must work poduction. I lived downtown long enough to to know thatfilm crews do pretty much whatever they want to with little in the way of repercussions. Theypull permits for one block and then park and film blocks away. They pull permits that are supposed to accommodate residential units on the block and they tell them they have to park blocks away because FYTW. They have gained entry into residential buildings under false pretenses and then held the occupants hostage because they were getting in the shot. They have off duty LAPD working security so if you do call the cops their buddies just smooth things over for them. Go screw up Vancouver.

      • YEAH! Like SKR says! Go SCREW UP VANCOUVER! And bring all the jobs and tax revenue with you!

        Dude, get a grip. This is one of the last industries we have left in this broke ass city. You really want to export it based on a little inconvenience?

        Ever here of cut you nose off to spite your face? That’s what you and the whiny cyclist are doing here when there is a simple solution. GO AROUND!!!!!!!! YOU HAVE LEGAL RIGHT OF WAY TO TRAVEL IN THE CAR LANE!!!!!!!

  11. Enough idiotic, ignorant comments about cyclists. You sound like a broken record. Its easy to be a tough guy in a car. Get out and try to ride a bike with your kids on the weekend and you might understand the issue.
    In addition to trucks blocking the bike lane the cones are part of the problem. They are mostly unnecessary and push bikes into the right lane with cars going at speed. The anxious drivers get pissed and don’t know how to react since three feet is the state passing law now and they’ll be 30 seconds late to wherever they are going. It makes for a dangerous / toxic situation for everyone and it doesn’t have to be.

    • I especially love that all of those comments are complaining that cyclists complain about everything and motorists never complain.

    • Look, cyclists are not whining and complaining here!

      Cyclists are saying: when there’s a parking violation in the bicycle lane, call Los Angeles Parking Enforcement to fix the problem. Very easy. They will respond quickly and effectively. The City of Los Angeles loves that ticket and towing money!

      tel: (818) 374-4823
      tdd: (818) 752-5124
      tel: (213) 485-4184

      When there is a problem, fix it. Call it in and get it fixed.

    • “Get out and try to ride a bike with your kids on the weekend and you might understand the issue.” Your entire scenario begs the question, “Why in the heck would you lead your kids into city traffic?” Particularly during these days when every driver’s focus appears to be buried in some hand-held gadget and not the road they’re driving. I would never be foolish or irresponsible enough to take my kids into city traffic to ride bikes when there are perfectly safe and much more engaging trails along the river or beach. You need to patiently wait and advocate for L.A. to evolve into a cycle-friendlier city instead of flirting with martyrdom with their traffic-weaving antics. We did that as kids in an even less cycle-friendly environment and knew we were flirting with danger. That was the point and we accepted the risk and didn’t automatically blame the motorist when things did go wrong. After all, these city-streets were built for driving not cycling. It’s common sense.

      • Proper Dos, with more than half the USA population obese and pre-type 2 diabetic, what our community needs is MORE kids on bicycles. Its exciting to see the explosion of cycling amongst teens and children here in Los Angeles over the last ten years. The biggest threat to children is not traffic collisions, but obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

        Whether or not your believe in Darwinism and evolution, the fact is that the architecture of the City of Los Angeles is rapidly changing, and bicycles are leading the way. If children can skateboard professionally in the X Games, I’m sure they can adapt to cycling around inept motorists.

  12. This was the morning of Feb 4. There were no permits issued for a lane closure. This specific permit was for parking spaces only. When I rode by the location manager and set police officer were instructing crew trucks to park against the curb in order to clear the bicycle roadway lane.

  13. FilmLA is completely useless for anything but getting the film industry any express permit they want. Complaing to them is like complaining to the desk clerk in Sochi.

  14. Cyclists rightly have the same rights as drivers, now let them share the same responsibilities. Cyclists should be licensed and have to carry insurance. They should be required to signal, helmets, have proper lights/reflectors and obey traffic signals/stop signs.
    Otherwise, they are entitled whiners!

    • AMEN eastsidarts.

    • Totally agree. Cyclists DO deserve road rights, but they also must take the responsibilities you listed along with them. Especially insurance. It may seem unnecessary but a friend was severely injured by an irresponsible (and drunk) cyclist. If you want ride on LA streets, insurance should be required.

    • Probably the most well-reasoned comment I’ve ever see on the Eastsider. You’re absolutely right. The comments made here by militant cyclers only proves how much these people are menaces and bullies in the area. (And I say this as someone who rides bikes as well.) Bicyclists are just as inattentive and reckless as drivers; just because your “weapon” is 30 lbs as opposed to 3,000lbs doesn’t give you the right to barrel through crosswalks, zig zag through pedestrians and ride in packs to swarm cars to prevent them from moving. I’ve had one too many close calls as a pedestrian being knocked down by irresponsible cyclists.

      • I am appalled by the comments of militant motorists on this site (and I say this as someone who drives a car as well). Is it so outrageous that people biking want a safe space and that they want the film industry to get permits and properly signal bike lane closures? Can you imagine the outrage there would be if car lane closures were unannounced or tapered off in advance? I’ve had too many close calls as a pedestrian almost getting run over by irresponsible (and usually texting) drivers while I attempt to use crosswalks.

        • Salts, there are clueless and distracted pedestrians just as there are distracted drivers. Simply because you’ve stepped into a crosswalk does not insure safety.How many texting pedestrians have you seen absolutely unaware in crosswalks?
          Common sense people!

          • I agree eastsidearts, there are irresponsible people of all modes (walking, biking, driving, bus drivers) and it would be irresponsible to make unfair generalizations for any group as a whole. This won’t stop the cyclists from saying all drivers are demons and it won’t stop drivers from saying all cyclists are jerks.

            I’m surprised when I see people fail to yield to pedestrians. Usually they look like totally decent people, so it’s rather puzzling as to why so few of them stop– maybe they’re just not looking for pedestrians but they should! I kid you not, I find myself jumping up and down and shouting to get the attention of drivers when I want to cross the street. And when I cross, the drivers look pissed off AT ME for interrupting them. Sometimes they even wave at me to hurry up. Well, here I go with the generalizations, but this is almost always my experience.

            Here’s a good rule: Don’t attack any group of people, just preface everything by saying “nobody – drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians – follows traffic laws 100% of the time”

          • Salts, you are right. As I’ve said many times on this site: safety is everyone’s responsibility. Crosswalks are great, and they should be marked better, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to walk right in front of three lanes of oncoming traffic, right? Wait a minute. Every one needs to be aware and safe. My issue is that cyclist are very (rightfully?) demanding, yet in certain neighborhoods (EP/Silverlake) exhibit very reckless habits and seem to accept little responsibility. That’s all.

  15. I drove my car along this stretch the other day and noticed how dangerous it was for cyclists (a few of which I witnessed try not to get sandwiched between buses and film crew). There is no reason filming should cause near-death for people who opt not to drive a car.

  16. i guess a lot of you aren’t familiar with the Midnight Ridaz and their dangerous, illegal bike rides.

    of course i’m all for bicycle rights (i bike to work myself), it’s just pathetic and ironic when the person complaining is one of the organizers of Midnight Ridaz or Critical Mass, groups who continually break all traffic laws (if you guys want to be treated with the same rights as cars, you need to obey traffic laws too), endangering themselves and drivers

    next time you’e driving home late at night and a group of these assholes run a red light in front of you, then yell at you and shout obscenities, tell me how sorry you feel for Nick and his crybaby cycle friends

    • Tony, from what I recall, Midnight Ridazz was started ten years ago by a handful of jocks out to meet women on a fun late night bicyle ride. The ride made a scene because at that time in Los Angeles few rode bicycles in the city. And nobody rode bikes on a friday night. Is “Nick” really accountable for whatever political junk the ride spawned years afterwards?

  17. I don’t live in Echo/Elysian Park so I don’t have a personal horse in this race but I often read their Neighborhood Countil Yahoo site:

    A link to this article has already been posted on the site…
    but what others may want to note is that this forum has notices from FilLA, Notice of Filning which gives all the info as to
    where, when, etc…with a contact number and name:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EchoElysianNCForum/message/34067 with info about no parking on
    Rockford “2/9, NO PARKING ANYTIME

    So I’d suggest people concerned with street closures read this website regularly..
    From following various posts I can assure you there are people on the residents side of the issues who are pro-ative and outspoken on protecting their rights. ..
    Perhaps cyclists might designate someone to report to FilmLA when the permit is being misused…and other cyclists about possible obstructions…

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