Thursday, October 27, 2016

Bike advocates stage a “die-in” on Councilman Cedillo’s doorstep

Bicycle advocates stage a die-in outside Councilmember Gil Cedillo's home. | Photos by Stephen Corwin

Bicycle advocates stage a die-in outside Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s downtown condo complex. | Stephen Corwin


Let us add another chapter to the Figueroa bike lane saga. Frustrated bicycle advocates protested outside Councilman Gil Cedillo’s downtown condominium complex on Sunday morning. The protest bike ride, dubbed ¡CHALE CON CEDILLO!, and  “die-in” was in response to what the bicycle advocates call a lack of dialog from Cedillo, whose First Council District includes Highland Park, Cypress Park and several other neighborhoods. The die-in was meant to symbolize the heightened risk of injury and collisions cyclists face without a bike lane.

Surprised neighbors greeted the riders and watched as they milled about outside the condominium complex. Cedillo did not make an appearance, but his spokesman, Louis Reyes, said the council office has been “inclusive in the process” about the future of Figueroa. “It’s the tyranny of the minority at this point,” Reyes said of Sunday’s demonstrators. “We have listened to them and will continue to listen to them.”

Last month, Cedillo introduced his plan to the City Council for diagonal street parking on Figueroa, a move that would eliminate room for bicycle lanes, according to cycling advocates. Cedillo’s office refutes that contention, saying Figueroa bike lanes remain a possibility. Cedillo, meanwhile, has described the bike advocates who have challenged him as “bullies” who are a vocal minority.

“We’re tired of the lip service. We’re not bullies, we’re his constituents,” said Eastside Bicycle Club founder Carlos Morales who participated in Sunday’s ride and protest outside Cedillo’s residence.

Approved in 2010, the Los Angeles Bicycle Plan allocated funds for 5.3 miles of bicycle lanes along Figueroa Street in Northeast L.A. But after Cedillo took office, he halted any alterations to the street and held several town hall meetings on the topic of road safety that bicycle advocates felt were a waste of time.

“Cedillo is a Sacramento politician who now has to face his constituents,” said Morales who mentioned that the councilman showed strong support for bicycle lanes when campaigning for office.

But bicycle lanes for Figueroa are still on the table, according to Reyes. “The councilmember is diligently working to increase street safety for all residents, not just one segment,” he said.


Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis’ stories, reviews and photos at Avenue Meander.

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  1. How about a get a job in.

    • Do you usually work on Sunday mornings? Did you bother to read AND understand the article, or go straight for the hate?

    • I looked around that morning and saw a bunch of pissed off employed adults demanding a redress of grievances from their elected representative.

  2. Highland Park for Life

    While I agree that Cedillo is pretty much a bozo, there are so many more important issues in NELA that need to be priorities. The bikers ARE basically bullies at this point. They never shut up. Let’s worry about crime, graffiti, encouraging more small business development, etc. first.

    • Our lives are put at risk because one man decided he wanted to spite anyone who wants to walk, ride, or drive on a safer Figueroa Street. Going to city council and making public comments does not a bully make. Chanting outside asking for safe streets does not equal bullying. Attending public meetings, gathering to advocate for a public safety measure, making friends, building community – none of these are the activities associated with bullies. We are fighting for our quality of life.

      Your own personal isolation, your apathy, should not be the end of all progress in the city. Get involved and stop smearing your neighbors.

    • It was cyclist “bullies” who paved the way for paved roads. “Cyclists’ organizations, such as Cyclists’ Touring Club in the UK and League of American Wheelmen (LAW) in the US, lobbied county surveyors and politicians to build better roads. The US Good Roads movement, set up by LAW, was highly influential. LAW once had the then US president turn up at its annual general meeting.” article theguardian. Youtube “Roads Were Not Built For Cars Kickstarter video” Its informative.

    • the issue is that these street designs were worked on via community meetings 3-4 years ago and were awaiting implementation and Cedillo came in and stopped them. otherwise yes get to other business. there is no reason to go over work that was already planned and vetted through the community.

  3. I wonder how many stop signs they blew through to get there.

  4. Setting aside the bike issue for a moment, Cedillo and his staff claiming they are being bullied and tyrannized is a strange approach with not only this issue, but the Cypress Park incident and his approach to Lincoln Heights. Victimhood is not an attractive quality for a leader. Leaders promote responsibility & accountability, erases hopelessness, and enables empowerment.

    • Gil Cedillo appears to be total ill-equipped to be a City Councilmember. It appears that he has the attention span of a gnat, and the intellect of a worm. On one issue in the community after another, he has retreated into a back room, refused to meet with his constituents, and kept his own staff in the dark about what he is thinking. The office is dysfunctional, and I mean in a big way.

      Gil literally says he’s a big policy genius, and that he hires “smart” staff to worry about the details. Unfortunately, local representation is very different from serving in the legislature where he was before. When you are the City Councilmember, your skills need to be directed less to broad policy making and intensely on meeting with people, understanding the nuances of the issues, and working out real solutions. Gil seems quite happy to go to lunch with lobbyists and campaign contributors, go shopping for an expensive shirt or tie, or talk about the weather at public meetings. He really ought to be recalled.

  5. Highland Park for Life

    Rose Garcia, reality TV star, real estate agent, and Highland Park resident, is firmly against the new bike lanes:


    “I hope Highland Park doesn’t put a bike lane on Fig. The one on York is f*cking annoying. Go to Venice Beach to ride your bike putos.”

  6. Good for them.

    Bike lanes won’t hurt anybody.

    Not having them, does hurt people.

    Everyone who is against bike lanes appears to have an irrational fear of traffic. It really is NOT CONGESTED on Fig, compared with 95% of well traveled roads in greater Los Angeles.

    Bike lanes on Colorado and York have not made traffic bad, at all. And if you think it has, you are completely out of touch with reality.

    Please try driving on Santa Monica Blvd through Beverly Hills during rush hour, then you will know what real congestion is.

    Additionally, I have found NELA to have some of the easiest neighborhoods to find free parking. Diagonal parking will make Fig a disaster, as it has in every other community that has since REMOVED diagonal parking, because it a) wastes space and b) causes more traffic when cars back out, pull in.

    Meanwhile, if you take a left or a right off Colorado, York, or Fig you will quickly find abundant free street parking a block or two away, with no parking permit required or meters to pay. And no, it won’t hurt you to walk a block.

    This fear of bikes, and paranoia about parking in NELA is really a sight to behold. You really don’t know how good you have it…

  7. I am not a bicycle person really. I walk, drive, or take the train mostly, but I think we need to think about the future. With more and more large apartment/condo building being built on the Eastside, there WILL be more and more traffic. I think we will need bike lanes to alleviate traffic and promote health. Honestly, if there were more safe, designated bike ways, I would ride to work from Highland Park to Koreatown, but it is too dangerous right now. I hope these bikers continue to fight for safe routes. Our city will be better for it.

    • The HLP -> KTOWN bike commute is indeed insane, but doable. As it is though, I stay the fuck off of Fig, because those drivers (and the road condition) are scary.

      So.. it is Monte Vista all the way to Lincoln Heights, snake over to Broadway over the bridge into Chinatown, Spring through downtown, and 7th street the rest of the way.

      DTLA biking, even with all of its bike lanes, is the worst part by the way. The biggest problem is Spring St, with endless busses pulling in and out of the lane, and drivers cutting you off to wait in line for to pull into parking garages.

      Oh and the occasional cyclist pulling some kind of bonehead, passing on the right maneuver .

  8. The bike lobby remains a self-righteous agenda without a demand. Ultimately, bike riding remains a recreational pursuit in NELA, which is why river paths continue to be developed. If and when these paths parallel every major thoroughfare with plenty of street access along the way, there will be even less need or demand for bike lanes. As it is, I consistently drive by EMPTY bike lanes on York and Rowena. It’s time for the bike lobby to spare us the hysterics, Grow UP, and stop crying like babies demanding what they want. I own two bikes and become less sympathetic to their cause with each new tantrum.

    • I am trying to figure out how you typed all that with your eyes closed the whole time. I mean, to be so blind to the truth and be able to find the link to this blog, click “Reply” and start typing takes skills. If you put some energy into educating yourself instead of slandering others … wow, you’d be a wise man by now.

      • Typically self-righteous response that doesN’T respond to my own field research that included specific examples. Perhaps if the bike lobby wasn’t so inept with promoting their cause and actually mobilized their constituents to actually use if not crowd existing bike lanes cyclists like myself would be convinced of the demand and need for more bike lanes in my community. As it is, the bike lobby seems to be struggling with mastering adult skills like negotiating and compromise and innovation instead of prescribing canned solutions to a very unique L.A. (NOT european) city. Get It?

        • Can you tell us how you define “field research?” Are there links online to some of your work?

          • I used the term “field research” in a tongue-in-cheek manner to point out that I’ve made a personal point of checking out bike lanes that have sprouted up in NELA for usage and effects. Usage is virtually ZERO. Effect is congestion that I don’t recall ever existing on Rowena or York and cyclists that disregard bike lanes to clog or swerve along any lane they Damn well please. Even those who do use bike lanes (going into Griffith Park for instance) insist on riding side-by-side and not single file like they’re supposed too. A more entitled bunch of babies iIve yet to encounter on this side of town.

            Anyway, the bike lobby is their own worst enemy. Their childish tantrums, canned solutions, and pouty demands are counter-productive and I don’t necessarily disagree with their goal. I own two bikes myself but they’ve failed to generate demand, articulate gradual and realistic milestones, or compromise to identify common interests e.g., develop river bike paths that parallel major streets with plenty of access and all of the other amenities that would cultivate increased interest and dedication to urban cycling.

            WTF is so unreasonable about that approach?!? Other than not getting exactly what they’re demanding?


            Otherwise, I don’t need to go online to explore the community that i Live in.

          • I see. As it happens, merely “checking out” new lanes can’t lead to credible or accurate findings. No researcher “checks out” a situation and draws conclusions from occasional anecdotal observation.

            You keep mentioning you own two bicycles, yet I cannot imagine you ride them often or for utilitarian purposes. I say this because there are good reasons to “swerve” out of the lane, including debris, glass shards, pot holes, parked vehicle doors opening, trash bins being placed in bike lanes. Bicyclists have no control over these conditions or where they arise so they sometimes have no choice but to respond suddenly.

            Also, it is not illegal to ride two abreast. Nor is it required to ride single file. In fact, it is far easier and faster to overtake a pack of bicyclists bunched together than it is to drive alongside a conga-line of single-file bicyclists.

            You argue we need to generate demand for biking before building bike lanes but we built freeways before there was demand for them. Census data shows that driving is declining and biking is increasing, so there is indeed demand being generated. Furthermore, many people such as myself would love to bike if they felt safe doing so. We need protected bike lanes to do that but if you think drivers hate sacrificing space for 5′ skinny bike lanes, imagine how they would feel if we removed more space from cars.

            I would also point out that something that gets lost in this “debate” is that the bike lanes may be empty but the streets are still made safer through road diets so they are still successful in that regard.

            Looking online for information and facts is valuable. Rather than raging about people dedicated to a solution to our auto-dependence, you should educate yourself about basic laws and safety issues bicyclists face. Go for a bike ride on Fletcher and see the streets through the eyes of these people you seem to despise.

          • You formed a lot of conclusions based on my personal and authentic experience as a resident who LIVES in these neighborhoods and regularly drives down Rowena, Fletcher, and York for routine errands, shopping, and eating. Besides, why would I allow virtual information to preclude my personal experiences in the neighborhoods that I actually live in? Other than to concede your argument?

            I own one road bike and one mountain bike but I stick to the river paths (which are a great development) and dirt trails. I would NEVER trust civilian traffic with my life on city streets. Especially with the proliferation of tech gadgets that has drivers constantly distracted, straddling lanes, and endangering the safety of fellow motorists, never mind vulnerable cyclists. Moreover, my office doesn’t have showers or other facilities to accommodate sweaty employees who insist on cycling to work, i.e., that whole cycling to work fantasy is unrealistic for the vast majority of working people.

            Riding abreast and OUTside of the prescribed bike lane is illegal and dangerous. Single file is the responsible cyclist rule. I know because I’m a cyclist. Also, what “debris” and “glass shards” are you talking about?!? Streets of N.E.L.A. haven’t been described that way since the 70s/80s. Personal convenience (and entitlement) NOT personal afety has been the primary motive of the cyclists I’ve seen hold traffic hostage with their grandstanding antics.

            If “bike lanes are empty” and traffic safety is your primary goal then why not unite residents with the goal of improving traffic safety? Otherwise (and your deceptive melodramatics aside), don’t presume to prescribe remedies for non-existent problems or needs and then complain because others question your motives and goals.

            I am educated on the issue. We simply disagree with the solution or (as I’ve been insisting) the compromise.

          • Nobody questioned your residency. The implication you are making seems to be that I, or other bike lane supporters, don’t live here. I’ll speak for myself, I do. In fact, A 4th generation local. But, this isn’t a contest about who has lived here longest or who loves the neighborhood most. I am asking that “virtual information” like census and collision data help inform your position. All too often people make ill-informed decisions or misspeak because they rely solely on gut feeling. The census data which you and I participate in clearly demonstrates driving is declining in the city while bicycle use is growing, including in NELA. The collision data echoes what the bike lane promoters are saying– road diets improve safety for all.

            You say you would never trust civilian traffic on city streets. It is a dangerous and scary experience riding on major streets which is why I don’t ride nearly as much as I would like. Clearly dangerous and distracted car drivers are part of the problem and reason why these people support slowing cars down. We both cite safety as our primary reason for not biking. Sweaty biking to office? Well, just don’t bike to work. Most trips we make are not work-related anyway. Stop at the grocery store? Pick up pizza from Foliero’s? Visit a friend? Accessing the Gold Line? All these activities can be done by bike if one lives within 3 miles, a distance typically viewed as too great to walk to in a reasonable amount of time. Nobody is suggesting everyone bike to work in a suite. Though, for what it’s worth, when I take the gold line to work in the morning most people are not wearing suites.

            Actually, riding outside the bike lane is not illegal when it is done to avoid dangerous conditions. Riding two abreast is not illegal either if there is more than one lane available. If only one lane is available, cyclists are only required to move aside if they are impeding traffic, which is defined as 5 cars piled up behind them (if I recall correctly).

            Want to see debris, potholes and glass? Ride the York bike lane between Eagle Rock and cafe de leche. Or ride on Cypress Avenue. Or ride on Ave 50. I regularly see glass in the bike lane from (I assume) car windows being smashed.

            Really, cyclists hold traffic hostage? You’ve got to be joking. Car drivers use their cars to taunt and threaten cyclists. When cyclists occupy the lane it is out of safety and their right to do so. You may not like it, but they have a right to the road, something that you – a cyclist – should know. Want to talk about entitlement? Look at the proliferation of stop signs and speed humps, they exist solely because drivers would otherwise illegally exceed the speed limits and ignore the safety of their neighbors.

            Road diet is the most cost-effective way of improving safety AND encouraging more biking. No other option on the table can accomplish both as successfully with the same amount of funding.

            We clearly do disagree but I said you should get educated because you have been wrong about the rights of cyclists at least three times in our exchange, which surprises me since – ya know – you’re a “cyclist.”

          • “Well, just don’t bike to work. Most trips we make are not work-related anyway. Stop at the grocery store? Pick up pizza from Foliero’s? Visit a friend? Accessing the Gold Line?” (eyes rolling . . .). ANYway, if you don’t feel compelled to move aside for traffic until “5 cars”(?!?) are piled up behind you then you only make my point about the sense of entitlement that exists among cyclists holding traffic hostage, e.g., as IF the fourth car wants to plod along at 10mph until a fifth car finally pulls up behind it and WHOse keeping count?!? Also, have you seen the alternately pouty or indignant expressions on the faces of some cyclists when you finally honk or shout at them to move over as far to the right as possible and NOT plant themselves in the center of the traffic lane? It’s just incredible how self-righteous can be.

            Btw, I do regularly take public transportation into downtown when I know I won’t have to leave the office for meetings or other work-related assignments but I would never risk my life or inconvenience traffic by cycling to work where whether you are wearing slacks or jeans you are expected to not be a sweaty or stinky mess.

          • If one is obeying the law, how does that make one any more entitled than someone driving a car? Why is the fast movement of an automobile more important than the safe movement of a person on a bicycle?

            Entitlement is saying “might is right, move over law-abiding cyclist I am more important than you.”

          • The “Law” is moving over as far to the right as possible NOT planting yourself in the middle of the traffic lane, during rush hour, on Glendale Blvd.(!?!). Also, helmetless cyclists notorious for bolting across lanes and running Stop signs at any moment does NOT make me feel safer as a driver. Moreover, if cyclists are simply running errands, then “fast movement of automobiles” IS the priority of those traveling on city streets and highways. Consider compromises and you’ll gain a supporter. Continue to harass and inconvenience residents, and earn my enmity.

            Entitlement is saying “Never mind your priorities or preferences. I’m busy saving the world and you need to learn better, Nyehhh”.

          • But people on bikes are doing the same thing people in cars are. I don’t understand why one suddenly becomes more important if they are driving the grocery store than if they are biking to grocery store. Also, how can one tell if what a cyclist is doing is deemed “important” and who sets the standard? How is occupying the lane harassing? You yourself point out that drivers honk and shout at cyclists, that sounds more like harassment than a cyclist lawfully occupying the lane.

            The law that cyclists must move over only applies if there is a single lane of traffic and most major arterials in Los Angeles have at least two lanes in addition to a center turn lane so there are actually few cases on arterials where cyclists would need to move over. Glendale Boulevard varies between 2 and 3 lanes in each direction so at no point on that street would a cyclist be required to move over.

            Notorious cyclists? How about the notorious motorists that kill innocent people from their dumb behavior? It would be unfair to make assumptions about all drivers in red cars, for example, based on the actions of one red car drivers who killed someone.

          • @pooper doos : as a self-proclaimed educated American of Mexican descent self-identifying with Chicano culture, you should get educated about what the California Vehicle Code says about bicycles riding in the middle of the traffic lane.

            Here, let me help:
            read section (3)
            also, https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/?1dmy&urile=wcm:path:/dmv_content_en/dmv/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffdl37

            specifically the “When to Take the Traffic Lane” section which states: “If there is no shoulder or bicycle lane and the traffic lane is narrow, ride closer to the center of the lane. This will prevent motorists from passing you when there is not enough room.”

            We are educated cyclists.

            expect us.

        • Proper Dos, you are in love with the anti-gentrification protestors but hate on people who are lobbying for safe streets. Both groups are using similar tactics, but one you hold up as scion of community and the other is a group of “babies”.

          Your confirmation bias filled, misinformed, comments on this topic make your earlier comments in support of the anti-gentrification protestors look suspect as well.

          Many of those in the protest on Sunday, myself included, ride our bikes regularly on Figueroa to work. We want a safer street. We held a protest because the message was not getting through to our councilman. That isn’t a tantrum – that is the definition of free assembly and redressing grievances with the government.

          • “. . . the definition of free assembly and redressing grievances with the government” and don’t I have the right to disagree? Or has the cycling lobby retain sole possession of the moral high-ground in this debate? You don’t even realize how entitled you sound(?!). Btw, I view your “free assembly” as nothing more than self-righteous grandstanding. Unable to convince residents of the need, you’re trying to backdoor the neighborhood by compelling legislation withOut their consent or approval. Kudos to Cedillo for NOT caving-in to minority rule and I’m not even a big fan but your antics are actually enhancing his profile as a steadfast representative of the community.

  9. I’m a cyclist who believes that increasing the number of bike lanes will improve traffic congestion, reduce smog, encourage a healthier lifestyle (diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity are huge problems in America), it will not interfere with driving traffic,. t’s been implemented in many European countries and cities in the United States. When a councilman promises he needs to keep them. The response from Cedillos representatives are a blatant attempt to undermine the good of the organizers and divert attention from themselves by calling them, Cedillos constituents “bullies”. Cedillo needs to be a man and have direct talks with theses cyclists.

  10. Since when is living in neighborhoods with safe streets the sole domain of cyclists. Safe streets are a common concern for everyone and anyone; children, the elderly, shoppers, diners, local business owners, workers. We all need to be able to live and walk on safe and well-planned streets. It’s pathetic that Cedillo and his henchman flack are acting victimized and crying about a “vocal minority.” Like the same kind of “vocal minority” protesting police violence? The same kind of “vocal minority” protesting sexual violence on college campuses? Yes, residents want public leaders to be fair, circumspect and wise. Politicians who ignore repeated instances of reckless abuse and epidemics of hit-and-run accidents in their neighborhoods actually do have to answer to their communities. Cyclists may be better organized than all of the pedestrians of NELA combined, but everybody is fed up with the epidemic of hit-and-run accidents in our neighborhoods. Smart, progressive leaders try to get on top of these problems, not drive wedges in communities, act abused for being called out on abandoning majority-backed safe street plans, and then provoke constituents into having to protest negligent leadership. Citizens don’t protest for fun. Citizens protest when extreme issues are ignored by the powers that be. This will only continue to get worse for Cedillo unless he deals thoughtfully and with respect for the real issues playing out on our streets every day.

  11. Personally I am with the anti-bike lane crowd. But if this crowdy wants more right, lanes and stuff, then they should pay for them.

    In order to share the road with motorists they should have to get a license, register their bikes annually, and purchase insurance. Not to mention take and pass a riding exam because I have encountered several of these folks riding against traffic or riding on the sidewalk putting children and old folks in danger.

    • I’ll bite; first off there is a big difference between automobiles and bikes in terms of speed, weight and danger. All you have to do is look at the fact over 30,000 people were killed due to cars in the past year and sadly that’s a banner year, one of the best years on record. It is because automobiles (buses, cars, trucks) are so dangerous that you have to get licensed and have insurance (although people drive without both or with suspended licenses all the time). Also if you know CA vehicle code you’d realize that bicycles are allowed to utilize most roads already but current road conditions sometimes make that impossible as they are poorly designed, maintained and vehicles are speeding all which make roads unsafe for all users. Would you require every child to get a license, register their bikes and pay for insurance? I mean I rode my bike as young as 8 on-streets to go visit my friends. Essentially creating more barriers to mobility and further restricting movement to those who can’t afford a car, car drive a car nor want to travel by car. A bike can be, and usually, is the most effective means of travel for shorter trips under 3 miles without a car and if it is as congested as some people have alleged in NELA then it would be the most convenient to move around town.

      As for paying for them, cyclist do pay for bike lanes, signage and other amenities that make bicycling possible; that’s because roads are mainly paid for by general fund dollars which are usually property taxes and sales taxes. So cyclist and pedestrians pay for those roads that you and other drivers use. In fact, driving is the most subsidizes form of transportation as the gas taxes federal and state only cover a portion of operable road (mainly highways, major arterial streets and some minor arterial streets).

  12. Highland Park Resident

    I hate York Blvd’s bike lane and i try to avoid going up and down as much as possible. I don’t need to see bike lanes on Figueroa. If they do decide to put bike lanes on Figueroa they need to remove the street parking there are enough paeking lots in the area. I don’t want Figueroa to become a single lane like York.

  13. I work on Figueroa st and I probably see one bike every hour compare to thousands of cars. I do not see a need for a bike lane on figueroa, it just not makes any sense to put in a bike lane if it is not going to be used. Has anyone seen the new bike lane on Rosemead blvd? Every time I go to that area I never see any bike using it and they got rid of so much street parking, for what? Just to make a few people happy

  14. I don’t understand these bicycle lane advocates. If they REALLY wanted to feel safe, why don’t they just ride on Monte Vista or Marmion Way, which have much less traffic. All the brouhaha they keep creating seems so counter-productive.

    • If they did as you suggested no one would pay any attention to them. They wouldn’t like that a bit.

    • Carol, I think the drivers should take Marmion Way through Highland Park and then tell me why they can’t use that route instead of Figueroa.

      • Because Marmion Way is a residential street and Figueroa is a commercial corridor.

        • I hope your comment was made to highlight the stupidity of the “go ride in a ditch!” argument frequently brought up in a discussion about the merits of bike lanes.

      • I regularly drive on Monte Vista and Marmion Way to avoid the congestion of Figueroa. It’s much easier and faster.

        • You take Marmion Way between Avenue 60 and Avenue 50?! Really? Do you? I would love to hear your opinion about how optimal this is for you! It is a parallel connector, after all.

  15. I bike as my primary form of transportation. I ride from HLP to the westside and back every day. I ride on Fig every day.

    Yes, of course I want bike lanes for my safety. But, lest all us cyclists get pigeonholed, I also am not adamant about bike lanes. If bike lanes create traffic congestion, then it might not be beneficial for the community as a whole – and the greater good should be the first priority. Bike lanes, especially in LA, are also kind of dangerous because there are so many idiot cowboy drivers that don’t respect the lanes to begin with (especially when they are all road ragey in traffic). So, while bike lanes are ideal for me and my ilk, they are not always the practical solution.

    Los Angeles today is not bike friendly and, until it is, it is incumbent upon us bikers to be safe riding and create a culture of acceptance – not the other way around.

    That being said, it is only with a profound lack of vision for the future that bike lanes can be viewed as negative. Fig, like York (even with the hated bike lane), really has no traffic issues by LA standards. More bikes and less cars on the road will be great for this city. Safer conditions for bikers will encourage this relief. Also, it will ( as has been proven again and again in cities across the world) help a more robust business district when people are not treating Fig like a freeway-lite alternative to the 110. Of course, I don’t expect people, American people in particular, to have civic vision. So I get that forward thinking isn’t on everyones radar.

    I don’t need a bike lane on Fig and won’t be outlining myself in chalk to get it – though it would be better for the future of our street and community if they were put in.

    • Very well stated!

    • @Uschi Bear: I was impressed with what started out as a reasonable statement Unfortunately, “Of course, I don’t expect people, American people in particular, to have civic vision. So I get that forward thinking isn’t on everyones radar.” is judgmental of anyone with even a slightly different civic vision than yours and implies that you believe that American viewpoints and forward thinking are mutually exclusive.

      • @jocko. Thank you. I think all of our strong opinions are judgemental by nature, no? Yes, I do think our hyper-capitalist ethos makes us generally blind or averse to civic planning that doesn’t have immediate development payoff. Or, let me narrow my target a bit: Its not that Americans can’t see progress. Its that, as voters, we tend to move away from long-term progressive notions. Infrastructure improvements. Renewable energy … bike lanes … Etc.

    • as a fellow bike commuter:
      personally, I feel way more safe in a bike lane, because the “idiot cowboy drivers” are on every road, so bike lanes only make it safer.
      We need a connected bike infrastructure. There are many times I decide not to ride, because where I need to go has an excessively sketchy (and unavoidable) section.
      You mention “more bikes and less cars”. I assert we will never have “less cars”. The number of cars will at least continue to increase (monotonically non-decreasing) as we pack more and more people into LA. Our transit infrastructure is too weak, disconnected, to have a large enough impact to actually reduce auto use. Expanding our transit will only serve to slow the increase of autos on the road.

      Given the built out nature of LA, I do agree that there will be locations where removing an autolane to add a bike lane would make things horrifically worse in the aggregate.

  16. We do not need to all be in love with the idea of bike lanes but we must agree on certain realities. The truth is that doing nothing will do nothing to improve safety or help people switch to alternative modes of travel. This is a problem if we care about traffic safety and a more sustainable future.

    Nothing, not even the York road diet, has done more to ruin the community than automobiles. The historic buildings that no longer stand? Many of them made way for parking lots and strip malls. Each year people die from the carelessness of drivers in the neighborhood who are speeding or drinking and driving. Yes, there are dumb people on bikes and on foot, but they are not the primary cause of senseless traffic fatalities. Want to talk about displacement? How about the several hundreds of people displaced for the construction of the freeways? The beloved trolley system? Eliminated to create more space for cars.

    It is well known that these oh-so horrific road diets improve safety. People may not like that they travel slower now, but the hard data shows that the streets are made measurably safer and this cannot be disputed. This is apparent locally but also nationally throughout the country. Go ahead, google “road diet” and research the concept.

    Good job to the bike protestors! Don’t go silent, keep fighting for your right to be safe on our major streets. Many of us support you and admire your dedicated passion!

  17. There is no need for a bike lane on N Fig. Look what a mess Virgil is and now or Hoover or that useless stretch over on Rowena! Fuck these idiots. LA is NOT and will never ever ever be a bike town. Move to Amsterdam or NYC where the geography and size of the city makes for practical bicycle commuting . I suppose most of you never been outside LA county! Or get a job and buy a car and start paying taxes. You folks are just winey stupid slow witted hooded graffiti spraying high-school drop out douched bags with lead poisoning. You can scream and cry and die all day for all I care.

    • The people at the protest on Sunday were mostly employed, owned cars, have families, businesses or homes in or immediately surrounding CD1. We all pay income, sales, property, etc. taxes that pay for the local surface streets we’re protesting about. When it comes to “practical geography for cycling” – what would that be, please? I would love to hear about how balmy, mostly flat, Los Angeles is geographically incapable of being a bike-friendly city.

      • Apparently rainy/snowy winters and hot/humid summers is the key to great cycling cities. I’d like to add hilly San Francisco to the list of great cycling cities. Eeewwww…Los Angeles has an average yearly temperature of 66 with 292 days of sunshine. Who’d want to spend time outside in those horrid conditions?

  18. RED SPOT IN CD 1

    This is such a shame. The bigger shame is going to be if Molina wins in the 14th. She hates bike lanes even more than Cedillo and she is much, much harder to deal with. Cedillo has been to busy focusing on illegals getting licenses that he is forgetting about the bike drivers who don’t follow the rules of the road!!

    Ta Ta

    Scottie J.

  19. Now I know where Cedillo lives and why he will never understand walkable streets. He lives 4 blocks from City Hall and he gets chauffeured to work every day. He’s never spent the 15 minutes to walk it.

  20. Remember when they installed bike lanes on York and the sky fell? York is a dead street, nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.

  21. I see the bike lane supporters rallying for safer streets for everyone with a mega dose of bile directed at Gil Cedillo. On the other side I see the anti bike lane crowd griping and flinging poo about basically being inconvenienced by slower speeds. LA might be too far gone in terms of road rage anger balls. But we shouldn’t be short sighted. Think of the kidz! Future generations will be more accustomed to bike lanes and will be more inclined to use them. Like any other forward thinking city.

  22. I just got home from the ritual of my nightly Rowena crawl and, as usual, not a bicycle in sight in either direction while drivers try to pass in the center left turn lane. Only motorcycles use the bike lanes. neighborhood kids are instructed by their wise parents to use the sidewalks. This happened in Silver lake because the recreational bicycle lobby has a strange influence on Tom Lebonge. This has been a total failure that the elitists are trying to extend to the Hyperion Bridge. Don’t let it happen to your neighborhood.

    • You know what else is backed up during rush hour? Fletcher, Glendale, Silver Lake Blvd., Alvarado, Hyperion, etc. Guess what? No bike lanes there. Just solo drivers clogging up the road. The Rowena bike lanes aren’t causing congestion. The increased number of car commuters trying to get to the 5/2/134/Sunset through Silver Lake is causing congestion. And if you think Rowena is bad now, wait until the “Latitudes townhomes” open and the multiple Elysian Valley “live/work” spaces on the “LA River” start building out. Our commutes are only going to get worse and the currently unconnected unprotected poor visibility bike lanes on Rowena will be the least of our problems.

      • Yes, I’m glad you agree that the current bike lanes are useless, unprotected and dangerous. Two lanes in each direction will ease some of the back up in what is a congested street that feeds the freeways. Not a wise place for lane reduction unlike Griffith Park Bl. which works well.

        • I don’t agree that the bike lanes on Rowena are useless. I think they’re a modest, even half (1/4!)-measure start to easing up car congestion on our streets. Those lanes begin and end at two of the deadliest intersections in the area (Hyperion/Rowena and Glendale/Fletcher) and they don’t connect up to additional cycling infrastructure. I love how Rowena bike lane pundits think cyclists are suddenly going to jump on a disconnected .5 mile route exactly at the same time they happen to be sitting in traffic. However, you do often see cyclists in those lanes when road raging car commuters are either still asleep in the early mornings and weekends or mid-day–when traffic has died down. Can you blame them? And that section of the road will get totally insane when the Whole Foods opens. I know I’ll look back and wish that someone had had the foresight to build out operable protected bike lanes that connect to additional roadways and ease car congestion and the Whole Foods parking lot nightmares that will ensue.. Should go ahead and turn Rowena into a bike boulevard now.

          • Lanes actually begin and end where Glendale merges with Rowena. The stretch to Glendale/Fletcher is two lanes each way with no bike lane. So it’s even shorter and more disconnected than you say and offers no protection at the worst of the intersections. I too “…..wish that someone had had the foresight to build out operable protected bike lanes that connect to additional roadways and ease car congestion….” The Rowena bike lanes are often cited as the symbol of the failure of the concept. It’s merely a trophy for the old Silverlake Homeowners Association and, I believe, actually hurts the movement for useful connected bike lanes such as those in Santa Monica.

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