October 23, 2013 |
Wilshire Boulevard on the Westside: I wouldn't want to ride my bike there. Then again, I don't have to. A lot of cyclists don't have that choice, though. According to California law, bicyclists have all the rights and responsibilities of motor vehicle operators, including the right to ride on every public roadway where cars are allowed. The only exception is some limited-access freeways through areas where there are alternative routes that cyclists can use. ABOUT BLOWBACK: FAQs and submission policy That includes dangerously congested streets like Wilshire Boulevard in the Brentwood-Westwood corridor on either side of, and under, the 405 Freeway.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 1, 2009 |
Like many avid cyclists, Rick Wurtz has his share of horror stories from the road. His closest call came as he pedaled along an open highway in Montana and a big rig rushed by within inches of his handlebars, passing so close that the truck's wake blew him off the road. There is little more terrifying to a cyclist than sitting astride 20 pounds of carbon fiber and aluminum when a motorist encased in 2 tons of steel makes a sudden right turn or bumps the riders. Yet for Wurtz and other cyclists, few episodes have reinforced the dangers as powerfully as last year's crash in which a Brentwood doctor is accused of slamming on the brakes of his car in front of two bike riders, injuring both.
July 22, 2011 |
L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl says he was inspired to introduce a groundbreaking anti-harassment ordinance for bicyclists after attending a meeting at a local bike shop, where he met a young man whose face had been mangled when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver. "It's about time cyclists had rights; about time they had laws to protect them," Rosendahl says in a YouTube video made to promote his plan. Cyclists already have traffic laws to protect them, but Rosendahl's ordinance, which was approved Wednesday by the City Council, gives them a new way to strike back at drivers who physically assault or threaten to assault them, force them off the road, throw objects at them or otherwise cause injury simply because of their status as cyclists.
February 24, 2014 |
“It's less attractive every year to own an automobile here,” says Echo Park resident Ryan Johnson, looking up from his bike. Johnson notes the rising cost of parking, the traffic, the hassle. “It's just easier to live without a car. And I don't miss it at all.” Johnson is still in the minority in Los Angeles, but it's a growing minority. He is one of several cyclists featured in “City Cyclists - Competing for Space,” one of two Los Angeles Times videos following the evolving relationship between cyclists and drivers on city streets.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 |
A 21-year-old woman who struck a group of cyclists in Boyle Heights while driving intoxicated, leading to the death of one who was dragged several hundred feet by a following car, was sentenced to three years, eight months in prison Tuesday. Wendy Stephanie Villegas pleaded no contest in March to vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident and driving under the influence causing injury in the death of 22-year-old Luis "Andy" Garcia. Prosecutors say Villegas was driving on Sept.
September 25, 2013 |
Rejoice, cyclists! Thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown's signature, those ton-plus cars whizzing by you soon must do so at a distance of at least three feet -- or not much more than the length of one arm. One arm? Yes, it may not be much, but after five attempts to establish such a modest safety barrier for cyclists, California's new three-foot rule -- to take effect next year -- is a policy victory for those of us who share the road with cars, especially in Los Angeles. But for some readers, it's the cyclists who need to be more cautious.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 15, 2010 |
There are people who sprint with the bulls in Spain, and people who plunge into icy oceans on New Year's Day. Then there are the several dozen men and women who gathered in Echo Park on Sunday morning at the bottom of a beastly hill and looked up. Before them stretched Fargo Street, one of the city's steepest roads. The challenge: to climb it. On a bicycle. Without stopping. Some tried and failed. Falls were so common that no one blinked when a woman tipped over halfway up the hill and tumbled violently into a bush on the side of the street.
November 12, 2013 |
California Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Dave Snyder looked out at a roomful of about 200 bicyclists and asked them if they knew someone who had been killed or seriously injured while riding. Roughly a third of those gathered raised their hands. His aspiration, Snyder said Saturday at last weekend's California by Bike summit in Oakland, was that in 20 years, no young riders would raise their hands. It's the right goal, of course, but the question and the answer were both sobering.
November 15, 2013 |
It shouldn't have come to this, but it did: Some drivers need to be reminded that no cyclist -- anywhere, ever -- deserves to be hit or killed in a car accident. I say this after reading the comments to my colleague Robert Greene's post this week noting that motorists who strike and sometimes kill cyclists are often sent home by police without so much as a citation. In response, several readers implied that the injured or deceased had it coming. Why? Because bike riders sometimes slow cars down.