RSS

Cyclists’ Bill of Rights to City Council

This coming Friday, the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights comes before the City Council’s Transportation Committee. We’re excited to present the CBR and we would love to have the City’s endorsement and support.

The Cyclists’ Bill of Rights as it is written in full by the Bike Writers Collective has been endorsed by the East Hollywood, Silver Lake, Atwater Village and Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Councils along with the Caltrans and Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committees. The presentations stirred great conversations and in all cases the CBR was endorsed as written and as presented.

Now that it is coming before the City, we’re concerned that the City will attempt to modify the CBR.

The proposed motion has trimmed off the preamble and the conclusion.

It is for this reason that we ask that the City Council’s Transportation Committee to:

1. endorse the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights “as written – as ridden!” and to

2. direct the LADOT to incorporate the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights “as written – as ridden!” in the city’s Bicycle Master Plan.

If this seems a bit sensitive, consider the editing work of the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee as it took a LADOT Bikeways Coordinator supported pass at the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights. It’s tough enough fighting for our place on the streets as we ride without having to fight “editors” who seek to modify our rights on paper.

Take a look at the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights and then compare the LABAC’s “abbreviated” version.

CYCLISTS’ BILL OF RIGHTS

WHEREAS, cyclists have the right to ride the streets of our communities and this right is formally articulated in the California Vehicle Code; and

WHEREAS, cyclists are considered to be the “indicator species” of a healthy community; and

WHEREAS, cyclists are both environmental and traffic congestion solutions; and

WHEREAS, cyclists are, first and foremost, people – with all of the rights and privileges that come from being members of this great society; and

NOW, THEREFORE, WE THE CYCLING COMMUNITY, do hereby claim the following rights:

1 ) Cyclists have the right to travel safely and free of fear.

2 ) Cyclists have the right to equal access to our public streets and to sufficient and significant road space.

3 ) Cyclists have the right to the full support of educated law enforcement.

4 ) Cyclists have the right to the full support of our judicial system and the right to expect that those who endanger, injure or kill cyclists be dealt with to the full extent of the law.

5 ) Cyclists have the right to routine accommodations in all roadway projects and improvements.

6 ) Cyclists have the right to urban and roadway planning, development and design that enable and support safe cycling.

7 ) Cyclists have the right to traffic signals, signage and maintenance standards that enable and support safe cycling.

8 ) Cyclists have the right to be actively engaged as a constituent group in the organization and administration of our communities.

9 ) Cyclists have the right to full access for themselves and their bicycles on all mass transit with no limitations.

10 ) Cyclists have the right to end-of-trip amenities that include safe and secure opportunities to park their bicycles.

11 ) Cyclists have the right to be secure in their persons and property, and be free from unreasonable search and seizure, as guaranteed by the 4th Amendment.

12 ) Cyclists have the right to peaceably assemble in the public space, as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.

And further, we claim and assert these rights by taking to the streets and riding our bicycles, all in an expression of our inalienable right to ride!

And here is the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee’s version.

Los Angeles BAC PRINCIPLES OF GUIDANCE

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee addresses bicycling issues in the City of Los Angeles. The BAC advises the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and Planning Department on issues relevant to bicycling for transportation and the implementation of the City’s Bicycle Plan. The BAC also advises the Department of Recreation and Parks on issues regarding recreational bicycling. To help the BAC focus on the issues of and the support of bicyclists, the following principles of guidance are declared:

1 ) Cyclists have the right to travel safely and free of fear.

2 ) Cyclists have the right to equal access to our public streets and to significant and sensible road space.

3 ) Cyclists have the right to the full support of law enforcement officers who have been educated in the rights and responsibilities of both bicyclists and motorists.

4 ) Cyclists have the right to routine accommodation of their interests in urban and roadway planning, development and design that enable and support safe cycling.

5 ) Cyclists have the right to maintenance standards that enable and support safe cycling.

6 ) Cyclists have the right to be actively engaged as a constituent group in the organization and administration of the City of Los Angeles.

7 ) Cyclists have the right to safe and secure opportunities to park their bicycles.

8 ) Cyclists have the right to end of trip amenities including employer supported shower and locker facilities.

Just to point out the changes:

#1 They took out all the WHEREAS section and replaced it with some gibberish about the BAC. The BAC has nothing to do with this document, even though they approved it. They didn’t write it and they shouldn’t get their name on this document.

#2 “sufficient and significant road space” has been changed to ” significant and sensible road space”.

Difference:

suf·fi·cient1 a: enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end <sufficient provisions for a month> b: being a sufficient condition. sufficient means being what is necessary or desirable. sufficient suggests a close meeting of a need

sen·si·ble1: of a kind to be felt or perceived: as a: perceptible to the senses or to reason or understanding.

Giving someone the sufficient road space that is necessary for the safety of a cyclists as opposed to what is perceived as safe are two different things. I would also suggest that what is sensible to the LADOT is not the same as what is significant or sufficient.

#3 “Cyclists have the right to the full support of educated law enforcement” has been changed to “Cyclists have the right to the full support of law enforcement officers who have been educated in the rights and responsibilities of both bicyclists and motorists.”

Difference:

The changed sentence indicates the bias of the LADOT. This desire to keep bringing up responsibilities indicates that a move to turn the Bill of Rights into the Bill of Rights & Responsibilities. It’s also interesting that they might include motorists in this document. Now it’s turning into the Cyclists and Motorists’ Bill of Rights and Responsibilities?

#4 “4 ) Cyclists have the right to the full support of our judicial system and the right to expect that those who endanger, injure or kill cyclists be dealt with to the full extent of the law.” has been completely removed! WTF??? I’m speechless and angry!!!

#5 “routine accommodations in all roadway projects and improvements” has been changed to “routine accommodation of their interests in urban and roadway planning, development and design that enable and support safe cycling.”

Difference:

The changes that have been made narrows down these accommodations to projects that are specifically bike projects as it states “of their interests” as opposed to every road that we have access to.

#6 6 ) has been squeezed into 5 ) which again restricts the cyclist’s accommodation to planning and development that specifically addresses bikes, not streets in general.

#7 “traffic signals, signage and maintenance standards that enable and support safe cycling” has been replaced with “maintenance standards that enable and support safe cycling.”

Difference:

Cities in Europe, South America, and even here in America are adding bike signals and signage to their streets, to raise awareness, to protect, and to give right of way to cyclists. Changing this sentence by removing signals and signage is a strong statement by the LADOT about not wanting to support cyclists but still giving preference to cars.

#8 “as a constituent group in the organization and administration of our communities” has been changed to “as a constituent group in the organization and administration of the City of Los Angeles”

Difference:

Some of our communities are not within the City of Los Angeles but are in Santa Monica, Pasadena, Long Beach, which are in the County of Los Angeles but these are their own cities. Changing the sentence to the City of Los Angeles instead of our communities gives the impression that cyclists in these other cities won’t get the support of our leadership. This is a stab right in the heart of those groups who are living in our communities, who are actively engaged in the cycling community and who are advocating for livable communities.

#9 ” 9 ) Cyclists have the right to full access for themselves and their bicycles on all mass transit with no limitations.” has been completely removed.

Big Problem:

The city leadership does not want to work with the public transportation authorities to create greener, ridable communities. This is a clear sign that the city leadership is still working towards restricting cyclists on mass transit, which will put more cyclists back into their cars because of rush hour restrictions, because of bike thefts at the transit hubs. etc. Imagine if buses and trains would be packed with people and their bikes. What would that mean? That would mean more buses and more frequent trains. That would mean less cars on the road. That would mean less traffic jams. That would mean more parking space open to drivers. That would mean, maybe, just maybe, that our city of Los Angeles would get more funding towards public transportation because there would be more demand by the people.

#10 “end-of-trip amenities that include safe and secure opportunities to park their bicycles.” has been split into two “7 ) Cyclists have the right to safe and secure opportunities to park their bicycles. and 8 ) Cyclists have the right to end of trip amenities including employer supported shower and locker facilities.”

Perhaps splitting this one up allowed them to increase the remaining rights from 7 to 8, still a tad shy of the original 12!

#11 “11 ) Cyclists have the right to be secure in their persons and property, and be free from unreasonable search and seizure, as guaranteed by the 4th Amendment.” and ” 12 ) Cyclists have the right to peaceably assemble in the public space, as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.” have been completely removed. WTF?????

Violation! To fail to recognize that the 1st and 4th amendments are important rights for cyclists demonstrates a failure to understand some of the significant issues that cyclists have been bringing to the Bicycle Advisory Committee, the Transpo Committee and the City Council.

You don’t need to look at New York but can see right here on our streets that my rights and my friends rights have been violated without any repercussion and without our leadership stepping in and defending our rights.

All this is to say, that if the City’s Transportation Committee and then the City Council are going to endorse the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights, it should be endorsed “as written – as ridden.”

Ride with us on Friday at noon to City Council and ask them to approve the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights “as written – as ridden” and while you are there, you’ll be also able to address the other bike issues that will be on the agenda:

Items on the agenda for Friday:

1) Discussion of the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights
2) Report on the status of the city’s bike licensing program
3) Report on the progress of the Bicycle Master Plan Update
4) Report on the possibility of a bike sharing program in LA
5) Report on Sharrows progress

and some other discussions pertinent to sustainable transportation.

RIDES TO THE MEETING:

WESTSIDE – if the air quality is reasonable, Alex Thompson will lead a ride to the meeting from CRANK MOB PARK (Media Park at Venice and Canfield). It will leave at 11:30am sharp. If you want to ride, be there, and don’t be late!

THE CENTER (Hollywood, Korea Town, etc) – We will lead a ride leaving from RED QUARTERS (Santa Monica & Vermont Red Line Station) at Noon.

Event also listed on facebook and of course don’t forget to join the Bike Writers Collective on facebook to get updates.

See you tomorrow and see you at City Hall!