Rosendahl Announces Meeting on Mandeville Road Bike Issues

I’ll have a full report on the Transportation Committee’s big bike meeting earlier today, but one piece of quick news that doesn’t require an in-depth report is an announcement by Councilman Bill Rosendahl that he will be holding a community meeting about the state of cycling within Mandeville Canyon Road. The Councilmember hopes to bring the community together to discuss how everyone can best share the road. Some ideas on the table include: signage, road improvements, road-sharing guidelines, and public education about the vehicle code.

The meeting will be held at the Felicia Mahood Multipurpose Center, 113388 Santa Monica Boulevard, on July 14th from 6:30 to 8:00 P.M. The Councilman’s full advisory is available after the jump.

ROSENDAHL CALLS MEETING ON

CYCLING IN MANDEVILLE CANYON

Town Hall Follows July 4 Injury of Two Cyclists

Who: Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl

Los Angeles Police Department

Los Angeles Department of Transportation

Homeowners Association representatives

Bicycle Activists

When: 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Where: Felicia Mahood Multipurpose Center

11338 Santa Monica Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90025

What: In the wake of a July 4 automobile accident that hospitalized two cyclists, Councilmember Bill Rosendahl will host a public meeting to bring cyclists, motorists and residents together to discuss ideas and proposals to make it easier for everyone to share the Mandeville Canyon Road.

City officials will welcome suggestions from all parties on how to improve safety on the narrow 5 mile roadway that is heavily used by residents, visitors to nearby recreation areas, and cyclists. Discussion will also focus on efforts to better inform the public about laws and vehicle code sections pertaining to cycling and sharing the road.

The specifics of the July 4 incident, which is being investigated by law enforcement officials, will not be a subject of the meeting.

  • The July 4th Mandeville Road Rage Incident should never be referred to as an “automobile accident” that hospitalized two cyclists.

    There is nothing “accidental” about a violent assault with a deadly weapon.

  • I noticed that to, the official streetsblog categorization for crashes involving cyclists and pedestrians is “accidents,” -note the sarcastic quotes- but I thought I’d give Rosendahl’s office a pass on this one because they’re trying to do the right thing.

  • Brad House reports that Nate of Rosendahl’s office has responded and the press release will be modified, now referring to the “incident.”

  • Marshall Goldberg

    A close friend of mine was out here from Vermont and rented a bike on April 25. He was riding on Temescal Canyon around noon — that’s the last thing he remembers — when he was found on a curb with multiple rib fractures, a smashed clavicle, concussion, bleeding brain, and permanent hearing loss. Months and several operations later he is still recovering. Doctors are convinced he was hit by a car; the injuries were too severe from just falling off a bike. Obviously, it takes a disgusting human being to hit a guy on a bike and then ride away, but as is clear from the story about the riders on Mandeville, bike riders see that type of person all the time. No witnesses came forward when my friend was hit. By any chance, did anyone on this site see or hear about anything that day? It was the Saturday in April that was unseasonably warm, around 100 degrees by noon. Please e-mail me if you have any information. It’s not only a matter of justice; my friend is still grappling with how someone could do such a thing to anyone, especially to him. Thanks.

  • The Mandeville incident is the 9/11 of L.A. cyclists. In both incidents, motorized vehicles intended for transportation were used as weapons. It’s time to rid of terrorists like Dr. Thompson from our streets!

    7/4…Never Forget!

  • Desmond B. Mc Donald

    Dear Bill,

    I am writing to you today regarding the unfortunate incident that took place here in Mandeville on July, 4th.

    The facts of this case should be handled by the courts. For your chief of staff, Mike Bonin, to post on an internet blog whose participants had obviously already decided the guilt of Dr. Thompson is outrageous. It added fuel to a fire that was already burning in the wrong direction. I guess Mr. Bonin believes we use the Napoleonic System here. Dr. Thompson like many, many of us here in Mandeville Canyon has to put up with an increasingly bold and hostile number of bicycle racers who use our home, our canyon as a training ground. They sometimes number in the hundreds as they did on July 4th.

    There are a number of cyclists that are outwardly aggressive to motorists. My wife and I have over the last 10 years had to endure bicyclists yelling obscenities such as “fuck you asshole” or “stupid fucking bitch”. These incidents have happened under a number of different circumstances. We have had our vehicles slapped and hit with fists for being too slow to get in to or out of our driveway. My wife has had her mirror broken by a bike racer who decided she didn’t have the right to turn onto San Vicente from the 76 station at 26th Street because he would have had to not run the red light coming east bound on San Vicente and he would have had to brake to avoid ramming into her at 40+ miles an hour after running the red light. I , like everyone else that lives up here, have had to put up with riders riding 2,3 and even 4 abreast going uphill at 15 miles an hour. These riders do not acknowledge that you are behind them and have a serious attitude problem when you give them a tap of the horn to remind them that you are waiting patiently for them to “share the road”.

    “Sharing the road” means just that. To an increasingly militant group of these athletes it means something quite different. It means “when I’m on the road I will take my share as if the street is deserted”. Road sharing etiquette is lost on the majority of American cyclists. I have driven literally thousands of miles in western and eastern Europe and have rarely if ever seen the type of outrageous behavior I have had to put up with from bicycle athletes here in my home on a regular basis.

    I would not in any way be surprised if at least one if not both of the riders injured on the 4th responded to Dr. Thompson with a venomously yelled “fuck you asshole” prior to their crashing into his car. It happens here all the time. I am sick of it.

    Many bicyclists in Mandeville are far from angels.I sure wish you would come up with a bicycle license plate law so that we would have recourse against these thugs and foul mouthed jerks by being able to at least identify them to the police.

    I could go on and on but I hope you get the points I am trying to make here. The courts can decide the case against Thompson, for your office to do so is inappropriate and unfair to all of us.

    Thanks for your time,

    Desmond

    Desmond B. Mc Donald

    (editor’s note: Mr. McDonald included his personal contact information with this post and the decision to remove it was mine and mine alone – Damien)

  • Francis

    Desmond – You state that “the facts of this case should be handled by the courts.” I find this to be a curious statement. Rosendahl simply announced that, in the wake of an “accident” he would be “holding a community meeting about the state of cycling within Mandeville Canyon Road.” The Councilmember “hopes to bring the community together to discuss how everyone can best share the road.” Your distortion of Rosendahl’s statements about the need to address the state of cycling within Mandeville Canyon into some sort of prejudicial action biasing specific pending legal issues is off the mark. Furthermore, I find your castigation of those who have taken a side, while at the same time taking an aggressive side yourself, to be hypocritical.

    You state that “Dr. Thompson like many, many of us here in Mandeville Canyon has to put up with an increasingly bold and hostile number of bicycle racers who use our home, our canyon as a training ground.”

    Your comment encapsulates the misguided belief among certain homeowners that they own Mandeville Canyon Road. Cyclists do not use your home to train. They use a public road that is as much theirs as it is yours. Your “home” I assume, is a residence off of this public road, and I am confident that it is not being used by cyclists for training. “Share the road” starts with you accepting that you do not own it.

    I agree with you when you say that motorists need to deal with increasingly hostile cyclists. I hope that you realize that cyclists need to deal with increasingly hostile motorists as well. Cyclists and motorists alike are responsible for this problem, and cyclists and motorists alike are responsible for the solution. A major part of the solution is for all parties to control their emotions. Rage and violence are always wrong.

    You go on at length describing the atrocious behavior of the cyclists you have witnessed as a motorist. I am certain everything you say is true. Consider, however, the fact that I have had numerous equally awful encounters with atrocious motorists while cycling peacefully and legally on Mandeville. I will not provide a ranting, vulgar catalog of my experiences here, as it is not necessary. The salient point is that a minority of cyclists and motorists alike are behaving badly and need to modify their approach. Those that can not acknowledge this evident truth are part of the problem.

    I agree with your comments that other areas of the world share the road better than we do in the States. However, I find your statement that “road sharing etiquette is lost on the majority of American cyclists” to be unfair. I am confident that the more honest and accurate statement is: “Road sharing etiquette is lost on many American cyclists and motorists.”

    Is the problem entirely caused by the cyclists, as you suggest? The fair-minded among us will see this not to be true. The reality is that there are complex sociological forces that result in rage, and this rage is evident on the road in cyclists and motorists alike.

    You go on to state “I would not in any way be surprised if at least one if not both of the riders injured on the 4th responded to Dr. Thompson with a venomously yelled [explitive] prior to their crashing into his car. It happens here all the time. I am sick of it.” What is the relevance of the hypothetical cursing? Are you saying that life-threatening vigilantism is justified if you get cursed at? Plus, given that this was an “accident”, nothing the cyclists did had any bearing on the Dr.’s decision to stop short, correct? I thought you were opposed to unduly influencing the court case, so I find your efforts to publicly inject fictitious deleterious actions on the part of the cyclists troubling.

    You say you are “sick of it”. Yes, I and many other citizens are as well. The question is, what are we going to do about it? It is easy to rant about the problem and place blame on others. The challenge is to provide solutions. I urge all involved parties not to carry the rage they display on the road to the good faith attempts to improve motorist – cyclist relations. I think supporting Rosendahl in his efforts is a good place to start.

    Regards,
    Francis Higgins

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