Griffith Park Lights Festival Closed to Cyclists in 2008

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Cyclists hoping to open the Griffith Park Holiday Lights Festival to bikes were disappointed on Wednesday when new access was provided for equestrians and canines but bikes were banned except for the special "bike night" on November 28th.  Cyclists have insisted that not allowing them to bike the light festival is a violation of state law requiring equal access to municipal roads for cyclists.  The city insists that the festival is a special circumstance that requires special leeway.

A memo from the City Attorney’s office outlines the arguments for keeping cyclists off Griffith Park Roads during the festival.  City Watch reports:

The author of the “Bicycle Ban” memo suggests arguing “the closing is
necessary for the safety and protection of persons who are to use that
portion of the street during the temporary closing.” In other words,
cyclists are banned in order to provide for the safety and protection
of the permitted motorists.

Another proposed argument is the idea that the law allowing for the
prohibition of certain vehicles (heavy trucks that might damage
streets) get flipped and used to prohibit bicycles, again for safety
purposes.

The final claim is that the Festival of Lights is a group activity,
“specifically designed to attract and permit vehicles to pass through
and view the lights” and that cyclists aren’t part of that group.

For the record, the memo also states that it’s not certain a judge would agree with any of these arguments.  Something tells me that the City Attorney’s letter supporting the DWP ban isn’t the last we’re going to hear of this issue.

Image: raphaelmazor/Flickr

  • Dude, would someone call a frickin’ lawyer over here already?

    Closing this street to bicyclists is a violation of state law, que no?

    Please, someone, correct me on this point if I am wrong. I thought that cities had no authority to do this sort of thing. Where is the ACLU when you need them :)

  • Nancy

    This is awful! If anything, they should ban all automobile traffic. That sounds like an awful way to see Xmas lights – amidst the fumes and the roar of motors.

    What about skateboards and inline skaters? I could see a little protest brewing….

  • mike

    Sue, sue, sue.

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