City Council Considers Rights of Cyclists

The Cyclist’s Bill of Rights Presented at City Hall on Bike to Work Day

(Editor’s Note: This is the second in a five part series examining the five bike-related items on this Friday’s City Council Transportation Committee Agenda.  The first piece looked at the city’s bike sharing program.  If you want to join a group of cyclists traveling to the meeting, meet at the Red Line Stop at Santa Monica and Vermont Boulevards at noon this Friday.)

Over nine months ago, the Bike Writer’s Collective released the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights, a document outlining the basic rights every bike rider deserves.  The Bill of Rights has become a rallying point for activists and has been adopted by the  East Hollywood, Silver Lake, Atwater Village and Coastal San Pedro
Neighborhood Councils along with the Caltrans and Los Angeles Bicycle
Advisory Committees.  It has also been included in the Ventura County Master Plan.

After the horrific crash in Mandeville Canyon left two cyclists and a car covered in blood and broken glass, local Councilman Bill Rosendahl drafted a Los Angeles City Council Resolution based on the Bill of Rights.  As you’ve probably already guessed, the resolution is heading to the Transportation Committee this Friday.

But all is not well in the world of the Bike Writer’s Collective.  Concerned that the Bill of Rights could get ammended by the Council, the BWC is organizing cyclists to come to Friday’s meeting and speak in support of the resolution.  "Soap Box LA" writes at Midnight Ridazz:

The Cyclists’ Bill of Rights really needs no endorsement, after all
it’s simply full of rights cyclists already possess when they ride but
it’s important that these rights are recognized and supported by our
City’s leadership.

To that end, we ask that the City Council’s Transportation
Committee 1) endorse the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights "as written – as
ridden!" and 2) direct the LADOT to incorporate the Cyclists’ Bill of
Rights "as written – as ridden!" in the city’s Bicycle Master Plan.

As in Monday’s post, any comments appearing below will be incorporated into my testimony for Friday.  The text of the original Bill of Rights is available after the jump.

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

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

cyclists are both environmental and traffic congestion solutions;

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


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

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
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

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!

Photo: Damien Newton

  • Marcotico

    The Transportation Committee should keep in mind that some of the most successful bike initiatives in the country are not the capital intensive ones, but rather involve changing the approach to bicycle planning. Portland Oregon and Vancouver have achieved great success with their Bike Boulevards which do not involve bike paths, but rather take advantage of residential streets and only require the installation of bike cross lights at certain major thoroughfares.

    Because of LA’s large grid pattern, this concept would work great in South LA., Central LA, and in the San Fernando Valley. For example residential streets that run parallel to 6th or 3rd would make excellent candidates.

    In addition the transportation committee needs to provide direction and funding to the LA DoT to treat multi-modal planning seriously. The same firms that do intersection counts are capable, and would be willing to perform bicycle and pedestrian counts. The methodologies are out there for systematically integrating bicycling Level of Service into street designs. These methodologies just need the additional funding to provide the data and the the modeling. Here for example is one methodology:

    Mutlti-Modal LOS Analysis for Urban Streets:

    -and the accompanying user guide:

    Thank you,

    Marco Anderson

  • This “bicycle boulevard” idea seems familiar to me….yes… very familiar….


    4th Street Bicycle Boulevard
    Live the Dream!

    Also, since the start of 4SBB, Alta Planning has been working on an update to the LA Bicycle Master Plan.

    If you check their website here:

    You can download their PDF’s and see that in fact, 4th Street has been marked in the brand new category of “Bicycle Boulevard” as a top candidate for immediate implementation. You are welcome!

    You can also find the route in the “Route Suggestions” PDF on that site, and visit for more information in the Bicycle Library.

    Also now, Councilman Tom LaBonge has organized two rides along 4th Street. Half of the road was repaved in direct response to his work on this issue, and the requests to repave the rest of the pot-hole sprinkled route are in the works.

    That said, 4th Street is still an ideal cross-town route, and is in fact, very lovely. Potholes on a calm street with very few cars can be easily ridden around, as it turns out.

    The conditions on that particular street make it an ideal candidate to be re-tooled as a bicycle boulevard. We can also elevate that street to the level of SYMBOL of the simple ways in which we can use the resources we already have to create the bike friendly environment we would all like to see.

    Once 4th Street becomes an official bicycle boulevard, the model for the rest will be laid down. I’m looking at you 8th St, 2nd St, Lexington, Arden, Clinton, Oakwood and St. Andrews!


  • adam

    We disparately need a network for bikeable streets. Perhaps not every street, but a way to get from one part of the city to another without fear of death.

    You would have a hard time finding a continuous route using only class I, II, or III bike lanes from almost any place in Los Angeles to another. One should be able to compose a reasonably safe route from downtown to Santa Monica for instance – or hollywood to the valley. If you are planning a trip like this, you are literally risking your life.

    Additionally, it seems crazy that if I want to have a safe bike ride in los angleles, I have to get into my car and drive several miles.

    best of luck

  • And that whole idea of reversing the bike lanes and parking lanes is great too!

  • “You would have a hard time finding a continuous route using only class I, II, or III bike lanes from almost any place in Los Angeles to another.”

    As far as I am concerned, Class III bike routes do not count for anything. They stick sign up that says share the road, big deal. No one reads signs. Things like deer ahead or child at play signs, have shown to be next to completely ineffective at doing anything. Lincoln and Olympic are class 3 bike routes, and I ride them, but I rarely see others because they are scary places. So if we take out the worst of the class 3 bike routes, and we are left with even less connected system.

  • Marco’s got the right idea, but I think that a pedestrian and cyclist LOS is not enough.

    We need a suite of measurements of the effects of roadway planning that do not focus exclusively on throughput. Turning our streets into transportation sewers has really screwed up L.A.