City Council Considers Rights of Cyclists

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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.

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!

Photo: Damien Newton