City Council “Passes” Cyclists Bill of Rights

12_9_08_festival.jpg
Stephen Box Discusses Cyclists Rights at the "Festival of Rights"

It’s been an eventful 24 hours for those cyclists engaged in the battle for better recognition of cyclists rights.  Last night was the "Festival of Rights," the third annual protest of the ban on bicycles during the Griffith Park Festival of Lights except on special nights in November.  Today, the Los Angeles City Council gave a partial endorsement of the Cyclists Bill of Rights but will wait for reports from various City Departments before giving a final nod.

The purpose of the yearly yearly civil disobedience at the Festival of Lights is to show that despite the objections from city agencies, cyclists and drivers can share the road and legally the city has no right to bar cyclists from the festival.  Ride organizer Stephen Box wrote to me that most of the cyclists actually followed a police car through their festival on the way home with no issues.

This afternoon, the full City Council took up the Cyclists Bill of Rights, as written by the Bike Writer’s Collective and as introduced by Councilman Bill Rosendahl.  Rosendahl read the Bill of Rights into the record, and after a brief Q and A with LADOT Bike Coordinator Michelle Mowery, the Council appeared ready to vote on the adopting the Cyclists Bill of Rights as a guideline for city agencies pending the outcome of the reports of city departments.

However, Councilman Tom LaBonge had some changes he wanted to see.  First, he found the "Third Amendment" which states, "Cyclists have the right to the full support of educated
law enforcement."  While he didn’t have a problem with the basic idea, he was worried that the language was inflammatory to the local police by implying that they were uneducated.  Mowery spoke to the large amount of laws that fit in the Motor Vehicle Code and that it’s nigh impossible to know the entire code.  However, she stated that LADOT is working to continually educate the LAPD about the rights of cyclists.

LaBonge was also worried that children would get the wrong idea about cycling because the document fails to cover the responsibilities of cyclists as well as their rights.  He’ll have a chance to edit the document before final passage.  The final document, after being examined by the LAPD, LADOT, Bureau of Street Services, and City Planning, will go through the Transportation Committee, which LaBonge vice-chairs, and Parks Committee, which LaBonge chairs, before heading back to the Council for a final vote.

Photo by Enci

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Why the Festival of Rights Matters

|
Cyclists gather at the Festival of Lights for this year’s Festival of Rights protest ride. Photo: Soap Box Some see it as a niche ride for activists.  Some see it as Stephen Box’s attempt to get on television and continue his feud with Councilman Tom LaBonge.  Still others as a ride that engenders mire bad […]

EHO Neighborhood Council Backs Cyclists’ Bill of Rights

|
Stephen Box reports that the Bike Writers’ Collective’s "Cyclists’ Bill of Rights" picked up an important community endorsement last night.  Via email: Monday night the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council voted unanimously to endorse the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights as presented by the Bike Writers Collective. The BWC is a group of bike activists from around […]

Pedal Power! City Council Backs Bikes in Argument with LAPD

|
Photo: Illuminate LA Unified by our shared experiences on the street, angered by the now infamous "Hummer Incident" and emboldened by their experiences with the LAPD Police Commission and Inspector General, roughly fifty cyclists pedaled to the monthly Los Angeles City Council meeting in Van Nuys to tell their stories, our stories, about life on […]

Less Anger, More Posterboard at 2009 Bike Plan Meeting

|
There was no power point presentation. Instead LADOT, City Planning and Alta Planning just made mini-presentations in front of a series of poster board. The balloons were not related to the presentation. For more images, visit the Streetsblog Flickr page. The first thing I noticed when I arrived at last night’s Bike Plan meeting for […]