Today’s Headlines

  • CA National Leader in Bicycle Deaths on the Road (LAT)
  • Police Pull Over Young, Black, Male Cyclist for Riding on Sidewalk. Brutally Beat Him. (LAT)
  • L.A. Metro Area Ranks #3 in Providing Transit Access to Jobs (The Source)
  • But Car Traffic Congestion on the Rise as Economy Improves (LAT)
  • Professors from Other Parts of the Country Wonder About L.A.’s Complete Street Policies (CityWatch)
  • Editorial: L.A. Businesses Should Lobby for Better Transit (Daily News)
  • Monkey Parking App, You Can Sell the Metered Space Your Car Is In (LAT)
  • Bike Share Still Struggling to Reach People of Lesser Means in North America (City Lab)
  • Shocker: Film Industry and Residents Not Getting Along in Historic Core (Curbed)
  • Chivas Out. New Soccer Team, Stadium, Coming to L.A. (Daily Breeze)
  • Finding Art in the Chaos of Graffiti Vandalism (LongBeachize)

For more headlines, visit Streetsblog USA.

  • Niall Huffman

    The GHSA report (first link) makes some good points but has a number of problems, chief among them the fact that it doesn’t even attempt to normalize the number of fatalities by population or bicycle trips taken. Bike Portland did a nice breakdown.

  • Bob P

    Why the click-bait? The second article headline is COMPLETELY inaccurate. From the Times article: “Fullerton said the officers were responding to a detective’s radio call
    for help in locating a robbery suspect when they spotted Alford and
    attempted to apprehend him.” Absolutely nothing to do with him riding on the sidewalk.

  • sahra

    Because he was not the robbery suspect, for one, and because this is something that is a problem for young men of color on bicycles. Officers often assume they are using them to get away from a crime scene or that they are gang-bangers… so it becomes an excuse to stop them. In South LA and other areas, those stops are rarely pleasant — men report being regularly stopped and harassed, ticketed for minor or even bogus infractions (people have complained to me about getting ticketed for not having lights on their bike during the day time), and generally treated poorly. This was an extreme case, but it is a scenario many fear. And being on a bike made him vulnerable and ripe for being stopped. So yes, to answer your question, the stop had everything to do with him being on a bike on the sidewalk.

  • Fakey McFakename

    That Daily News editorial is big. The DN has conservative tendencies, so it being on board with transit expansion and improvement is a good sign that we’re getting toward a pro-transit consensus.

  • I’ve actually noted that their editorial page has been getting more progressive on transportation the last couple of years. I’ve been joking that (former Curbed Editor and now DN writer) Dakota must be spiking the coffee.

  • Pauly

    This is an unfortunate event that stemmed from officers profiling a young man of color, which sadly occurs whether they are riding a bike, driving a car, or simply walking down the street. Please don’t force your narrative just because this unfortunate man was riding his bike that day.

  • sahra

    Yes, absolutely. And that’s my point. The reason I’m referencing the bicycle is because, within the advocacy community around issues of livable streets, profiling is generally overlooked as a concern (as the gentleman I was responding to did). And because, as advocates push for bicycling in communities of color, they need to be cognizant of the vulnerability of young men on bicycles — the way they are seen as potential criminals escaping crime scenes (even more so than when walking) and more easily harassed by law enforcement — it is easier to give a guy riding a bike on a sidewalk a ticket than that same guy if he is simply walking (i.e. the tickets for not having lights on the bike at 9 a.m., drunk riding, no helmet, etc.). It’s something people complain to me about a lot. They get harassed no matter what they’re doing — no question — but when biking, the stop is more easily “justified” and ticketable.

  • sahra

    This recent study quantifies some of what I am referring to below. It’s not the same thing as the young man being beaten, of course, but it speaks to the opportunism in policing people of color.

  • Pauly

    As a pretense to stop persons of color for no better reason, I get it. However, this case had nothing to do with that. The officers did not attempt to stop the man for riding on the sidewalk (isn’t that legal in L.A.?), the pretense for stopping this man was that he fit the description of the robbery suspect; likely some vague description (black man, black clothes). That’s all the officers needed and all they appeared to have used to justify their attempt to stop him.

  • sahra

    No, but as I said, the association of bikes with criminals/gang members is a long-standing one in communities like South LA. And youth on bikes (men as well) are often targeted and harassed because of that. Kids on BMXs, in particular, are most likely to be stopped under the pretense of a robbery investigation, regardless of whether any such robbery occurred. One Latino youth I know reported he was consistently stopped for questions about robberies every time he was out on his BMX at night, but almost never when on his fixie. He finally gave up on the BMX, figuring his luck would run out at some point. If you want to see this in action, you can check out the harassment of some of South LA’s superheroes, the United Riders of South LA. They were stopped while riding lawfully during a ghost bike ride, and the police not only called for back up, but checked the African-American cyclists for weapons.