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Thread Box:
Sidewalk Misdemeanor
Thread started by telephone at 12.9.09 - 7:00 pm

So, my girlfriend was Riding her bicycle down Hollywood Blvd. with traffic.
and went up on sidewalk about a block before Wilcox due to rush hour and
fear of being doored then she stopped at the red light
at Wilcox and Hollywood Blvd. The cops stopped
her while she was just standing there and said
something like "We're stopping because you're riding on
the sidewalk where signs are posted prohibiting
bicycle riding."
Her ticket says she violated 85.07(b) which says:
"No person shall roller-skate, skateboard, or operate a bicycle in violation of the limitations set forth on regulatory signs posted pursuant to this section."

So, I'm going to have her look for signs on Hollywood between her place and
Wilcox...I'm assuming if there are no signs and she takes pictures every half block
then she can maybe get out of this on some technicality. It just sucks because she just started riding and HAS A FUCKING MISDEMEANOR!!

Anyone have any advice for the court system? or what she should say or not say?
I know sidewalk riding is a general no-no and I've told her that, but I've also told her that she should do whatever she needs to do to feel safe and now she is a criminal.

Thanks, be safe.

reply


Sometimes there aren't signs. Not all areas and cities allow riding on the sidewalk. For example, many parts of Santa Monica.. I think particularly around Downtown and the beach, but yeah.



imachynna
12.9.09 - 7:24 pm

reply


SEC. 85.07. REGULATION OF ROLLER-SKATING, SKATEBOARDING AND BICYCLING. (Added by Ord. No. 166,526, Eff. 1/27/91.) (a) The Department of Transportation is hereby authorized to install any traffic control devices it determines necessary to regulate roller-skating, skateboarding and bicycling on sidewalks and roadways in order to improve vehicular or pedestrian movement, reduce congestion or diminish accident potential. Such determinations shall be made only on the basis of traffic engineering principles and traffic investigations. When such determinations have been made, the Department is authorized to install signs giving notice as to the nature of the regulation as well as signs that provide such safety warnings as it determines will assist those engaged in the regulated activities.

(b) No person shall roller-skate, skateboard, or operate a bicycle in violation of the limitations set forth on regulatory signs posted pursuant to this section.

So it is illegal only when signs are erected and displayed. Not sure what the rule is on the spacing of the signs, but I know there are signs on Hollywood and Vine.
Here is the kicker. There are no bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd and traffic can get pretty nasty during rush hour. So you can say she escaped to the sidewalks because of "harassing and abusive drivers".




urbanpedal
12.9.09 - 7:34 pm

reply


...hmm I'll look for some stuff on sign spacing...because if they are going to be so petty I feel I should respond with the same attention to detail.

My girlfriend also informed me that the same cops were arresting another cyclist in the same area as she was returning from her errands. He had grocery bags and everything...I don't know if there was an additional reason, but clearly the cops were cherry picking cyclists.



telephone
responding to a comment by urbanpedal
12.9.09 - 7:43 pm

reply


Checking out Google maps there seems to be a sign at cherokee and hollywood. And one in front of the el capitan theater closer to highland.

I can understand with the walk of fame and busy tourist area why they don't want bikes on the sidewalk. But there should be space for Bikes in the street.





Foldie
responding to a comment by telephone
12.9.09 - 7:49 pm

reply


For what it's worth, this should be an infraction and not a misdemeanor, so it shouldn't affect her personal record, etc. (If it is a misdemeanor, you might want to call the city attorney's office and ask WTF is going on.)

If you've got $ (e.g. $2k or so), she can hire a traffic attorney to fight it.

Otherwise, you can request a court date, then request a continuance, then request a trial by declaration (where both you and the officer have to write your sides of the story down, and the officer doesn't get paid overtime for doing this the way he/she does for going to court), then, if you get found guilty there, you can request a trial de novo.

Or you can just pay the $250 or whatever and move on.




JB
12.9.09 - 7:54 pm

reply


She already has a court date!
Yeah, she thought she was just going to get a fine(infraction)...
but they gave her a misdemeanor and a court date.
I'm not quite up on what that means...did she just get a complicated fine?

She's fine with paying a fine, but we're kind of confused with what a misdemeanor entails and if it all she has to do is show up in court and pay whatever..
This whole thing is ridiculous and she is really upset over the whole thing.



telephone
responding to a comment by JB
12.9.09 - 8:05 pm

reply


That's shitty.. but really.. the sidewalk is a bad place for bikes and often more dangerous than the street. Especially someplace like Hollywood Blvd. where the is a business entrance every six feet. The sheer number of scientologists whacked out on shock therapy wandering the sidewalks around there should keep and sane cyclist in the street. I'm sorry this happened to your girlfriend but please tell her to take the lane. She's probably faster than the flow of traffic there anyway. Stay out of the door zone. Ride with confidence and take the lane.
Be safe.



frumble
12.9.09 - 8:13 pm

reply


Looks like this was covered by the LAist which in my opinion is a good daily read.

Bikes banned on Hwood blvd



Foldie
12.9.09 - 8:16 pm

reply


Check the ticket again. It may say "misdemeanor" at the top, but if you look closely, there's a little box next to it. Is the misdemeanor box checked?

If not, and there's just a check in the traffic box, I'm pretty sure this is an infraction.

Every infraction also gets a court date at the time of ticketing, which you get to skip if you pay the fine beforehand.

if that doesn't clear things up, have her call the number at the bottom of the ticket and talk to the clerk at the court, they should be able to tell her what she's been charged with.









JB
responding to a comment by telephone
12.9.09 - 8:29 pm

reply


Ah, nice find, foldie. and thanks for the information everyone. I hope this is just a fine and we can just move on. Looks like Wiki says most misdemeanors are just punishable with a fine.
court seems a bit much for someone rolling up on a sidewalk for a stop light.
but that's that
Mr. Cops message has been sent loud and clear.

Thanks again, folks.
Sure glad i know i can turn to you all for quick info and advice.



telephone
12.9.09 - 8:34 pm

reply


Thanks, JB...I'm not in town right now so I will have her double check the box when she is off work. She did say the little box was checked next to misdemeanor. Either way, we'll call the number tomorrow. Thanks again.



telephone
12.9.09 - 8:38 pm

reply


Since that seems to be cleared up, I have a question, which I think has been asked before.

Whats the laws concerning passengers riding on the bike with you. As in the dutch side saddle technique. I seem to recall that its illegal here but in what way or circumstance?





dave
12.9.09 - 9:01 pm

reply


at the very least you should be able to plea-bargain this via no contest to an infraction

will do more research and post findings tomorrow, hopefully I can find something specific and relevant ... in the meantime

If it does go down as a MISD you should get a conditional/diversion sentence (pay the fine and dont do it again for xx months (or years)).

AT THE END OF A CONDITIONAL SENTENCE IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO GO BACK AND HAVE THE RECORD EXPUNGED. (huge percentage doesnt know or doesnt do it).

In the meantime pre-employment background companies and employers (about the only way this bites you in the ass) are prohibited from reporting/using a conviction in such a status against you to make a decision. (Another slippery legal slope if push comes to shove (they find some other reason to deny employment) but true nonetheless). Once you procure the expungement, the background companies are on the hook if they report it.

I'll try and get a clear explanation of 85.07(b) as an INF and/or MISD and how these typically resolve with the LA DA and post findings tomorrow.




ChaosRR
12.9.09 - 9:18 pm

reply


Often you see bike cops patrolling on the sidewalks.
Are they sending a wrong message that it is OK to ride on the sidewalk ?
And what about kids should they be forced out into traffic ?
The old rule was it was OK to ride on the sidewalk as long as pedestrians
are given the right of way.
So it seems what has happened is, to ride a bike you must put your life in jeopardy
or risk a citation.



Dedicated818
12.10.09 - 12:04 am

reply


Regarding it being a misdemeanor

I know when I got cited for riding my bike on the Venice Boardwalk, it is also a misdemeanor. The court offered a me a plea bargain with a reduced charge of an infraction of "disturbing the peace." The plea penalty offered was a $25 fine, which equaled to $117 with penalty assessments and fees. They added a $10 fee for being having a former conviction.

I wouldn't have been able to explain to the court what exactly happened until I pleaded not guilty to the original misdemeanor charge and then went on to the next court procedure to go on to Discovery to share with the prosecutor what had happen. I would have needed legal representation to plea. The public defender would have charged me $925 to represent me. They didn't charge me to take the reduced plea. I could have chosen to defend myself, but I would have probably been wiped up by the court with a maximum penalties when all was said and done.

{talk about a closed union shop. You can lose your freedom if you try to work in a court and you don't have your bar/union card}


I don't know why it is a misdemeanor and not traffic violation? I don't know if municipality are not able to create traffic code, if it is only able to be done through the state legislature. If municipalities can only create municipal code. If that is so, legislator are so gun oh to get fees that they might now be inspired to create misdemeanor laws instead of infraction for municipal violations?



sexy
12.10.09 - 4:11 am

reply


"Regarding it being a misdemeanor. I know when I got cited for riding my bike on the Venice Boardwalk, it is also a misdemeanor."

So a ticket for doing 90+mph down I-5 is an infraction (not that I would know from personal experience or anything), but a girl riding her bike slowly along the sidewalk because she's not comfortable in traffic is a misdemeanor?

WTF?

Somebody needs to bring this up at the next city council bike meeting.

Having a record for being an inexperienced cyclist is ridiculous.



JB
responding to a comment by sexy
12.10.09 - 12:26 pm

reply


+1

This is ridiculous.

I support bikes on the streets, but there are instances where you need to get on the sidewalk. (kids, unsafe road conditions).

But a huge fine and misdemeanor is fucking insane! This must get changed like the bike license bullshit.



Joe Borfo
responding to a comment by JB
12.10.09 - 12:50 pm

reply


DIY bike lanes for h-wood blvd.



louisiana
12.10.09 - 1:06 pm

reply


this sound like a fun and winnable fight.
One thing I have learned about making change. It is easier and more do-able to take little step.

My assumption is that they labeled it a misdemeanor claiming that it was high pedestrian traffic and that riding a bike in an area with high foot traffic would increase the likelihood of Great bodily harm.? But again I'm just guessing what do I know?

I'm going to look up Santa Monica's 3rd street Promenade restrictions on Bicycle and skating and see what it pena



sexy
12.10.09 - 1:09 pm

reply


walk the bike on the sidewalks...

ride the bike in the street...

just assume it



adrian
12.10.09 - 2:23 pm

reply


Tell that to all the folks in my neighborhood that think you are supposed to ride on the sidewalk only and do going the wrong direction.



Joe Borfo
responding to a comment by adrian
12.10.09 - 2:41 pm

reply


I think side walks are non directional.



buckchin
responding to a comment by Joe Borfo
12.10.09 - 2:54 pm

reply


Uh yeah, except you've got oncoming traffic on the street side and if you do decide to jump out into the street... oh never mind. fuck tthis.



Joe Borfo
responding to a comment by buckchin
12.10.09 - 3:28 pm

reply


FIRST TIME I EVER SAW BORFO PUT UP THE WHIT FLAG, LOL



eddieboyinla
12.10.09 - 3:44 pm

reply


.



Joe Borfo
12.10.09 - 3:56 pm

reply


It's the brazen amount of "wrong-way" cyclists up here that piss me off the most.

They're under the false impression that seeing the vehicle coming at them is a way to prevent a collision with a vehicle when all they're really doing is just making navigability more difficult.
Stay with the flow!!!!



bentstrider
responding to a comment by Joe Borfo
12.10.09 - 4:57 pm

reply


we're barking up the wrong tree.

is it useless?

I think so.



Joe Borfo
responding to a comment by bentstrider
12.10.09 - 5:02 pm

reply


Thanks for all the replies. I'll let you know what happens in court. I was more worried about what happens legally with a misdemeanor than the moral issue of sidewalk riding. She was feeling overwhelmed and hopped up on the sidewalk, that's all there was to it really. We all seem to agree a misdemeanor is a bit much for that.



telephone
12.13.09 - 5:02 pm

reply


...she goes to the court house and they tell her the case has been dropped. Thanks for the help though



telephone
01.3.10 - 2:36 am

reply


Dropped? Great News! Every once in a while you catch a break.



JB
01.3.10 - 5:03 am

reply


I still think we should demand bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd and demand the city change the violation of riding on the sidewalk in Hollywood to an infraction.



hockeyjockey
01.3.10 - 7:28 am

reply


glad the case was dropped! even in the worse case scenario at least it wouldnt have gotten on her driving record lolz



iBaloney
01.3.10 - 7:59 am

reply


i live near that area, and i have personally almost been squashed between a bus and a car on hollywood right by wilcox

that area can get so dangerous! the officer was completely in the wrong, glad it got dropped

shit, the only way i lived the day i almost got squashed was by radical maneuvers which included hopping up onto the sidewalk



natefrogg
01.3.10 - 9:35 am

reply


"I still think we should demand bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd and demand the city change the violation of riding on the sidewalk in Hollywood to an infraction."


And what have you done to see that bike infrastructure is improved upon? People are quick to say "we should" when they should be saying "I will."



GodLovesUgly
responding to a comment by hockeyjockey
01.3.10 - 11:30 am

reply


"i live near that area, and i have personally almost been squashed between a bus and a car on hollywood right by wilcox"


And people thought FROGGER was just a silly game. good job Mr. Frogg.



GodLovesUgly
responding to a comment by natefrogg
01.3.10 - 11:34 am

reply


sorry for the bump but how did the case get dropped?

i just got one of these tickets and once i got back in the street i crashed and flipped off my bike, is there anything i can do? this is the first time i am in any legal trouble.



1234
responding to a comment by telephone
08.15.12 - 10:31 pm

reply


you will probably just go and talk to the city attorney. Get there at 8:25am- no later because the line will be insane any later. Bring an iPad with you and they will love you, apologize about the cops being dicks, drop your case, and want to spend the whole time asking questions about the iPad.

I've had it happen to me twice for noise voilations... Both times dropped. They love iPads at court. Seriously! Wouldn't go to court without one.



jonnyboy
responding to a comment by 1234
08.16.12 - 12:51 pm

reply


I'm going to be good...



POOP DICK
responding to a comment by jonnyboy
08.16.12 - 1:04 pm

reply


personally, I'm more impressed by the people who tell Siri to remind them of their court dates.

also, never hurts to go to court. just make sure you don't miss your appearance date at the bottom of the ticket cause then it ends up in my department.

you don't want to end up in my department...



KeepinEtNorma
responding to a comment by jonnyboy
08.16.12 - 6:21 pm

reply

Reply


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