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I say this not to chastise anyone, but to hopefully make people more aware of their actions. I noticed so many cyclist stop at the lights in the crosswalks. Cyclist get upset about car not giving bicyclist the space required to operate their bicycles safely. Yet we stop in the area designated for peds. I noticed, especially in this group a utter disregard to pedestrians. I hope people on mr.com will start looking at and being respectful of pedestrians.
I would think in the safety order of watching each other backs is that pedestrians are the most vulnerable and need to be given the right a way and to be mindful of their safety.
Next in order cyclist, motorcycles, cars, armored trucks and then monster trucks.
Monster trucks need to watch for us all.
Overall I would say today was just absolutely beautiful. I really enjoyed this event.
I overheard so many people say we need to do this every Sunday. All I could think is we need to build this for constant use. I really liked seeing the couples walking along the route. I think next time, I'm bring out the inline skates.
Saw many faces I haven't seen in long time. Saw the guy who introduced me to Midnight Ridazz. That kid has got the coolest attitude.
@ me, duderian, and everybody else. Lets get away from the screens and more into the streets.
Saw Mayor Villaraigosa there and offered him free unicycle lessons but his wife stepped between us (literally) and laughing she said "this is where I step in". Crossing my arms to hide the scrapes on my elbow, I tried to convince her that he would be perfectly safe.
I don't think I got very far with my pitch... He doesn't seem like he's ready to shed a wheel yet... gonna give him a little more time!!
Perfect weather, perfect people, and perfectly un-motorized streets (except the few intersections that were marked for car crossing). Had a great time... thanks to all of you who made it possible.
It is the problem with any bike related event in which the participants become self righteous, self centered, hostile or indifferent towards cars and others who are not riding bikes along with them in the same vicinity. (sound familiar?)
The magic of CicLAvia is that it turns the streets into a park for the day. A lot of cyclists are uneducated that the fast riders should move to the left just as the pedestrians need to be reminded to stay on the right. It's not a friggin race, and it doesn't hurt to stop off to the side frequently interact with others.
Letting CicLAvia become a bike only event will only lead to it's demise. E.G. - Critical Mass
Bogota, Columbia has 80 miles of this type of event EVERY SUNDAY, and they have just as many pedestrian participants to bikes.
So, If anyone has a problem with too many peds, kids, dogs, etc. - They can go and eat a bag of dicks forever.
Joe Borfo responding to a comment by sack or crack you choose
04.11.11 - 12:43 pm
While I don't think there were "too many" pedestrians, I do think that it would have been considerate (and safer) for people on foot to stay somewhat to the right (and perhaps also not stop suddenly to take pictures -- as I saw happen many times). This just seems like common sense given the differing speeds of bikes and walkers. It isn't about letting "hipsters" speed through the crowd so much as just making it safe for everyone. Indeed, people comfortable on a bike can handle obstacles. But there were several times when I saw people who obviously weren't comfortable on their bike struggling to avoid slow-moving (or stopped) pedestrians in their path. Does staying to the right lessen a pedestrian's experience at all?
You mean on the sidewalk? Yes I think it does. But then maybe that's just the way it's going to have to go if this keeps getting bigger. I agree peds shouldn't be stopping in the streets and be more aware of staying to the right, but it happens. My point is - Even though I've never been there, Ciclovia in Colombia seems to be more harmonious with the pedestrian/jogging component. Why can't we follow that?
Maybe I'm wrong and it will just become a bike thing. But, that's not as cool and embracing as the other to me.
No, I mean walking to the right of the road. Many, many people seemed to think it was a good idea to walk right in the middle.
I don't want to single out pedestrians. I, of course, saw many cyclists doing things seemingly without thought to how it would affect those around them. I even saw a group of people pull a u-turn mid-block into oncoming cyclists and when someone (not me) politely told them that it wasn't safe to do that, one woman's response was, "There are no rules!" Well, that's fine in theory, but in reality we have to all be out there together looking out for each other.
I don't want to ruin anyone's fun, but no rules doesn't mean no responsibility.
No, I don't. I actually think having MORE pedestrians could be helpful, in much the same way that more bikes in relationship to cars would be helpful on the streets everyday: it would get people used to them and make it not so much a case of only a few slower-moving bodies amongst many faster ones.
But, for it not to grind to crawl (which would be very problematic for people already wobbly on a bike), the pedestrians would have to generally stay to the right. The two places where this seems especially important is on hills (up or down), where there is a greater variance of speeds and where inexperienced cyclists have less control, and also in the downtown stretch with several cross streets and lots of stopping and starting and, more importantly, the group gets very dense and thus there is less room to maneuver around obstacles.
I don't see it as a "get out of the way" situation. To me, it is more like the vehicular cycling vs. bike infrastructure debate. While I personally ride much more in the VC vein and don't feel the need to separate myself from traffic, I don't think that is the best or safest solution for everyone. Same here.
Anyway, I am not saying that pedestrians shouldn't be allowed to go wherever they want, but I just think they should probably stay generally to the right. Again, it just seems like common sense -- and, yes, common courtesy.
Hey, I will take a lane on my bike (even the left lane if need be), but I don't do it for no reason. Do we always have to be "expressing our freedom" at others' expense? That just seems like selfishness to me.
and as far as the "too many pedastrians" issue, dont be dicks people. They closed down the street for us, so the least we can do is go around the people walking. I didnt mind them at all. There was even little kids in scooters and bikes with training wheels. Share the damn road!!
I've been working with CicLAvia and I can assure those interested in the topic of "who is CicLAvia for?", that at it's core, the answer is emphatically: EVERYONE.
It's NOT JUST a bike ride.
It's NOT JUST for bike riders.
There has been a good deal of discussion about how to market, promote, etc, CicLAvia as being "for" MORE than just bicycle riders. There's no debating that CicLAvia serves bicycle riders perfectly, and that the easiest way to cover the route is via bicycle.
However, I would be perfectly fine with the idea or vision of the streets being filled with thousands of people on foot. Just because CicLAvia draws bicycle riders, does not make it a bike first event. Los Angeles struggles with a vision beyond cars, so how can we expect such progressive souls to see beyond the bike, right?
Try to think of it as a pedestrian first event. Another nice analogy that Joe Linton likes to use: think of it as a park. Who has the right of way at parks?
Do we need to find a way to make it friendly to everyone (e.g. elderly, children, walkers, runners, skaters, belly dancers, etc)? Yes. It starts with us, as a bike community, to understand that CicLAvia should strip away that L.A. rush. If you're in a hurry on these OMG three Sundays out of the year, then I don't know what to say.
If the streets we're open in this manner regularly, then there would be greater need to structure the streets so that people can get to work, school, etc, without bicycle gridlock.
(Note: In Columbia, Ciclovia was started / intended as a crime prevention tool; not a bike ride).
markd responding to a comment by theroyalacademy
04.11.11 - 4:47 pm
I think it's fair to ask cyclists and pedestrians to share the CicLAvia space as needed or desired, but only provided that they take some self responsibility for doing so safely.
You don't just walk out into the street when cars are coming, why would you walk out in front of a pack of bikes? It's discourteous and unsafe to the cyclists, and unsafe for the pedestrians themselves.
Yes, of course bikes should be mindful of pedestrians. Why shouldn't pedestrians do the same?
I could ask more broadly: why don't people take any responsibility for their actions, or consider what impact their actions have on others, regardless of who is right, wrong, or in any given gray area?
I don't think anyone has the right - not cyclists, not even pedestrians, not even at CicLAvia - to just be rude or careless to each other, or anyone. Is that too much to ask? This question was meant to be rhetorical but you can answer if you want. ;p
I can't fathom the point of view that because pedestrians are the highest on the right-of-way food chain, that they should be absolved of any and all responsibility in their use of public spaces.
I saw two big wrecks, both of which required the attention of paramedics. In both instances, lycra and very expensive bikes were involved.
Hopefully my reason for expressing this concern is self-evident, but I'll elaborate just in case:
If you are experienced enough to be wearing lycra and riding a bike that cost 4 figures, there is never any excuse for you crashing at an event like CicLAvia. You should have the skills (mental and physical) to avoid collisions, but more importantly, as more experienced riders you ought to have the common sense not to ride so quickly through a crowd of inexperienced riders that you don't have time to react to one of them riding unpredictably.
Sure, people fall and tumble all the time. But people were leaving on gurneys, which tells me these were not bumping-at-red-lights tumbles, they were high-speed collisions.
I overheard a conversation between two police officers and a CicLAvia volunteer standing near one downed cyclist that was being tended to. The police were telling the volunteer that the event was too unsafe.
Granted, I considered asking the officers if they knew how many traffic fatalities occurred every week in Los Angeles involving not a single bicycle... but in all seriousness, this kind of reckless riding is really not what CicLAvia needs, especially from its most experienced participants.
The bright sunshiny flip side of my doom and gloom is that I had a great time, got new people into riding, refreshed my own sense of joy on a bike, played in the park, made new friends, ate one of the best burritos I've had in a long time, found out people I know already know people who know other people I know, got a great tan / sunburn, noticed new things about different parts of LA (as I always do), and went home happy.
Humans will probably always continue to do selfish, dumb & inconsiderate things, but I think what's mostly happening here is that's it's just taking a while to figure out and get used to what this thing is and isn't. It's not a race or even a point A to point B event.
Maybe we live in such a goal oriented society that it takes a while for some people to just get the idea that we don't need to be charging around like crazy all the time, especially if it's at the expense of someone else's safety.
It's fine to ride fast at CicLAvia when there's room, but otherwise, cool it and enjoy yourself.
I saw a TON more accidents and ambulances last time out.
The intersection control was much better (frustrating yes, but safer). Last time was CHAOS (pun intended).
Not exactly a major news outlet or news but googlings around I found this:
"Organizers stress that CicLAvia is not a race, nor is it in the same vein as local guerrilla-style activist rides, such as those organized by Midnight Ridazz and Critical Mass, which attract scores of cyclists out to reclaim city streets without the use of street closure permits. CicLAvia is a more family-friendly event, with kids out riding Big Wheels in the streets, according to organizers."
Sorry, guys. For those of you who know me, I am just being a devils advocate about the pedestrian thing. Hopefully next event, I will be able to ride with my family together on bikes. However, being a pedestrian on the last two events I felt a need to express my feeling of alienation that much reminded me of how drivers tell me to get off the roads when I am riding a bike. Thanks for helping me stir the pot a little on this and other forums for CicLAvia. I think it is an amazing event for us. Let's keep a constructive outlook on its future evolution.
Yeah, listen, this has all become a much bigger argument (to me, at least) than what we were originally talking about. I saw maybe only a dozen pedestrians acting in a manner I found questionable. Out of thousands of people, no big deal. But, proportionally, their impact on the group was much greater than the (far greater number of) jerkoff cyclists I saw. AND, if the idea is to encourage more pedestrians…
Look, I am not interested in "going fast." I can do that on my own time. But I am interested in a model for Ciclavia's growth and diversity that does not end in it becoming like every other lame street festival.
We can talk all we want about it "being for everyone," but what does that look like? And how does it work? If we simply add many, many more pedestrians without increasing awareness (amongst both pedestrians AND cyclists) about how these two modes of transport can reasonably and safely coexist, then that will come at the price of discouraging cycling, since it is the fact that they can safely and enjoyably ride the streets that draws cyclists to the event.
And, as the flow of participants slows and it is less a route through a few coordinates and more a continuous "park," I guarantee you are going to see more tacky vendor stands selling "tactical kilts," overpriced food trucks taking business away from cheap, local alternatives, and all the other things that make things like Sunset Junction so unbearable.
So, yes, I think many of the voices I hear are talking about some sort of "anarchist, utopian" reclaiming-the-streets thing. But what are people actually DOING whilst reclaiming those streets? I've read dismissals of the "goal-oriented," "point A to point B" imperative of riding without obstruction, but riding from one place to another is FUN (I have a hard time believing that I need to convince anyone here of that fact). It is what makes Ciclavia work.
And, absent that, are we just buying t-shirts and patting ourselves on the back? If so, I'll stay home (like I do with Sunset Junction).
(Or, to put it all another way: we already have street festivals; we already have parks; we already have the bleeding 3rd Street Promenade; what does Ciclavia do differently that makes it so successful? Should we be so quick to meddle with those things it does well? It just seems to me that we have this awesome thing and yet people want it to be this OTHER awesome thing -- but, in trying to make it that other thing, it will likely end up neither.)
I'm just saying that the successful Columbian version should be focused on more in relation to how we are doing it. No far fetched ideas here. Pretty much on the same page but just annoyed at being barked at to get on the sidewalk when clearly that is not what this event was intended to be.
Now that we got this all out of our systems, I'll see you at the next one... On my bike.
Don't get me wrong - I love going places and riding without obstruction as much as anyone, but I had people ask me stuff before the event like, "Where do I start, where does it end?", which leads me to think that a lot of riders are just too focused on getting from one end to the other without sufficiently enjoying the process.
Many times, either riding by myself or in on a group ride, I've seen something that I wanted to just stop and look at more, but had to get where I was going or leave the group. CicLAvia seems like a way to rectify that, or to stop and talk to friends wherever you happen to be.
Maybe part of the problem is in the nature of the route itself - what if instead of a linear route, it was shaped like the letter "H" for example, or circular, so that there would be no clear beginning and end?
Most of us here ride the streets on a regular basis - CicLAvia is another opportunity for us to do that, but what I found inspiring was the sight of all the people that don't usually do that, especially the kids and families getting a chance to use their streets in a way that's new to them.
I can't believe that this pedestrians vs bikes issue is being argued all over the web.... I wish it would go away because it can be thrown in our faces by all kinds of haters.
Maybe the biggest problem is in the name itself, Ciclovía (the original name) is a term which translates from Spanish into English as "bike path."
I totally sympathize with pedestrians and think they should be able to walk where ever on the streets during the event as per the rules of the event.... but this is getting blown out of proportion and the fact remains... the damn thing is named after bikes and about 100000 bike riders showed up.. what do you expect?
I hope the following helps. Some are my personal opinions about CicLAvia. I'm currently assisting in the expansion efforts.
I think the answer to your original concern is: route length. We're working on expansions. First in South LA and hopefully in Boyle Heights, China Town, etc.
If you look at the 80 miles in Bogotá, it's not a straight line; it's a network. As such, look it up, and you'll see it's not really conducive to an 80 miles bike ride. Hence, much more pedestrian friendly. CicLAvia is going to evolve (this is only the 2nd one). Do you agree that it would be better to thin out the crowd by adding more available street?
There was talk about how to make it safer for pedestrians along the lines of what you're alluding to, but I think the main point that sticks out is -- expansion. And it's in the works.
Two things are key to the expansion:
-The powers that be (metro / ladot) approving routes.
On another note, I share your feelings about what could happen with vendors and such. I've noted on some interviews, that my personal opinion is that CicLAvia should not be in the business of programming. Programming along the route should be organic and driven by the various local communities / residents -- like a park.
I, personally, have strong feelings about it. For one, it's one thing for a bunch of people to draw lines into your neighborhood, shut down your streets, and bring a parade of sorts. It's another thing to work from within the community and allow the residents to take part in the design of CicLAvia entering their hood. Let's not a wave of political and non-local powers once again having their way in your town. People are too familiar with this occurring.
One thing is certain -- residents want CicLAvia in their area. I've been promoting many of the points you're articulating. I want it to be community driven, supported by local residents, businesses, orgs, etc. And any vendors or such should be highly limited.
One of the purposes of CicLAvia is: promoting business. And by that, they mean, local business (i.e. already existing locations along the route). For example, as we design routes, we're asking some questions of residents:
1) What is great about this particular area? What would you want people to see?
2) Where are the restaurants? Rest stops?
3) What areas would residents want us to avoid (e.g. locations that are symbols of gentrification, even though they may be popular, police stations, hospitals, etc)
We can go on and on. I just hope I can assure some folks that there are people grappling with these issues and trying to encourage a way of making something amazing like CicLAvia different than what L.A. is accustomed to experiencing, and that covers a number of issues.
markd responding to a comment by theroyalacademy
04.13.11 - 10:22 pm
July's CicLAvia is going to prove to be the biggest ever. There is a lot of good publicity for the event and the summer is going to pull people to want to get out and participate in numbers. Therefore, there needs to be discussion about how to expand the routes, make things safer, and how to implement things better for the benefit of the event. Colombia's version of the event promotes civilians to get out and be active in more ways than one.
If any time to start considering ways to make this event stay a success it's now. Linton and others are watching what we say and are considering all the angles. I think there is nothing wrong with ideas being expressed towards its constructive development.
Email Joe Linton and the others to suggest your ideas. This whole notion of "leave it alone or you're going to break it" is absurd. My ideas towards it's future evolution are just as valid as yours. Go and express them and stop complaining about people who want this event to endure and grow into something as amazing as the one in Bogotá.
This event in LA is promoted by our shared vision of what it will be and through the inspiration that came from the following -
Yeah, honestly, if I didn't have too much time on my hands these days, I would not be in this conversation at all. But I guess I just get really peevish when things like this get so polarized. I was prepared to let it drop until Josef's hyperbolic post on his blog today really set me off.
I really hope that people can see that I do not view it as a bikes vs. pedestrians thing at all. To me, it is about asking what is a reasonable and realistic way for both to safely and enjoyably coexist. I think expansion will help a lot. I also think that making it a circuit, a grid, an H, or anything other than a single path would help.
In the end, all I am saying is that it would be nice if people (whatever their mode of transportation) generally followed what are already listed as "the rules":
(And, indeed, I would imagine it would be more effective if they were phrased so as to point out that it was in their best interest to do so. "Share the road - respect pedestrians" could become "It's not a race. The slower you go, the more awesome you are likely to experience." And "Slower traffic stay right" could be "Slower traffic may find it safer to stay towards the right." Not as pithy, I concede, but perhaps more persuasive?)
Fair enough. I guess the many comments I've read in response to the whole bikes/peds thing (including yours, above) got me worried that people ON BOTH SIDES were looking at bikes as merely the end, or one of the ends, of the event and not the very MEANS of its success. It's the biking that is the hook, the draw. It doesn't have to be the only one, but I think it is going to continue to be the strongest.
But, yeah, this isn't really an argument so much as me playing devil's advocate, trying to the temper the "go eat a bag of dicks" response with a little, "well, he might have a point."
I think it was pretty obvious last Sunday that the current route has reached a saturation point in terms of the number of cyclists using the route. I realize it may take a while for it to happen, but it needs to be at least twice as long to accommodate what I anticipate will only be increasing numbers. Bogota is what, 80 miles?
Even if everyone miraculously starts obeying the "slower traffic stay to the right" signs, I don't expect being able to do much "real" riding in July, but I'll still be out there to enjoy and support it.
Cliff's Notes: I would love to see the CicLAvia footprint expand, but more importantly I think the hours were too short.
I'm certain we'd all love to see the footprint of CicLAvia grow in as many directions as possible and then have the gaps filled in with a criss-cross of connections.
What I would like to see first, and what would have a bigger impact for me, is longer hours. Even with a distance of just over 7 miles, and even though it was the same route as last year, I still wasn't able to stop and enjoy everything I wanted to see because 5 hours just wasn't enough!
If the event started earlier in the morning and lasted until sundown (or at least dinnertime or something) that would give more people an opportunity to attend, and would give all attendees more time to enjoy the attractions, spectacles, and sights. I know some people had to work and couldn't make it before the event was already over.
The only time the crowdedness bothered me was at *some* of the car crossings. Some of the traffic officers were controlling the flow of traffic nicely, and it was awesome and worked surprisingly well.
They allowed the bulk of bikes through before allowing all the built-up car traffic through, then bikes again, etc etc. Unfortunately, some of the traffic officers were mindlessly enforcing traffic signals (green go, red stop) which was not effective and created big back-ups at intersections.
The only other places I noticed the bike traffic getting unmanageably thick were on Heliotrope and at the City Hall south lawn, but it didn't bother me too much because there was so much going on there, it was pretty guaranteed you would want to stop anyway.