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The groundbreaking decision passed in city hall for the anti-harassment ordinance requires us to be on our best behavior as cyclists and represent the cycling community by following all rules of the road. Please encourage others to do the same as we will swiftly be making changes in the minds of others about the importance of bicycle infrastructure improvements and more consideration for actually commuting by bike. There will be a lot of heated debates and fueled aggression against us for becoming a stronger entity. As we speak people are complaining about this measure. Some people do not want us on the streets and will fight this from happening. We must stand tall and not give them anything to use against us. Represent yourself as the future of cycling in LA.
This is great news! And thanks for posting this Gado. Yes, we must behave. We must follow the rules of the road, be courteous to motorist and not hog all lanes, don't flip the bird to them as well, not cork intersections or run reds, have lights, we must not get drunk on our bikes and run into park cars or each other, must not text while riding, should avoid headphones for the sake of safety, must not litter when we stop or litter at all, must stay to the right lane and not cross the yellow line, and the list can go on, but the idea is: Let us not give cycling in Los Angeles a bad rep by our disrespectful actions. Lets give cyclist and cycling a good reputation by us following the laws just like any vehicle on the road. Lets check each other and keep civility in mind when we ride as a group. Let us ride with pride and safety in mind, and lets make Los Angeles a bike town.... might never happen but let us not adopt a swarm mentality who think we are invincible just because we got numbers and maybe we won't get hassled so much when we ride by ourselves on these roads of the City of Angels.
I posted about this on a non cyclist board to get some reaction. People are pissed .... like super pissed. One dude said its another reason to hate LA and we are wasting money on something like this when our state is in serious debt.
As people we should always take personal responsibility for ourselves with how we act as friends, citizens & community members.
Of course that extends to how we as road users (ridazz, peds, drivers) interact with each other.
However, I reject the idea that we as cyclists have a special responsibility to adhere strictly the law because we are a vulnerable minority on the road.
I don't paint drivers, peds, or cyclists with a single brush. Everybody is an individual and should be held to account for their own individual actions. Likewise I do not model my behavior on the road based on what I think it will make drivers think about y fellow cyclists.I do what I think is right.
Most road users use the "laws" as a guide. Most drivers speed, make rolling rights, california stops, illegal lefts... at one time or another. (illegal shit that is relatively safe). Most of their fellow road users, even most cops, don't begrudge drivers these things if they are not causing traffic or creating excessive danger.
Likewise, most peds jaywalk from time to time. We don't look at a jaywalker and say "wow that guy really makes people who walk look really bad".
This law articulates what was/is already law.
You can not harass or intimidate or injure a fellow road user.
We have not been granted a special right.
We do not need to model our behavior based on how other people think we should ride.
Most people really don't mind a cyclists jumping a light when there is no oncoming traffic if nobody is inconvenienced. Even though it is illegal. But MANY MANY drivers greatly dislike being behind a cyclist that is riding safely and legally because that rider is "in their way" and "slowing them down".
My point is most drivers don't care weather behavior is "good" or "bad" they just want to get to point b as quickly and easily as possible. Among them are angry people that focus their negative energy at anybody or anything they consider to be an obstacle.
Rather than making us feel self-conscious about our actions, this new law should make us all feel more confident that we have a right to do our thing and not be victimized by violence, threats, and harassment.
Yeah. Big Oil, and the auto industry will forever dominate any outreach towards alternatives in this country so let's just not worry about it and ride like imbeciles and encourage others to ride incorrectly and get killed and piss off people who frown on bikes because it doesn't fucking matter anyway.. EXACTLY! COULDN'T HAVE SAID IT BETTER!
One, I'm not advocating riding like imbeciles nor incorrectly. If incorrectly means NOT following all traffic laws, then we have a fundamental disagreement.
If following all traffic laws satisfies your sense of doing your part to help cycling, then rock out. I just don't think that's where the battle resides.
Are the only riders getting hit or killed riding like imbeciles or incorrectly? If not, then maybe it's not about how we ride.
I think what you're suggesting is two fold:
1) Ride within traffic laws, so as to get through the storm without any criticism. In some sense, don't give them any ammo. My thing is, they don't really have any ammo anyway (now), so what are we worried about? It's all bullshit that spews from haters now, it will be bullshit then too. Don't waste time with those hardheads. They're in it for other reasons.
2) Riding within traffic laws will convince non-cyclist to support our cause and thus join us in our fight against Big Oil. I think that's what you're suggesting. But it's hard to believe drivers will bite the finger that feeds them.
P.S. I heart chu Borfo.
markd responding to a comment by gado_gado
07.22.11 - 12:31 pm
@Newarkhouse: I supposed I can understand people's reactions to the first sentence, but as for the second sentence and riding dirty: +1 kabillion.
The anti-harassment law seems for the most part symbolic. Treble damages is a nice idea, but there have to be damages in the first place for them to be trebled. That being said, I acknowledge the legitimization that even a symbolic law can provide, I suppose. ...To the extent people want to be legitimized.
"Intentionally injure, attempt to injure, or threaten to physically injure, either
by words, vehicle, or other object, a Bicyclist because of, in whole or in part, the
Bicyclist's status as a Bicyclist."
"Intentionally distract or attempt to distract a Bicyclist because of, in whole
or in part, the Bicyclist's status as a Bicyclist."
Full Text: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2009/09-2895_RPT_ATTY_06-10-11.pdf
jeshii responding to a comment by Ms. Stephanie
07.22.11 - 4:56 pm
we all have bitched bitched bitched about how we dont get respect and we are considered 2nd class citizens, now in my opinion, the tide is changing.. we are on the grid.
we are making our presence known to the noncycling world. lets all quit the bullshit of spitting at cars, throwing shit at them. causing beef or starting beef with cars..
this is our time to show that we can be part of traffic. be one with the flow....'
lets all behave ourselves, because so many countless people have invested so much fron themselves and so much time into making sure we are safe, respected, and fairly treated, now if you're here to just ride around for fun and get fucked up, thats good for you, just try not to be a dick about shit, some of us bike as a lifestyle... we work, recreate, facilitate, do everything on bikes, so for many its not just another fucking party ride to meet up and get chaotic on the street.. its our lives...
lets all continue to work together to have a voice in the streets, have our place in traffic and have respect from our local governments.
This law is great but I'm still not going to follow all of the rules of the road. I'd likely die if I did. The Rules of the Road are mostly designed to regulate motor vehicle traffic in a city that isn't designed to be friendly to cyclists or pedestrians. Times are changing but I feel that I have to make up my own rules to get where I need to be safely and in a timely manner. When I first started riding a lot people would give me such a hard time and I realized that I had to change my attitude and riding style. Yes, I have a right to the road, but I'm still on a bike which obviously has less mass and power than most any other vehicle on the road. I rarely get harassed by motorists now because I stay the hell out of the way. When I'm driving even I don't like being stuck behind a cyclist who is taking up too much of the road for no reason. You might have every right to it but you look like an entitled asshole that is inconsiderate of those around you. That's why people buzz you flip you off. If I'm taking a lane it's because I really need to, and I'm hauling ass to the best of my ability as to not hold up traffic too much. People really appreciate it and you'll get respect in return. Or, find a different route that keeps you out of the line of fire.
You are taking me too literally. On following all rules. I am talking about the dumb fucks that ride recklessly, the clueless who ride the wrong direction on the opposite side of the sreet because they "feel safer" which is complete bullsh it. I'm talking about the overtly millitant that seek to agitate drivers to respond in the like. The way you described your style of riding is exactly what I am wishing for others to follow and encourage. It's really pretty clear and simple. Its about riding like you would wish everyone else to ride.