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Thread Box:
Culver City cops
Thread started by tortuga_veloce at 05.25.09 - 3:00 am

the city of culver is looking into ways to promote cycling in the city of culver. i find this highly ironic because a few of my friends have been seriously harrassed by culver city cops. while culver city actually has some pretty progressive laws regarding cyclists operating in the roadway, the culver city cops dont know or dont care.

i had a culver city cop speed up behind me and yell over his PA "get out of my street," and one of my co-workers was pulled over in the venice bike lane and cited for "pedestrian in the roadway." it is for this reason that i avoid culver city as much as possible, which is a shame as i live just a few blocks outside of downtown culver, and have to commute through it.

city council meets twice a month at SEVEN PM. anyone feel like sending a message?

reply


I commute through culver city almost every day for the past year and a half and haven't had a bad interaction. I take Washington from McLaughlin til Overland or til Main Street. Maybe its because I'm white, wear a safety vest and a helmet and use lights. A month a go I ran the red at Sepulveda and Washington after stopping and checking that no cars were coming; a police car with two cops was waiting at the other side. They looked at me funny but didn't say anything. Maybe I'm just lucky

I was talking with one of them at the CC Farmer's market last week. He's a bicycle commuter, 4 miles each way, and rode a couple of centuries a couple of years ago. He said he rolls stop signs in residential neighborhoods and that he'll pull the right turn u-turn right turn at red lights when its safe.

What message do you want to send? I want to send the message that we need more bicycle infrastructure and that the Ballona creek path entryways need to be reopened in the neighborhoods. We need to re-purpose Washington Blvd, taking away a car lane in each direction, making the cars park diagonally, and putting in a protected bike lane behind the parked cars. Putting sharrows on it would be a good first step.

Thanks for putting up this message. Do you know exactly when the council meets?



gregb
05.25.09 - 8:24 am

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They meet irregular mondays and wednesdays. You can check out their website for more info, or I may post a ride. And of the several interactions my friends and I have had with them, it's always been at night.

Yes, washington is a death trap, and the protected lane is a great idea, but my foremost concern is having them call off their dogs.

-police should be educated regarding state and municipal law.
-cyclists should not be searched for petty violations
-police should not ticket outside of their jurisdiction.

As fucked as culver city has been to me, id rather just avoid their jurisdiction entirely. The last time I dealt with them, they were several blocks out of their jurisdiction.

I know a few of the people who were fucked with are either too busy or too scared to speak up, but if there are more stories out there, let's send a message.



tortuga_veloce
responding to a comment by gregb
05.25.09 - 1:18 pm

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http://www.maherproductions.com/downloads/Culver_City_Gunplay.pdf



buckchin
responding to a comment by tortuga_veloce
05.25.09 - 10:23 pm

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I got a ticket!

I was riding west on Washington between Delmas Terrace and Hughes, taking the lane, when two cars of officers pulled up behind me. At the red light at Hughes one car pulled up beside me and told me to get over, as I had to ride as far to the right as possible. Eventually they gave me a ticket for 21202 violation. I went back and measured and Washington is less than 11 feet wide in that section. Surely that is a substandard road width. Also I was at the intersection when they started bothering me and as 21202 a 4 says, you don't have to be to the right (4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.

We will see how this plays out. I'm probably going to the station and asking about the officer's interpretation of the law.



gregb
responding to a comment by tortuga_veloce
05.31.10 - 6:09 am

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the CCPD consistently harasses myself and others on the westside. stuff like shinning their search lights in our faces, saying stupid shit over the PA and speeding by with no lights on.

one night andres and I ran a red light and got let off, after one of the cops basically told us not to run reds when there were people around.



newarkhouse
05.31.10 - 8:38 am

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I have been biking around culver city to work almost everyday for the last four years and havnt had any experince with the police at all. I guess I'm lucky. And recently I've been taking Washington Blvd down to Venice Beach instead of Venice. Sure it needs a bike lane but I actually feel it's alot safer then Venice.



goosegoose
05.31.10 - 8:51 am

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Yeah I feel its safer than Venice as well. I had been biking around culver city to work almost everyday for the last four years as well with nary an incident until last night.

Culver City actually is planning on putting in a lot of bike lanes and even some sharrows. Check out the plans and go to the discussion about the plan June 12th at 10 am:

http://ccwalkbike.org/index.php



gregb
responding to a comment by goosegoose
05.31.10 - 10:02 am

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guess its only 2 and a half years--though the previous year and a half was from palms which is almost culver city...



gregb
05.31.10 - 10:03 am

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depending on the judge you get, it can be nearly impossible to beat a cop in court. here's what you want to do:

-videotape yourself measuring the lane and riding down the street in question. maybe stage a friend opening their car door as you pass to show why you take the lane.

-get a laptop and download these youtube videos. you should be able to do that with a firefox addon.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TQ7aID1jHs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7M-_ueoU2E
(ps, i had called the court and told i could use their dvd player, but the judge wouldn't even confirm with the person i had talked to on the phone.)

if you're asked to agree to be seen by a temporary judge, say NO. the temporary judge will be tired of listening to cases all day and will not be willing to listen to a cyclist who thinks he knows better than a trained and sworn police officer.

in my experience with two tickets, the judge won't listen to a word you say. that's why you need a video to illustrate your case. it makes all the difference in the world. some judges hate cyclists as much as some cops.

you need to make your case very strong if you're going to win. spare no expense. it will save you money in the long run.

good luck and let us know how it goes! if you can correct this cop, you might be able to stop him or her from writing more un-necessary tickets.



tortuga_veloce
responding to a comment by gregb
05.31.10 - 10:12 am

reply


Thanks for the advice!

Did you win either case?

I don't think your videos apply in my case as there are no parked cars along this stretch of Washington. However the lane is less than eleven feet wide and there is a grill tire-eater sewer grate in the gutter.

I took some photographs and everything I'm reading says that less than 14 ft for a curb lane is considered substandard.

I'll take some videos as well.

I spoke with a sergeant at the Station and he wasn't interested in reading the law and believes bicyclists can only be in the middle of the lane to make a left turn or when someone turns right in front of the bicylist. He also said that the take general education on the vehicle code but not specific to bicycles.



gregb
responding to a comment by tortuga_veloce
05.31.10 - 12:02 pm

reply


Here's a video shot in Florida that shows something similar to what happened to me, except that the cop wasn't the bicyclist but the annoyed guy behind in the car:

http://www.cyclelicio.us/2010/01/honking-at-cyclist.html



gregb
05.31.10 - 12:59 pm

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I've been harassed by CCPD on washington as well. Last October, night before Halloween, at about 2 am, I had a cruiser pull past me and stop at the light I was approaching. The light turned green before I got there, and the cop waited for me to reach the light, they then proceeded to trave alongside me, blinding me with their search lights, asking me if what I was wearing was a halloween costume (I was wearing what I woke up in that morning, plus a pair of tights as it was cold). Then asked me if I had ever been arrested, when I answered "no" they kinda laughed a bit like "yeah right" then tiring of their fun, sped off.
This was right about overland and Washington, thy followed me from Clarington all the way to about half a block past Overland, a distance of about 3 blocks, blinding me with their light the whole way.
I was just trying to ride home. Cyclists should not be held as suspicious because of their mode of transport.



FuzzBeast
responding to a comment by gregb
05.31.10 - 3:54 pm

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we really do need to do something about this. we're making progress with the LAPD. let's not rest on our laurels in Culver City.




tortuga_veloce
responding to a comment by FuzzBeast
05.31.10 - 4:00 pm

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For what its worth, my ticket was dismissed.

I did a Trial by Written Declaration and about five months after I turned it in received notice from the court clerk that my ticket was dismissed. It says I'll get my $176 or so back in less than 60 days.

I wasn't found not guilty. I think that means the officer didn't bother filling out his form.

I included about 6 photos or so. Here is the text of my Written Declaration:

"I was cited for violating CVC 21202. This states:


V C Section 21202 Operation on Roadway
Operation on Roadway


21202.  (a) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:
(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
(2) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a "substandard width lane" is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
(b) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway of a highway, which highway carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked traffic lanes, may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of that roadway as practicable.



Section 21656 referenced in CVC 21202 (a) (3) states:

V C Section 21656 Turning Out of Slow Moving Vehicles
Turning Out of Slow-Moving Vehicles
21656.  On a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of traffic in the opposite direction or other conditions, a slow-moving vehicle, including a passenger vehicle, behind which five or more vehicles are formed in line, shall turn off the roadway at the nearest place designated as a turnout by signs erected by the authority having jurisdiction over the highway, or wherever sufficient area for a safe turnout exists, in order to permit the vehicles following it to proceed. As used in this section a slow-moving vehicle is one which is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place.


"I was traveling westbound on Washington Boulevard, riding in approximately the middle of the far right lane and approaching a red light. At the red light at Washington Boulevard and Duquesne Avenue, a police car pulled up next to me in the number one lane. I was in the number two lane and there was a left turn lane to the south of the police car. I was in the middle of the lane. The two officers in the police car told me that I needed to be as far to the right as possible and that I should move to the side. After some discussion, the officers decided to pull me over and issue me a ticket.

While bicyclists are supposed to ride as far to the right as practicable, the law lays out a number of exceptions in which the bicyclist can be in the middle or even left part of the lane. Meeting the requirements for any one exception allows the the bicyclist the full lane. While I was riding in the middle of the number two lane, the far right lane, from Delmas Terrace (one block east of Duquesne) to Duquesne (a distance of approximately 300 feet), I met the requirements for four separate exceptions and thus was riding my bicycle legally and I should not have received a ticket.

Reason 1) Substandard Lane Width—According to CVC 21202 (a) (3) a substandard lane width is “a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.” The width of the lane was 132 inches (11 feet) or less wide at all three spots I measured between Delmas Terrace and Dusquesne (photos 1,2,3). Eleven feet wide is not enough for a bicycle and a car to safely travel together in the lane. Although California does not strictly define a “substandard width lane” (photo 4) shows that section of road with a car and a bicycle in the lane. As seen, a cyclist and a car do not fit into the lane together safely.

Reason 2) CVC 21202 (a) (4) states that a bicyclist doesn't have to ride as far right as practicable “(w)hen approaching a place where a right hand turn is authorized.” Thus when approaching an intersection or even a driveway, a bicyclist can ride in the middle of the lane. Bicyclists want to be in the middle of the lane when approaching an intersection or a driveway for visibility. Bicyclists riding next to the curb are less likely to be seen by cars entering the roadway from a driveway or a side street. A bicyclist in the middle of the lane is visible to the cars behind it as well as those cars entering the roadway. As shown on the diagram, the distance from Delmas Terrace to Dusquesne is approximately 300 feet. There is a driveway for Chase Bank about two-thirds of the way between the two streets. Thus riding west on Washington Boulevard between Delmas Terrace and Dusquesne you are always within 200 feet and two-thirds of the time within 100 feet of “a place where a right hand turn is authorized,” and not restricted to the right hand curb.

Reason 3) Surface hazards—There are two separate surface hazards on the block from Delmas Terrace to Duquesne. First there is a concrete/asphalt lip running the length of this street (photo 5). It is approximately in the middle of the right lane, and about half an inch wide. This makes riding in this lane hazardous because you have to cross the lip at an angle. If you drift into the lip you could be pitched to the side. Thus you need more room to maneuver when riding in this lane to account for any unexpected occurrences. Second there is a sewer grate near the entrance to Chase Bank (photo 6). Riding over the grate can cause a bicycle wheel to become stuck and throw the rider into traffic. Either of these hazards is an exception enumerated in CVC 21202 (a) (3) allowing the rider not to ride next to the curb.

CVC 21656 does not apply as Washington Boulevard is a four lane highway, not a two-lane highway, and thus slow moving traffic does not have to pull to the side because there exists a passing lane.

Reason 4) Although I was traveling slower than traffic from Delmas Terrace to Dusquesne, the officers told me to move to the right while we were both stopped at the red light. Since we were all stopped at the red light, I was traveling the “normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time” CVC 21202 (a) and thus not subject to the provisions of CVC 21202. This is important for bicycles to be allowed in the middle of the lane at the light as it makes them visible to the cars behind them and stops the cars from “right hooking” the bicyclist when the light turns green and the car turns right without seeing the bicycle traveling straight.



gregb
02.7.11 - 1:47 pm

reply


Hi gregb,

You are absolutely correct in your analysis. Just so you know I am in the process of putting out training for LAPD officers so that they recognise that cyclists can use the entire lane and do not need to ride "as far to the right" as practicable under the conditions and exceptions you outlined above.

Good job gregb!

David



Sgt. David Krumer
responding to a comment by gregb
02.10.11 - 12:18 pm

reply


Thanks for your work Sgt. Please consider sending those training materials to other cities departments as well.

What is the best references for fighting a taking the lane ticket. In my city it cost me almost $200.



revolution
02.10.11 - 12:47 pm

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...i and others have seen the motorcycle police hanging out on the side streets by various sony studios in culver city, waiting for cars or bicycles to roll through the red lights, we've seen them pulling people over that were riding their bicycle in that area

i have also seen, at motor and venice, a girl was riding her beach cruiser on the sidewalk, motorcycle police drove up onto the sidewalk and followed her, then pulled her over. motorcycle riding ON the sidewalk?

not bicycle related, but we've seen a k9 unit repeatedly drive between our building and one of the studio buildings, let their k9 out to poo, then drive away not picking it up, they did this several times until my company called culver city pd to complain about it, pretty sure they got it on the surveillance cameras as well

anyways, whenever i ride through culver city i stop at ever stop sign and red light, watch your back!



natefrogg
02.10.11 - 2:10 pm

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that is really cool sgt. krumer, thank you! your help is appreciated with this!



natefrogg
responding to a comment by Sgt. David Krumer
02.10.11 - 2:12 pm

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Those cops near "various sony studios" are a constant. Seriously, I've worked at Sony for 3 years now and as part of new hire orientation we're all told, "DO NOT JAYWALK" because they just effin' love to camp around and give tickets for that shit. It's gotten better though for pedestrians as they've finally looked into the terrible timing of the red-lights and crosswalks in the area. Seriously, you feel like you spend half your day waiting for the little white walk sign to light up.

There's a ton of NO RIGHT ON RED intersections in the area as well. You'll EASILY get a ticket if you're driving so I don't see why you wouldn't get one when your cycling as well.

What I'm trying to say is: Culver City PD annoys everyone equally =) Seriously, it's a small place with too many police, what else are they gonna do, haha.



clearskittles
responding to a comment by natefrogg
02.10.11 - 3:25 pm

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Does anyone know a real estate lawyer? Culver City Municipal Code enforcement is coming down on my ass.



Sneek
02.14.11 - 4:34 pm

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