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Thread Box:
DIY lapd education
Thread started by tortuga_veloce at 05.29.09 - 8:29 am

Attention graphic designers, lawyers, activists!

I was at a bicycle safety meeting with the senior lead officer at pacific division. I proposed a plan to put educational cvc 21202 posters up in the station houses.

My hope is that by going through the bicycle-riding division of the lapd, we'll be able to put these up in station houses all over the city. Pacific's eagerness will serve as a great example and will give needed credibility to our work!

The reality is that after mandeville, a lot of cops were instructed to cite bikes who were impeding traffic, without regard to cars who cut off cyclists. This comes from a complete lack of training and a lack of understanding of the needs of cyclists. Of course we want the brass to take initiative on this, but this can be a great step in the first direction.

I'd like to design a poster that vividly illustrates scenarios that cycists face including:

-How much bike lane we can actually use
-why road hazards force cyclists to the center of wide lanes
-the "door zone"

I need more ideas from you to figure out what is going to go in the poster.

If you'd like to contribute graphics, text, ideas or legal advice, please email me at

iain (dot) mjbanks (hat) gmail (d0t) calm

O yeah, and this is all coming out of my pocket at the moment, so if you can contribute printing supplies, that would be great!

Thank you guys! I look forward to working with you soon!

reply


amazingly, the DMV has brochures that are accurate and bicycle-friendly!

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffdl37.htm

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/hdbk/shr_slow_veh.htm#bike

definitely reference those ... it'll help show that we aren't just making this stuff up!



stevestevesteve
05.29.09 - 10:27 am

reply


and this, copyright garyseven (contact him before you use it)



stevestevesteve
05.29.09 - 10:38 am

reply


Danger, Danger!

The DMV brochures say things such as:

"Cyclists must ride in a straight line as near to the right curb or edge of the roadway as practicalónot on the sidewalk."

Cyclists ride where it is safest for them, first and foremost, and if that means controlling an unshareable lane, then that is the appropriate and legal position, not in the gutter pan.

The word is practicable, not practical and the subtle distinction has significant meaning.

I don't care about riding on the sidewalk but the statement isn't true. Granted, it is illegal in many municipalities, but it only takes one exception to invalidate the statement. Sidewalks are fair game in LA with 4 neighborhood exceptions.

I could go on but in general, the DMV manual reflects the subtle AAA bias against cyclists including riding in tandem (not illegal) controlling the lane (not illegal) impeding traffic (a dubious claim, especially on wide streets) etc.

Anyway, The DMV doesn't get to make things up any more than you or I and yet they do. Approach these DMV documents with caution. They are full of small but significant errors.





SoapBoxLA
05.29.09 - 11:10 am

reply


great idea i think the same poster should be at all dmvs and metro buoldings.



trickmilla
05.29.09 - 11:10 am

reply


that's my big hope. we just need to create a teaching tool to present a vehicular cyclist's perspective in a common-sense manner.

that's another point: the distinction between recreational and vehicular cyclists. it was a very good point that officer wicks made to the old ladies that felt that cyclists should make box turns rather than using the left turn lane.

-a recreational cyclist is by my definition, one who rides primarily on bikeways and in bike lanes or on sidewalks. they are generally less experienced and slower, but not always.

-a vehicular cyclist is a cyclist who rides in accordance to the rules governing slow moving traffic. they are generally faster and more experienced, but not always.


can anyone think of any pitfalls to writing something like this? do you think it's important enough to leave in? what are some related concepts that we can include with these?



tortuga_veloce
responding to a comment by trickmilla
05.29.09 - 11:18 am

reply


trying to distinguish a class of bike rider doesnt work at all. any bike rider using any of the streets or infrastucture for bikes is a bike rider. their purpose matters not. it's not like we go around judging car drivers as cruisers and sunday drivers and treat them differently.

I use bikeways and bike lanes when they are available. don't classify me or even give a whiff that I am a recreational rider. I am a rider.



Roadblock
responding to a comment by tortuga_veloce
05.29.09 - 11:34 am

reply


i guess what im trying to say is, there are different comfort levels for cyclists. on one end, you have vehicular cyclists, who use the road, control the lane, etc. then you have recreational cyclists. i've been ticketed by a few of these. they claim that because they ride their beach cruiser on the venice bike path every sunday, they understand the experience of all cyclists.

i think it is an important distinction, but perhaps it should be less distinct: there is a spectrum of riders, all with different comfort levels, tire sizes and speeds. all of these factors make for different perspectives. a beach cruiser has no problem on the venice bike path, but i've nearly gotten bucked when hitting those puckers of asphalt at high speeds.

for that reason, i often will take a different street, say, washington and just take the lane. there might be more potholes, but there's also more space to avoid them.



tortuga_veloce
responding to a comment by Roadblock
05.29.09 - 11:53 am

reply


their purposes matter because police officers judge cyclists not based on the law, but by their own perceptions and their incorrect interpretation of the law.

the dmv (i've been told its them) publishes a "cheater book" for police officers with summaries of every section in the vehicle code. this is frequently their only training in bicycle law. here's how they summarize 21202

"BIKE-SLOW MOVING Ride as near the right hand curb or edge of the roadway as
practicable. EXCEPTIONS: May use left on one way street."

when you take a cop who has for years been convinced that this is the law, i imagine it will take a great deal of explanation to explain to him not only what the law actually is, but why he has developed these wrong-headed ideas.

if you tell a man he's wrong, he will only get mad; if you explain to him why he has been misled by circumstances, he will accept it.



tortuga_veloce
responding to a comment by Roadblock
05.29.09 - 12:01 pm

reply


there are different comfort levels for drivers - some dont like freeways some drive on side streets - some are new - some are old.... but the law treats them the same regardless....




Roadblock
responding to a comment by tortuga_veloce
05.29.09 - 12:02 pm

reply




I think what iain is saying is that cyclists have different comfort levels which will lead them to different types of action, but those actions may all be legal .

For example, rather than presuming since many cyclists wait for the signal and use the crosswalk when they want to make a left turn, that more-advanced/faster moving cyclists that move to the left turn lane are doing something illegal.

And I think there is a much wider spread of experience/fitness levels/strength/comfort amongst cyclists than there is among drivers, so it does become an enforcement issue.

And in response to Mr. Box, the documents I linked to do not include the language you mentioned. those two pages are in fact pretty damn good... I know there is misinformation out there



stevestevesteve
05.29.09 - 12:22 pm

reply


A lot of cops will pull you over if you dont "look right" to them, and then look up the section later. You cant change how an officer perceptions, and not every cop has the reading skills to comprehend legalese.

The question is, how do we explain the cognative dissonance between what the law says and what this guy's experience is? I'd say, it's because you may be a cyclist, but youre not a vehicular cyclist.

Sample text:
"the law is flexible for different types of riders to ride in very different ways, but there is no "cookie cutter" way that a cyclist is supposed to ride.

Cyclists may ride "vehicularly" just like a car, or ride on the sidewalk, more like a pedestrian.

Both are legal ways to operate a bicycle, and it is up to the cyclist to decide what their level of comfort is.



tortuga_veloce
responding to a comment by stevestevesteve
05.29.09 - 12:52 pm

reply






tortuga_veloce
05.29.09 - 12:55 pm

reply


"A lot of cops will pull you over if you dont "look right" to them, and then look up the section later. You cant change how an officer perceptions, and not every cop has the reading skills to comprehend legalese."


if you "cant change a cop's perceptions" than what the heck are you making a poster to "educate" them (read: change their perceptions) for?

the recreational vs. vehicular cyclist argument puts more complexity into the cop's perception when in reality it needs to be simplified and straight forward. cycling in the street is serious whether you are doing it for recreation or for a "purpose" and in addition to cops being educated, cyclists themselves need to be educated on how to ride in traffic. these posters should serve a dual purpose and be posted in bicycle shops too...

all we need are for cops and cyclists to be educated about the law which many of them aren't. it can be done. this is a great idea, but lets not get into judging someone because they are using primarily bikeways and bikelanes or judging someone by their purpose. pressure needs to also be put on "recreational" cyclists to be more attentive and serious about it.



Roadblock
responding to a comment by tortuga_veloce
05.29.09 - 1:37 pm

reply


I definitely agree. Getting these posters done well enough to educate riders and officers would be a great goal. Jumping ahead a bit, maybe we should also try and get them up at schools and libraries to reach more of the recreational cyclist types.



danya
responding to a comment by Roadblock
05.29.09 - 1:47 pm

reply


if you "cant change a cop's perceptions" than what the heck are you making a poster to "educate" them (read: change their perceptions) for?


what i meant to say was, you can only change a cop's perceptions through a logical explanation of why he's more comfortable making a box turn than using the left lane. the cop that wrote me the ticket i was fighting this wednesday is a recreational cyclist. he felt that the only safe way to turn left was the box turn, or kiddie corner. that might be true for him, but for me, i think that's more dangerous.

perhaps the distinction we want to make is between "vehicular cycling" and "pedestrian cycling." both are legal, let's make that clear, and it's the CYCLIST'S CHOICE to ride how he or she feels comfortable. yes, i think cyclists should be encouraged to ride in the road, not the sidewalk. i also dont people to get harrassed for riding legally on the sidewalk.

the recreational vs. vehicular cyclist argument puts more complexity into the cop's perception when in reality it needs to be simplified and straight forward.

i think the law needs to be as simple and straightforward as possible.
ALL OF THE FOLLOWING ARE LEGAL:
sidwalk riding (lamc....)
making a left turn in the left turn lane (21202
...

CYCLISTS MAY USE THE FULL LANE WHEN:
the road is narrow
there are a lot of potholes
...

i think it's crucial that we get this right. we need to think of all scenarios and ask ourselves, "will the stubbornest cop get it after reading this?



tortuga_veloce
responding to a comment by Roadblock
05.29.09 - 3:03 pm

reply


Umm...
CYCLISTS MAY USE THE FULL LANE WHEN:
-They are on a bike



danya
05.29.09 - 3:04 pm

reply


we'd all love for that to be true but that's not what the CVC says by any rational reading of the law.



stevestevesteve
responding to a comment by danya
05.29.09 - 3:10 pm

reply


I get 100% what you are saying. I'm just saying it's wrong and confusing to go there. especially since it's LAMC that states you can ride on the sidewalk whereas as I understand it, it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk in other cities? this would mean you'd have to make different versions of the poster.... sounds too complicated but I guess it's do-able...



Roadblock
responding to a comment by tortuga_veloce
05.29.09 - 3:11 pm

reply


was your ticket for making a left turn? or was it for unsafe lane change?



Roadblock
responding to a comment by tortuga_veloce
05.29.09 - 3:16 pm

reply


I'm down to contribute with photos/graphics ideas, I don't always keep up with forums, but keep me in the loop at gary rides bikes @ g ma i l.com if you're looking for help with this. I'm a strong believer that education is a powerful tool, and grossly lacking in our transportation system at all levels, including the officers enforcing the rules. We may never get sharrows on the ground, but that can't stop us from getting education out there.



GarySe7en
05.29.09 - 3:38 pm

reply


let's start with LAPD. the laws are consistent there. then we can work our way through the LAPD chain of command to set an example. it wont be very difficult to adapt the same poster for culver city, which allows sidewalk riding.

my ticket was for impeding traffic. the law was "minimum speed law." i went from the right (#2) lane to the left (#1) lane for 200 feet before switching to the left turn lane (which was 200 feet long.) traffic had to tap their brakes.

i told this to officer wicks and he was very surprised. he says that traffic must be slowed significantly for it to stand up. unfortunately, this is the enormity of the problem we are working to solve.

i was once even detained by a woman from west traffic that told me i had to pull over every block and wait for all the cars to pass, even though there were two lanes. this is a law that refers to mountain roads, and it states that you must pull over to a turnout if there are more than 5 cars waiting to pass and there is no other place for them to go around.

this poster needs to address all of these different skill levels and as many scenarios as possible, so i'd really like people to submit the surprising things they've been ticketed for.



tortuga_veloce
responding to a comment by Roadblock
05.29.09 - 3:55 pm

reply


I'll throw in that I was pulled over on Bicykillers last week for riding more than 5 ft away from the curb. SMPD, cop just had no clue what he was talking about, we fought for a bit and he let me go. Unfortunately I didn't have my bag so I couldn't give him a copy of the Project 21202 pamphlet.

This sounds like the right place to start- a list of common bike misconceptions.
Maybe we should get a group together in person to do final info/wording picks and preliminary layout?



danya
responding to a comment by tortuga_veloce
05.29.09 - 4:03 pm

reply


you got jacked man.... the minimum speed law 22400a applies to highways... unless national was technically a highway where you made the lane change, then you should fight that ticket...



Roadblock
responding to a comment by tortuga_veloce
05.29.09 - 4:13 pm

reply


Technically, a highway is defined as any public roadway. The words "impeding" and "reasonable speed" do have certain meaning, but apparently that's for a judge to legislate.

You can find the vehicle code on the dmv website. It's the first section "terms defined.". In it you'll find some important key terms such as "traffic" which includes bicycles, and "vehicle," which pertains only to motorized conveyances.

To get to that page I google "cvc 21202," and its the first site that pops up. Hope that comes in handy some time you get detained and lectured for running a green.



tortuga_veloce
responding to a comment by Roadblock
05.29.09 - 4:55 pm

reply

Reply


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