Gutierrez & DeSousa Video Demonstrates That Mandeville Canyon Victims Rode Correctly. Task Force Recommends Responsibilities For Cyclists
Dan Gutierrez & Brian DeSousa rode Mandeville Canyon on Saturday and recorded it to demonstrate proper lane positioning. The video confirms what many suspected – the two cyclists assaulted and injured were correct in taking the lane during their descent:
Gutierrez & DeSousa are vehicular cycling advocates who have produced videos like this in the past as part of their project: Cyclist View. This video gives you a small taste of how narrow the road is. In other sections it is much more twisty.
Speaking of Mandeville Canyon, whatever happened with the community meeting which was cancelled? Well, Rosendahl elaborated on his reasons for canceling the meeting on LAist, and stated his intention to have a town hall meeting on cycling in the fall. I’m all for that, and I think such a meeting could have massive impact. For Monday, he replaced the meeting with a task force which met privately at the same time and place. What happened in the meeting? His representative to the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee (LABAC), Kent Strumpell, wrote it up on LA StreetsBlog. Here’s some excerpts, emphasis added:
the homeowners group listed their primary concerns as:
1. Lack of accountability, ie, cyclists are anonymous and problem riders can’t be identified. Their proposed solution was some form of license plate that cyclist would be required to display. This idea was ruled impractical because it would require statewide legislation to enable it.
2. Lack of adherence to laws.
3. Lack of enforcement.
4. Cyclists who are unaware that motorists are near them and don’t move over to allow them to pass.
The response of homeowners to the serious injury of cyclists riding legally, and as demonstrated above, safely, is to recommend more scrutiny of cyclists. Angry yet? If not, read what the bicycle advocates recommended:
The bike riders then identified these strategies for addressing the problems:
1. Education. Create guidelines in the form of “rules of the road” to be distributed to cyclists via the internet, email, at bike shops and possibly on sign boards at both the bottom and top Mandeville Canyon. Also, collaborate with the homeowners groups to develop corresponding guidelines for motorists to provide guidance on safety factors for cyclists and how to drive around them. For instance, rather than honking (which seems to elicit adverse reactions), motorists should try to only tap their horn a couple times. Also, motorists need to understand that the harsh words they sometimes get from cyclists are not personal but reflect an instinctive reaction when they are put in a dangerous situation by a car.
2. Road surface conditions should be repaired and maintained so that cyclists can more safely ride closer to the right.
3. Traffic calming. . . .
4. Provide a means for homeowners to file complaints about and descriptions of unruly cyclists to the clubs so they can attempt to self discipline any members who warrant this. . . .
The solutions offered by bicycle advocates include looking for ways to “educate” cyclists on the rules of the road?! Track down unruly cyclists?!! Gutierrez and DeSousa demonstrated above that Peterson and Stoehr were riding appropriately, so what kind of bicycle advocate offers this as a solution? How is that appropriate when motorist aggression inspired the task force? How is that strategically sound when you’re across the table from a bunch of angry residents recommending license plates for $6,000 Cervelos?
Here’s your answer:
The Mandeville Task Force was attended by close to 30 participants including representatives from the three home owners groups, cyclists representing Velo Club La Grange, South Bay Wheelmen, Team Helens and others, city bikeways staff, LACBC and (LA)BAC reps, local police officers including the local captain, a representative from the city prosecutor’s office, a Public Works commissioner, a criminal psychologist and of course Councilman Rosendahl and staff.