LA Times, search your website . . .

By Alex Thompson

A note to the LA Times: do your research!  In an article on the cyclist anti-harassment ordinance, Shelby Grad writes:

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council voted to study ways to protect cyclists.

. . .

Among the ideas being consider: creating bike sharing lanes in certain areas, improving training for police and creating a cyclist “Bill of Rights.”

It seems like the LA Times might have cut the fact checking department when they cut all their senior reporters.  City Council isn’t creating a cyclist “Bill of Rights”, a Cyclists’ Bill of Rights already exists, and the Council is aware of it.  Try the following search in Google: “cycling bill of rights.”

The Bike Writers Collective, an LA based organization of bike bloggers, penned the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights in February 2008. The LA Times has written about the document many times. It has been endorsed by numerous neighborhood councils, and officials, including Laura Chick and Carmen Trutanich.  It was to be in the LA Bike Plan, but LADOT has thus far ignored Rosendahl’s request to include it.  It reads:

WHEREAS, cyclists have the right to ride the streets of our communities and this right is formally articulated in the California Vehicle Code; and

WHEREAS, cyclists are considered to be the “indicator species” of a healthy community; and

WHEREAS, cyclists are both environmental and traffic congestion solutions; and

WHEREAS, cyclists are, first and foremost, people – with all of the rights and privileges that come from being members of this great society; and

NOW, THEREFORE, WE THE CYCLING COMMUNITY, do hereby claim the following rights:

1) Cyclists have the right to travel safely and free of fear.

2) Cyclists have the right to equal access to our public streets and to sufficient and significant road space.

3) Cyclists have the right to the full support of educated law enforcement.

4) Cyclists have the right to the full support of our judicial system and the right to expect that those who endanger, injure or kill cyclists be dealt with to the full extent of the law.

5) Cyclists have the right to routine accommodations in all roadway projects and improvements.

6) Cyclists have the right to urban and roadway planning, development and design that enable and support safe cycling.

7) Cyclists have the right to traffic signals, signage and maintenance standards that enable and support safe cycling.

8) Cyclists have the right to be actively engaged as a constituent group in the organization and administration of our communities.

9) Cyclists have the right to full access for themselves and their bicycles on all mass transit with no limitations.

10) Cyclists have the right to end-of-trip amenities that include safe and secure opportunities to park their bicycles.

11) Cyclists have the right to be secure in their persons and property, and be free from unreasonable search and seizure, as guaranteed by the 4th Amendment.

12) Cyclists have the right to peaceably assemble in the public space, as guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.

And further, we claim and assert these rights by taking to the streets and riding our bicycles, all in an expression of our inalienable right to ride!

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