Last Thursday, the Cyclist LAPD Task Force met once again (agenda, pdf) to discuss law enforcement and biking in Los Angeles. The Cyclist LAPD Task Force was created last January by Chief Beck and bike activists as a way to begin collaborating, after years of boisterous and acrimonious conflict. So far the Task Force has taken on issues like Critical Mass, training of LAPD officers in the rules of the road for cyclists (and those around them), and hand cuffing, with a degree of success.
At the top of the agenda was a report on LAPD’s 2nd round of Officer Training. You may recall that LAPD previously trained it’s officers in the rudiments of the law re bicycling with a slide show and quiz, last year. This time around, the training went deeper. Sgt Krumer dropped a hint that Bikeside had not posted the new Officer training, so here it is:
(hint taken Sgt Krumer!)
The big news perhaps for Bikeside followers is that LAPD has begun to upgrade enforcement along the Backbone Bikeway Network, which was added – at some personal cost to this activist! – to the final 2010 Bike Plan (and approved.) The department will begin by asking it’s four Traffic Divisions – Valley, West, Central, and South – to report collision statistics along the Backbone.
In a similar vein, LAPD will be reorganizing how they handle bike related incidents. Previously, any bike involved incident would be sent to the appropriate Traffic Division (the four mentioned above) if it was a traffic collision or citation. However, if it was a crime, then it would be handled by the appropriate geographic division – of which there are 21, such as Rampart, Hollywood, and West LA. Now all reports, regardless of whether they are crimes, collisions, or citations, will go to the traffic divisions. While this may seem arcane and irrelevant, it will help us to keep LAPD accountable, by reducing the responsible parties from 25 divisions to just 4.
LAPD also shared that Valley Traffic Division will be putting motorcycle cops on duty on Wilbur Avenue in the road dieted section. At last Tuesday’s community meeting on Wilbur Ave’s reconfiguration (or, as the vote turned out, non-reconfiguration), numerous community members reported that motorists are driving in the bike lanes. Hence, Valley Traffic will work to restore a measure of respect for the bike lane lines. While we’re on Wilbur, Sgt Krumer reiterated that Valley Traffic believes there are fewer collisions on Wilbur since the implementation of the road diet.
A number of other items came up, here’s a quick run down:
- LAPD took a field trip to USC with the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee’s Jeff Jacobberger and Sustainable Street’s Ron Durgin to study safety issues there.
- A short discussion took place regarding how many LAPD officers will staff CicLAvia.
- Stings on unsafe driving around cyclists are stalled. When the topic was raised I suggested that it was important to get it moving, and that, to avoid political blowback, and to be fair, LAPD ought to run stings on cycling behavior at the same time and place as it runs stings unsafe driving.
- Although LAPD will not be changing it’s handcuffing policy, it will clarify how that handcuffing policy applies with respect to cyclists. My hope is that this will give us some leverage to move forward the discussion about the ridiculously frequent cuffings of cyclists.
Present at the meeting were myself (Bikeside), Stephen Box (Bikeside, Bike Writers Collective), Enci Box (Bikeside, Bike Writers Collective), Jeremy Grant (Bikeside), Ron Durgin (Bikeside, Sustainable Streets), Glenn Bailey (LA Bicycle Advisory Committee), Bobby Gadda (LACBC), Commander Jorge Villegas, Sergeant David Krumer, Officer Jeff Kievet, and two officers who I regrettably forgot the names and ranks of (AT fail!)
P.S. – howabout the music in that LAPD training vid? Rockin!