Founded in 1998, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) works to make our local communities fun, safe, and healthy places to ride a bike.
News and Events
The Three Feet for Safety Act went into effect on September 16, 2014. The law requires motorists to give at least three feet of clearance when passing a bicyclist traveling in the same direction. The previous law required motorists to pass bicyclists while keeping a “safe distance." The new law defines “safe distance” as three feet. If not enough space is available, the motorist must slow down and pass when no danger is present to the bicyclist.
One key to making the new law effective is to make sure the driving public knows about it. LACBC has collaborated with AAA, Wire Media, and CalBike to create an “I Give 3 Feet” graphic for use to publicize the new law. This graphic can be downloaded from Wire Media here. We encourage all media outlets (big or small), bicycle groups, and interested parties to download and utilize this graphic, along with the associated bullet points about the law.
Key points to include with the Three Feet for Safety Act graphic are:
- The previous law required motorists to pass bicyclists while keeping a “safe distance."
- This new law defines “safe distance” as three feet when passing bicyclists traveling in the same direction.
- If not enough space is available, the motorist must slow down and pass when no danger is present to the bicyclist.
- Violators will face a $35 fine, as well as a $220 fine if a collision occurs.
- Law took effect September 16, 2014.
AAA has printed 10,000 window clings for public distribution utilizing the same graphic, and their roadside assistance will be handing out tip cards with the graphic starting in September. Our partners at CalBike are also offering two sticker designs to help promote the new law. You can request the window clings and the CalBike stickers directly from CalBike by following this link: https://calbike.org/bulkgiveme3form
Our work with AAA and CalBike is made possible thanks to the support of LACBC members and donors. Not a member? Become an LACBC member or make a donation today.
And the award for Outstanding Commute to the Emmys goes to. . . Tom Smuts of Mad Men! The writer-producer may not have biked away with a golden statue (he was nominated as a producer of Mad Men for Outstanding Drama Series), but this LACBC member won many accolades for riding his bike to the Emmys today. (He just beat out talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, who took the subway in.)
For the first time in over 40 years, the annual television awards show was held on a Monday evening (instead of a Sunday), meaning that both Emmys traffic and regular weekday rush hour traffic would be converging at the Nokia Theatre in Downtown L.A. Mr. Smuts, who commutes by bike to his work several times a week, decided that he wanted to bike to the Emmys to show that it is possible to bike anywhere in anything and that it is so much fun. He did just that, riding 17 miles from his home in Santa Monica to Downtown L.A.
Mr. Smuts rode out with a mix of family and friends and folks from LACBC, the City of Los Angele Bicycle Advisory Committee, amd Mayor Garcetti’s office, who were stylishly outfitted in clothing from Rapha and riding trusty Tern folding bikes. Some steps we took to ensure that we looked their best for the red carpet: starting early so that we could ride at an easy pace, planning out a route beforehand that utilized bike infrastructure and calm streets (we took both streets with bike infrastructure like 4th St. and 7th St., as well as streets with proposed bike infrastructure like San Vicente and 6th St. in the Mid-City area), wearing clothing that both looked good and felt comfortable, carrying the proper tools to keep our bikes running and ourselves looking good, having pit stops (like the one at Loyola Law School) to freshen up at. We also had to improvise a bit, as we perhaps enjoyed ourselves too much at the beginning of the ride and had to speed it up towards the end to make it on time.
Mr. Smuts did make it in time to walk the red carpet this evening and looked dapper in his suit and bike helmet.
While not everyone will ride 17 miles every day, this ride reminds us of the possibilities of riding in our city. Bike to work, bike to school, bike to the grocery store, bike to a fancy awards show with the biggest names in television. Los Angeles is a biking city, and there is no event you can't ride to here. Plus, biking as a group to an event is the best kind of pre-party!
Thank you to Tom Smuts, his family, the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, Mayor Garcetti's Office, Loyola Law School, the Television Academy, Rapha, and Tern.
Action Alert: Hyperion Bridge Sidewalk at Risk for Removal
The long saga of the Hyperion Avenue Viaduct, connecting Silver Lake and Atwater Village over the Los Angeles River, continues. As Streetsblog reported earlier this month, the city's traffic studies show that the most progressive option (two sidewalks, buffered bike lanes and a three-lane road diet) move cars just as effectively as the current four-lane configuration. This option is safer for everyone, maintains pedestrian access and dramatically improves conditions for bicyclists. The Hyperion Citizens Advisory Committee, including representatives from LACBC and Los Angeles Walks, voted 6 to 3 in support of this option.
Yet a vocal contingent in Atwater refuses to let the facts carry the day, potentially derailing the best option for the bridge. Councilmember Tom LaBonge has already announced his opposition to a livable bridge, citing disproved claims about traffic delays and truck routes.
Now is the time for biking, walking and traffic safety advocates to be heard. Please send emails in support of Option 3 to Councilmembers LaBonge and O'Farrell, Mayor Garcetti and the Board of Public Works. A sample message is below:
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
CC: firstname.lastname@example.org, Kevin.James@lacity.org, Monica.Rodriguez@lacity.org, Matt.Szabo@lacity.org, Mike.Davis@lacity.org, Barbara.Romero@lacity.org
Subject: Save the Hyperion Bridge Sidewalk: Support Option 3
Dear Councilmembers LaBonge and O'Farrell,
I support Option 3 for the Hyperion Viaduct, which preserves sidewalks on both sides of the bridge and adds buffered bike lanes so that people can walk and bike between Silver Lake and Atwater Village in safety and comfort. Even though this option reduces a downhill traffic lane, city studies show that this road diet will not have any impact on traffic. Option 3 is the safest alternative, provides the most mobility for all residents and will let people walk and bike to a revitalized Los Angeles River that is currently inaccessible for many Angelenos. No other option provides all of these benefits for a more livable Los Angeles.
Please support Option 3 to have buffered bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides of Hyperion.
Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
LACBC has grown as an organization to 11 regional chapters throughout the county and 5 Bike Ambassador programs in Los Angeles City. With so much going on, headquarters wants to help empower YOU to advocate in your local capacity. Meet fellow advocates, learn the strategies, and ask questions. Refreshments provided - see you there!
Outreach - March 20th
Membership - April 29th
Winning Campaigns Training - May 31st
Stair speech exercise
Ride Marshal Training - July 12th
Fundraising - Thursday, August 21st
Yesterday, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, L.A. City Councilman Mitch Englander, hit-and-run survivor Damian Kevitt and LACBC's Eric Bruins announced a new partnership between City and State governments to bring an end to hit-and-run in California. Assemblymember Gatto is carrying two bills this year to both increase penalties for hit-and-run drivers (AB 1532) and create a new "yellow alert" (AB 47) that would use existing electronic signs to disseminate vehicle descriptions along state highways. The latter bill was introduced late in the legislative session at the urging of the Los Angeles City Council.
Hit-and-runs continue to plague Los Angeles, with over 20,000 incidents every year, including 4,000 injuries. Pedestrians and bicyclists are most at risk of being killed or seriously injured, which is why LACBC continues to work with partners like Assemblyman Gatto and the California Bicycle Coalition to put an end to these crimes. Thank you to Assemblyman Gatto for his leadership, and to Damian Kevitt and Finish the Ride for his courage and perseverance.
For more, see coverage in the Los Angeles Times.