Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Support Your Local Bikeshop!

LOS ANGELES, CA – On Friday night Jim C, proprietor of Orange20 Bikes and a Bicycle Kitchen cook, was hit by a car and severely injured as he rode his bike on Franklin Avenue in Los Feliz.

Jim went down hard sustaining injuries that include broken ribs, a cracked vertebrae, a punctured lung and some internal bruising and bleeding.

TJ, Jim’s business partner, expressed confidence that Jim will recover but says that it will take some time and that Jim is currently required to stay in the hospital for observation because of the significant internal injuries.

As of Monday morning, neither LAPD Northeast nor LAPD Central Traffic could even confirm that there was a motorist/cyclist collision on Franklin this past Friday night.

This lack of information illustrates the inequity cyclists experience when riding on the streets of Los Angeles.

When a motorist hits another motorist, two insurance companies go to work. They know the drill, they pull traffic reports, initiate investigations, offer the injured parties support and they advocate on behalf of their clients.

When a motorist hits a cyclist, the cyclist goes down, hard! The cyclist is left to navigate a system that is at best obtuse and does little to encourage or support a cyclist as they fight for appropriate medical and legal attention.

There are two things cyclists can and should do.

The first is to reach out to Jim and offer encouragement and support.

Visit him at the hospital. (take a healthy treat or two for the nurses and thank them for taking care of yet another grumpy, sore cyclist) Jim is in County Hospital, room 10820, and the visiting hours are from 11am to 8 pm.

Drop by Orange20 and relay the message through TJ. (extend the Capitalist Get-Well Greeting and make a purchase, thereby contributing to Jim C’s economic health)

The second is to use your phone. Call Councilmember Tom LaBonge at 213-473-7004 and advocate for Equal Access for cyclists.

Identify yourself as a cyclist and let Tom know that you consider safe access and mobility to be a basic Civil Right and that you expect the full support of the Police Department providing a safe environment for all modes of travel.

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