CityWatch, November 21, 2008
By Stephen Box
LA's Transportation Committee meets today (Friday) in a special meeting to weigh in on an agenda that is full of cycling issues, all anchored by a motion to endorse the Cyclists' Bill of Rights. The Cyclists' Bill of Rights was penned early this year by members of the Bike Writers Collective, a group of bloggers and bike activists who write about riding in Los Angeles. Based on simple existing laws, standards, principles and directives, the Bill of Rights was created by the Collective as a tool for engaging the community in a discussion of the rights of cyclists and as a mechanism for engaging the City's leadership in a commitment to support cyclists and their place on the streets.
The Cyclists' Bill of Rights has spent a lot of time on the road this year, picking up endorsements from East Hollywood, Silver Lake, Atwater Village and Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Councils along with the Caltrans and Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committees and then finally ending up in the Ventura County Bicycle Master Plan.
The CBR has been featured on KCRW and KFI radio as well as the KCAL and KTLA news. It has been featured in the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal, the London Times and the London Telegraph newspapers as well as blogs in San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York, Australia, New Zealand and India.
Along the way the CBR inspired cyclists in Florida to initiate a petition urging the State legislature to adopt the Cyclists' Bill of Rights. It also inspired a local Harley Owners' Group to write their own Bill of Rights, a trend that has continued with the LA Horse Council now riding under the Equestrian Bill of Rights.
It has been a long journey and today the Cyclists' Bill of Rights comes home, to the City of Los Angeles' Transportation Committee where cyclists will converge from all over the City to urge the members to endorse the CBR and recommend it to the full City Council for adoption.
The Cyclists' Bill of Rights really needs no endorsement, after all it's simply full of rights cyclists already possess when they ride but it's important to the cycling community that these rights are recognized and supported by our City's leadership.
To that end, the Bike Writers collective is asking the City Council's Transportation Committee to 1) endorse the Cyclists' Bill of Rights "as written - as ridden!" and to 2) direct the LADOT to incorporate the Cyclists' Bill of Rights "as written - as ridden!" in the city's Bicycle Master Plan.
Cyclists have scheduled two group rides to City Hall, one from the Westside and one from East Hollywood. Those unable to "Storm the Bastille" can follow the CBR's journey on Twitter, on Facebook and on Midnight Ridazz.
"See you on the Streets!"