By: Erik Luna
A revolution has taken place. Bicyclists in the Los Angeles area have been springing up in multitudes and along with it safety signs for drivers to obey.
Yet, East Los Angeles has been neglected. Hundreds of students ride to East Los Angeles College every school day and many more residents ride casually around the neighborhood, so why not put more safety signs for motorists to pay attention to?
According to the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, there are 98,000 bicyclists in the Los Angeles area and the population seems to be growing. Yet, even with these numbers, there are only 1,300 miles of bikeways in Los Angeles County and only 38 percent of the county has access to these bikeways – according to the Southern California Association of Governments’ 2012 Transportation Plan.
Neighboring Boyle Heights received new bike lanes in late October 2011 through the 2010 Los Angeles Bike Plan and even though they received bike lanes there have yet to be an appropriate amount of safety signs. Theeastsiderla.com reported last month that cyclist Luis Garcia of Bellflower was pronounced dead after being hit by a car and then run over by a second vehicle near Cesar Chavez Avenue and Mission Road in Boyle Heights.
Garcia’s fatal accident should have been a catalyst for further bicycle safety regulations in the eastside, yet have there been any? No.
The number of cyclists keeps rising – especially with bicycle organizations such as Eastside Bike Club and Ovarian Psycos Cycles garnishing popularity – so, this needs to change as fast as possible. Yet, cyclists need to understand that it goes both ways.
If cyclists want to be treated with respect by motorists respect the laws they do: wait at stop signs, stop at red lights and don’t ride against traffic.
Also, cyclists need to read and educate themselves in bike safety. Anyone who is passionate enough about this lifestyle should make it a responsibility to make a change.
Send letters to the office of Supervisor Gloria Molina or Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar and ask for more bicycle lanes in East LA, as well as the safety signs that should come with it – especially surrounding schools and other heavily populated areas.
To contact Molina visit gloriamolina.org and josehuizar.com for Huizar.