Kathryn Zamudio/Courier Three Pasadena City College students wait for the light to change so they can safely cross Colorado Boulevard as cars drive through the intersection of Colorado and Hill on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.
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It is a dangerous world for bicyclists – especially in the streets of Los Angeles.

Laws have been passed that gave bicyclists their own lane on the majority of the busiest streets in Los Angeles where they’re supposed to feel safe to help these bicyclists stay off the sidewalk.

Well here in Los Angeles, that isn’t the case.

According to the graph below, Los Angeles has the most bicyclist fatalities than any other county in Southern California.

Graph shows rate of bicyclist fatalities in Southern California counties.

Bicyclists no longer feel safe riding their bikes in the street, even with the bike lane. I would be scared to be a cyclist riding my bike on the street. Many bicyclists are hit and injured or sometimes even killed by Los Angeles over aggressive drivers. Drivers do not keep an eye out for these bikers when driving, turning on a street or even passing a crosswalk.

Bicyclists are allowed on sidewalks such as long as they do not cause harm to pedestrians, but then again why would they want to share a  small sidewalk where they could possibly harm someone? They should be able to cruise in the bike lane on the streets without worrying or without actually getting hurt.

A sidewalk isn’t a place for a bicyclist. The streets are, but then again, I would not want to ride my bike anywhere I did not feel safe.

In 2014 alone, the California Office of Traffic Safety reported that there was 4,416 injuries or deaths related to bicyclists from a collision by motor vehicle. Another report showed that there were 361 injuries and/or deaths to cyclists that were under the age of 15.

Kathryn Zamudio/Courier
Flowers and a fidget spinner sit in the planter outside of the Jack in the Box on Colorado and Hill as a memorial to those who have been killed by cars at this intersection on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.

As an L.A. driver myself, I pay attention to my surroundings and I do not have road rage. During my daily drives, I’ve seen plenty of people almost hit pedestrians because they are not paying attention to their surroundings and they’re just eager to drive 60 MPH on city streets.

The way people drive is the reason for collisions with bicyclists. Not the other way around.

Us drivers are controlling thousands of pounds of metal going at a high speed that will kill someone if not careful. Bicyclists are controlling a bicycle that is guaranteed under 100 pounds. Who would win going head on? Let’s be smart about this. The drivers are at fault and need to be more careful and considerate when driving. Bicyclists cannot protect themselves against a moving vehicle.

One day we will hopefully see the number of fatalities from cyclists collisions drop, it is sad to say but it is not going to come easy. The bike lane on the street is literally 2 white lines right next to the car lanes. Drivers need to be more careful and less over aggressive but at the same time the city needs to come up with a more convenient way for cyclists to get around.

Let’s be honest, white paint on the floor will not be protecting anyone from a motor vehicle.

Comments

  1. Just a couple of points. Yes, Los Angeles County has the most number of bicycle crashes. It is the most populated county with the most streets, most cars and most bicyclists in the state. Kind of makes sense, doesn’t it? You say that ‘The way people drive is the reason for collisions with bicyclists. Not the other way around.” Blanket statements like that are seldom backed up by the facts. State statistics show that in 2013, over 7,200 bicycle vs. car crashes where there was an injury or death were found to be the fault of the bicyclist. And whoever posted the video at the end of the story should note that the bicyclists was riding in a crosswalk against traffic, both of which are illegal and unsafe.

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