Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Unveils First Of Bike Safety Measures

Hey cyclists, do you feel safer yet? Do ya?

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveiled the first plank in his safer cycling program -- give bikes three feet of room when you pass -- following last week's bike summit. The bike summit arose after the mayor broke his elbow after a taxi cut him off while he was riding his bike on Venice Boulevard.

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The city is putting up posters telling drivers to give three feet of space when passing a cyclist. The slogan, as you can see from the poster: "Give me 3." Villaraigosa wants to push Sacramento to pass a state law codifying the rule. Damien Newton of Streetsblog says at least 11 other states have a similar law.

Other pledges following the bike summit: Expanding city bikeways from 372 miles to 1,600 miles and getting everyone to wear a helmet.

Of course, activists need to press ahead, but count us among the skeptical. It may be depressing to admit, but the automobile is hegemonic in L.A., which makes cycling here dangerous. The day of the bike summit, after all, a cyclist was killed in the Valley.


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