A couple of weeks ago, I was cycling to the Bike Metro Roundtable at Union Station after a quick stop to the LACBC offices. I’ve ridden in downtown many times before, but I don’t remember if I ever took the bike lane on Los Angeles St. north of 1st before.
Maybe I have and it was innocuous enough that there was nothing to remember. At least, nothing like this!
From the get go, the lane was filled with cars parked from what I assume were police vehicles in front of Parker Center. One or two cars I get if there’s an emergency. IF! In this case though, the curbside was turned into a LAPD valet zone.
They would get points if this was a flash mob of some kind, but nothing of it. I was thrust into the worst position you want to be as a cyclist, a place where no one knows what’s going on.
I understand the need for police to have easy access to their cars, but this is really a charade with no regard shown towards cyclist’s safety.
This is not supposed to be an indictment on the entire police department. I’m going to say that most officers have conducted themselves in a professional manner in my presence. At the same time, I have to call a spade, a spade, especially when it’s about putting my life at risk.
As much as you can fault the LAPD for creating this problem, how they find a solution to this can have a far more telling effect on how they view street safety.
Until then, I have to Protect and Swerve.