Cyclists Take on No Riding Rule at Festival in Griffith Park

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Photo by Lucyrk in LA via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

Bicycle activist Stephen Box made good on his annual tradition last Friday, taking a group of cyclists to the LADWP Festival of Lights in Griffith Park on a car-only night. He calls it the Festival of Rights because he contends that state law, with a few exceptions such as most freeways, allows bicycles to use any roadway a vehicle can. Somehow, the city of Los Angeles' has found the exception, but when Box challenges officials, he gets the runaround:

As we regrouped at the Zoo parking lot, we encountered Sgt. Kilpatrick of LA Rec and Parks. He artfully moved his vehicle so as to block us and then gave us a series of explanations on why we couldn't ride the streets of Griffith Park. I asked him under whose authority he was prohibiting cyclists while we watched the public drive their cars on the street right behind him. He said they were Rec and Park streets and they could exclude cyclists. I invoked State Law, pointing out that Los Angeles may be a big city but it hardly trumps State Law and CVC 21 is the Uniformity Code and it guarantees me the right to ride the streets that are open to the motoring public.

Sgt. Kilpatrick then invoked the special event argument, I responded by asking for the permit. He had none. I asked for his supervisor, he said he was it. I asked who gave the instructions to prohibit cyclists, he didn't know. We chatted for a while and he was very polite but firm, he said he would cite us if we violated the ban on cyclists in the park during the Festival of Lights. I asked what law would be violated and he didn't know. He really didn't know what law because when he wrote the ticket, it was for failing to comply.

The Festival of Lights continues through the 30th.