Bicylists Plan Civil Disobedience at Griffith Park Tonight
It's been an issue for some years now. The LADWP Festival of Lights--a holiday light show where people in cars drive slowly along Crystal Springs Dr. in Griffith Park viewing the displays--has been car-oriented since the beginning.
Cyclists have contended that they should get the right to bicycle through the festival just like cars. After all, California Vehicle Code says that they have the same rights and responsibilities as cars on the roads.
That hasn't worked and it has been a bitter battle for a couple years now. Councilman Tom LaBonge and the LADWP have bended little for cyclists, deeming one night, the first night of the festival, to be bike night. However, the cyclists, in order to have the festival be car-free--an obvious route to take a festival that claims to be green--did help succeed in getting the city to do two weeks of dedicated pedestrian nights.
In a phone interview about the festival with LADWP's Kim Hughes last September, she told LAist that safety is the number one reason why bicyclists cannot ride on car nights, but also that Crystal Springs Drive is a private road and as far as she understood, state law would not apply forcing the city to allow bicycle riding. Plus, this is a special event on a private road, which further blurs the line on what the bottom line is.
Tonight's protest, dubbed The Festival of RIGHTS, was announced in an e-mail to LaBonge and the press last night. Participating cyclists will meet at the Mulholland Fountain and ride at 7 p.m.