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Councilman Asks City Attorney About Bikes at Holiday Festival

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Today, Councilman Tom LaBonge announced that he has asked City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo for a legal opinion on including cyclists to ride at the Griffith Park holiday light festival that had once been open only to automobile traffic. Public pressure to allow cyclists on all days that cars use the road has been building up for some time now.

“I’d like to include bikes along with automobiles, but my first priority is to protect the safety of all who attend,” the Councilmember’s letter, dated on Monday, said. A few days before the letter, Tom LaBonge, a bicycle fan himself who is holding community rides around the city, told LAist over the phone that the festival was originally designed as a car event, but that he "would like to try to get cyclists through there."

A letter dated July 1st from LAist Contributor and local activist Stephen Box laid out legal documentation demonstrating that not allowing cyclists access to the festival on the same nights as cars was illegal. The California Vehicle Code allows local agencies to prohibit cyclists from sidewalks and freeways only, but no such code gives permission to cities to discriminate bicycles or motorcycles from roads where cars are allowed.

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LaBonge's next open-to-the-public ride will tour downtown on Wednesday, August 6, starting at 6:15 p.m. The 10-mile ride will leave City Hall and will include a mid-way stop for ice cream.

Photo by numberstumper via Flickr