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Following Bicycle Mishap, Mayor Villaraigosa's Surgery a Success, Box Calls for Safer Streets

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Villaraigosa at a 2006 sporting event (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
Surgery on Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's elbow following a vehicle-bicycle incident on Saturday evening was success and he is expected to resume a full schedule this week. But now that Los Angeles' top official has a first-hand experience with how dangerous the streets can be come questions about what's next. "News of the unfortunate incident resonated throughout the community and cyclists cringed because this type of incident is all too common, unique in this instance only because of the stature of the victim," said City Council candidate Stephen Box in a statement. "I'm hopeful that the Mayor will mend quickly and that he will soon be back on his bike and back on the streets. I also am hopeful that he will work with me to make our streets safer for all users."

Villaraigosa was riding his bicycle on Venice Boulevard in Mid City Saturday night when a taxi cab pulled out from a parking space in front of the Mayor, prompting him to quickly apply the breaks and fall off his bike, sustaining a fractured elbow, according to LAPD Sgt. David Krumer.

The driver "failed to look over and clear the lane before pulling away," Krumer said. "This was a no-contact collision and the only violation of the law is in essence an unsafe lane change." The driver stopped and exchanged information.

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Box noted a recent verbal LAPD directive from Chief Charlie Beck in which the topic was vehicles involved in incidents where no contact was made. Krumer said it was a reiteration reminding officers of existing policy.

"Ultimately, the steps we take to make our streets safer for cyclists also benefit other road users along with the merchants and residents in the neighborhood," said Box. "What's good for cyclists is good for the community."

*Post updated throughout