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Tensions Flare as Rosendahl Cancels Bicycle Meeting

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Cyclists from around the City were looking forward to Councilman Bill Rosendahl's Community Forum scheduled for tonight and it was that significant citywide interest that may have been responsible for causing the Forum to be canceled.

It was last Wednesday that Councilman Rosendahl called for the Forum in response to the significant outcry over the Mandeville Road Rage incident of July 4th that left two cyclists badly injured, the motorist facing multiple felony charges and the community divided, with many shocked at the motorist's behavior and others complaining that the cyclists had it coming.

LAist broke the story a week ago and the debate roiled. The LA Times article of Wednesday has received over 600 comments to date, many of them vehement in their criticism of the cyclists in this incident as well as of cyclists in general. The LAWheelmen received an email from a woman stating "HOORAY FOR THE DOCTOR. It's about time you lawless bunch of crayolas get what you deserve! There are several of us current and former La Habra Heights residents ready, willing and able to testify on behalf of the doctor. YOU DON'T OWN THE STREETS, don't follow the law and are a blight on society."

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By Friday, Rosendahl had changed the venue of the Forum in response to the anticipated crowd and then on Saturday, the Forum was canceled with the explanation that officials of the homeowner groups and bicycling clubs expressed concern that "the tenor of media coverage and of blog posts would make a Monday public meeting counter-productive."

A commenter by the moniker Beekeeper expressed disappointment with Rosendahl's decision saying "There is no respect for bicyclist's right to use public roads and the Public Forum that could have occurred could have been a opportunity to address the concerns of bicyclists."

Through it all, there had been much debate online as to the reasons behind the cancellation and cyclists have refocused their energies on other opportunities to raise awareness such as today's Storm the Bastille ride.

Riding from all over the City, cyclists will be gathering at the Santa Monica & Vermont Red Line Station and riding to City Hall for a noon rally where they will present the Cyclists' Bill of Rights and urge the City of LA's leadership to join the cycling community in making LA a great place to ride.