This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Video: Driver Aggressively Runs Cyclists Off The Road In Glendale
Here's a test. When you're driving and you find yourself positioned behind a person riding a bicycle, do you: (a) patiently wait the five to ten seconds for an appropriate amount of space to open up before passing the person with at least 3 feet of space, or do you (b) honk, pass with inches to spare, swerve in front of the rider and slam on your brakes?
Answer "a" is the correct answer, meaning the motorist driving a black Audi with very visible license plates in the video above failed the test.
The video surfaced earlier today on the CiclaValley blog, citing the cyclists in the video as friends of the blog's owner. The close pass takes place on Chevy Chase Drive in Glendale and shows the driver passing the riders very closely before slamming on their brakes in front of the cyclists. If you listen closely, you can hear the car's tires skidding, indicating enough braking force to engage the car's ABS system.
The cyclists in the video were doing everything correctly, riding towards the right side of the road, but also outside of the door zone. They weren't even moving slowly, as the bike's visible speedometer reads more than 27 MPH before the driver swerves in front.
In California, cyclists are legally allowed to occupy an entire lane of traffic, even in instances where the road is only one lane wide. Remember that Metro ad campaign that said, "Every Lane Is A Bike Lane?" It was plastered all over Metro buses, and they weren't just for decoration.
While the video above takes place in Glendale—a city with statistically some of America's worst drivers—if it had taken place in Los Angeles, the Audi's driver would be subject to the city's Bicycling Anti-Harassment Ordinance.
The ordinance, passed in 2011 at the behest of then Mayor Villaraigosa, states that drivers who pass people on bikes too closely, honk unnecessarily or otherwise behave like the driver in this video are subject to charges like reckless driving, assault and assault with a deadly weapon.