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Villaraigosa Says Cyclists Have Rights on City Streets, but Some Want Actions, Not Words

Fed up with a lack of infrastructure, a group known as the Dept. of DIY put up their own safety signs (read story here) | Photo by SKD's LA Street Scenes via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
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In reaction to a controversial video showing alleged police abuse of cyclists, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa earlier this week released a statement to the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition. "Bicyclists have every right to use our City streets and to be treated with courtesy and respect—both by drivers and law enforcement," he said. "I fully support LAPD Chief Charlie Beck’s efforts to improve the relationship between cyclists and police officers, and I was very disappointed to hear about the confrontation in Hollywood on May 28. The video from that night is disturbing."

While the statement is a nice sentiment, some commenters think Villaraigosa needs to move beyond words and take action. "The mayor’s response is tepid and disappointing," said cyclist, writer and L.A. Bicycle Committee member Joe Linton. "I don’t see any commitment to making the city of L.A. safer for bicyclists. Honorable Mayor Villaraigosa - can you please show some leadership and work to change the culture of L.A. City departments? If you, Mayor Villaraigosa, respect and value bicyclists and you priotitize making L.A. streets safe for vulnerable users, your police, engineers, planners and others will follow your lead… and your vision of L.A. an elegant dense green city will move closer to reality."

Another comment put the Mayor to task. "How many miles of bike lanes will be striped under your leadership next year?" asked Herbie Huff. "How much funding will you dedicate to bicycle and pedestrian projects in the City of LA?"