Private theft of public property

July 26, 2016 § 27 Comments

I just got back from a three-hour meeting of the Rancho Palos Verdes traffic safety committee, where a group of resident numbnuts had thrown together a petition demanding that the city illegally ban cyclists from “their” .7-mile of roadway, and require “permitting” for group rides.

There was so much stupid to wade through that it’s impossible to sum it all up, so I’m just posting my meeting notes.

  • Massive thank you to chair Jessica Vlaco, vice-chair Dave Kramer, and committee members Yi Hwa Kim, Henry Ott, and James Guerin. These people truly define community service and government by the people.
  • Vice-chair Kramer (to city staff): Is it legal to ban bikes from a public roadway? City staff: No. [You’d think that would be the end of it, but noooooo … ]
  • Local Moron #1: It’s dangerous to share the road so we should ban bikes!
  • Local Moron #2: There are many collisions on Crest Rd. East!! [Sheriff Department has records for ZERO collisions there in the last five years.]
  • Local Moron #3: Bikers have to ride so close to the edge of the road which is too narrow and dangerous!!
  • Local Moron #4: All 76 homes in our gated sub-sub-subdivision of Rancho Palos Verdes Estates suffer from hazardous conditions caused by bicycles! There are no other roads up here! They train on weekends! They are hazardous for all! There’s no space! Cars can’t pass but motorists must pass! I almost hit one! There are numerous accidents here! Residents are held responsible for accidents! My friend’s nanny who is on vacation with the family now in Africa and can’t come was in a collision with a biker! The bike struck her car and it was the biker’s fault but he SUED HER!!! [Cf. sheriff’s records of no reported collisions.]
  • Local Moron #5: This is a huge safety issue. I almost hit a cyclist!
  • Local Moron #6: Each resident in our sub-sub-subdivision has at least two vehicles, not to mention our housekeepers, gardeners, nannies, and service worker people. Cyclists endanger all of us!
  • Local Moron #7: There are cyclists who are not polite! They should hurry up!
  • Local Moron #8: I spent an additional half hour getting home because I was stuck behind a peloton! Bikers are like people whose dogs crap on your lawn!
  • Local Moron #9: I’m concerned about safety! Cars are big! It’s a blind corner!
  • Local Moron #10: I’ve lived here 34 years. There have been 5 accidents! It’s out of control!
  • Local Moron #11: I asked the guards to count bikers one weekend! There were 158!
  • Local Moron #12: Some cyclists almost hit me! These are blind turns! There are no bikes on freeways! Public safety requires banning bikes! Many bikes ride four abreast every day it’s why we’re frustrated! City liability! This is an unsafe situation!
  • Local Moron #13: My son almost failed his driver license test because he drove too slowly! And all those Orange outfit riders from Orange County on the Donut Run!

After being subjected to a perfect vacuum of fact and rational thought, the cyclists had their say. Mostly we were amazed at all the hatred, especially since we are the ones getting creamed and killed, not the angry NIMBYs in the sub-sub-subdivision with Palos Verdes Estates envy.

And of course the bikers made out with a few actual facts, such as:

  • Banning bikes is illegal.
  • There are no records of collisions along this deadly stretch of turrble deadly roadway.
  • The law lets bikes take the full lane when it’s too narrow to share with a cager.
  • You can fix this non-problem with sharrows, Bikes May Use the Fuggin’ Lane signage, 3-Feet It’s the Law signage, and citations for scofflaw motorists and cyclists.
  • Anecdotal “deadly cyclist” stuff is crap; if you want to understand the roadway’s safety issues, commission an engineering study.
  • If you’re so concerned about our safety, how come you never reached out to us?
  • We’re not responsible for other riders, just like you’re not responsible for irresponsible cagers.
  • And the best, by far, was Michael B.’s takedown: You people are so dumb and lazy that you didn’t even bother to check the law before you signed a petition demanding that the city violate it. Also, there’s a solution to pesky cyclists and it’s codified: Slow the fugg down.
  • The real issue is out of control cars: 33 drivers have been cited for unsafe driving and not a single cyclist.
  • Lumping all cyclists together is offensive and no different from lumping together people of an ethnic group.
  • Best of all was Dave Kramer’s impassioned speech regarding law and the obligation of drivers to slow down and pass safely. The committee then voted to examine sharrows, BMUFL signage, lower speed limits, and an engineering study as ways to make the scaredy sub-sub-subdivision residents and their nannies feel safer.

Finally, one of the last local morons admitted that what they really wanted to do was to make the public road private and they intended to petition the state to give them the road. Such an amaze-balls power grab was great to see, because it proved what the angry invective suggested all along: The sub-sub-subdivision residents really just wanted to steal public land, perhaps in the hope that the extra square footage would make them feel better about not living in Palos Verdes Estates.

Best of all, putting the total lie to their claim that they were in it for “bicycle safety,” all of the resident maroons left after they’d vented and didn’t stick around for the real item on the agenda, which was approval of a work plan that included development of a bike safety master plan for the entire city. The minute it came to hard work, or cooperation, or understanding the other person’s point of view, or, you know, actual bike safety, they were long gone and venting on Facebag and NextDoor.

Frankly, their departure was awesome because a big contingent of bikers stuck around and requested that a subcommittee be developed for the bike safety master plan that included the voice of local cyclists.

Huge thanks to every cyclist who showed up. Barraclough, Leibert, Duong, Landes, Zwagermann, Cooper, Cooney, Loui, Kempton, Park, Richardson, White, Meyer, Phillips, Robertson, and about half a dozen other names that escape me made the marathon session and spoke up when it counted.



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§ 27 Responses to Private theft of public property

  • dangerstu says:

    Very awesome, congrats.

  • Tom Paterson says:

    So they took their torches and pitchforks and left. Good, sometimes the other side makes it easier for you.

    I wonder how much wine-breath was apparent in this gathering.
    In any case, this sounds like a great place for a sobriety checkpoint.
    Are those legal in California?

    Because I really do care about safety…

  • Dan Lind says:

    These RPV aristocrats certainly put the “e” in entitlement. Thankfully the law (gasp!) is not on their side this time. Thanks for helping to maintain social order for all cyclists, Seth!

    • fsethd says:

      Just add “Estates” for exclusivity and gates.

      • joninsocal says:

        Ha, I loved the comment that they can’t use the bottom gate to enter as its not manned so not secure – its a gated community at the top of RPV not South Central, how secure can you need to be….

  • […] Rancho Palos Verdes Traffic Safety Cmte Refuses To Close Streets To Bikes (Cycling in the South Bay) […]

  • sibex9591 says:

    i see that having an unlucky number of morons is probably where they erred in their attendance logic

  • LesB says:

    I wonder what the numbers are, number of names on petition vs. population of RPV. This may not be a popular movement, most residents may not be so bike-hostile.

  • shano92107 says:

    just reading this made my blood pressure go up, what a bunch of douche guzzlers. I said it before, I’ll say it again – glad you’re on the side of the good guys!

  • Bearclaw says:

    Those who didn’t get to hear Wanky missed some true entertainment. Pure gold. Al out made three hours in a 90 degree room worth it

  • EricW says:

    I’ve now started thinking of the type of person you’re calling morons as newly minted Ronin. That is: knights without masters. The run around defending the castle from enemies real and imagined. That’s great for forest fire fighting. Not so good with public infastructure improvements.

    Seems like bicycle improvements like signage can be seen by them as another of the inevitable attacks on the castle, and they rush to defend. There’s no logic to their position – it’s more of a religious type of thing.

    You may have surprised them this time, but be careful my friend “they will return, and in greater numbers” (Star Wars) and usually with better legal advice, organization and funding.

  • […] Property Owners Try and Ban Bikes on Their Street in Rancho Palos Verdes (PV Cycling) […]

  • Notta Moron says:

    I am a resident of Rancho Palos Verdes Estates. I did not sign the petition that my neighbor was circulating. I wrote the following email to the Traffic Safety Committee:

    “Jul 21, 2016

    Dear Traffic Safety Committee:

    I live in Rancho Palos Verdes Estates, the community that is at the very top of Crest Road in Rancho Palos Verdes. One of my neighbors has circulated a petition seeking to ban cyclists from a portion of Crest Road that approaches my neighborhood (above Ganado Dr.) I did not sign the petition and I oppose the proposed ban. I believe that this item may be on your July 25 agenda.

    I am not a cyclist, but I enjoy the fact that our beautiful peninsula is a place where cyclists want to come to pursue their healthy source of recreation and exercise. Cyclists have every right to use the portion of Crest Road in question, just as they have a right to use other public roads. As for the danger element, other portions of PV Drive that are a single lane are far more dangerous than the portion of Crest Road in question.

    I find cyclists generally to be respectful and courteous — far more courteous than many of the drivers of motor vehicles in my area. If there are cyclists who violate the law, they should be cited. But to ban all based on the actions of a few is not the answer. (I also question whether it is constitutional.)

    Thank you.”

    So, not all residents of RPVE are aristocrats or morons. At least one of us actually likes the cyclists.

    Notta Moron

    • fsethd says:

      You are awesome! I’m an RPV resident, too, but can’t definitively exclude myself from one of those two groups.

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