Dying for fun and profit

December 14, 2016 § 21 Comments

The whole idea of a die-in to protest the lame Palos Verdes Estates city council’s refusal to plant five bikes-may-use-full-lane signs seemed like a great idea at the time.

But there I was, lying in the formerly warm grass, breathing in the sweet scent of my youth, when some bug crawled up my nose. I was just about to scratch it when up came the photographer. Play dead or scratch? Scratch or play dead?

The photog clicked and walked on. Then I scratched like hell. I guess the press was worth it … we got a nice write-up here and then again here. And the battlefield kind of looked like this:


The best part was watching the six body-armored, body-cammed PVE police milling around as if a bunch of prostrate old people might erupt at any moment into a mob of hobbling geezers intent on fomenting insurrection. As I lay dying, or rather dead, I heard lots of encouraging honks from passing motorists, and the protesters holding up signs reported countless thumbs-up, but frankly, being dead sucks and after 45 minutes I was ready to start living again.

We went over to the city council meeting with a sizable contingent of about twenty people and spoke our allotted time telling the city what we’ve been telling them for a long time now: BMUFL signs are legal and a great step in improving roadway safety. Mayor King glowered and the council grumpily listened to speaker after speaker castigate them for their hypocrisy and bad behavior.

However, it was easy to see that the city council wasn’t going to be swayed by a couple dozen fake dead people and declamations at the lectern. As with their capitulation to those who engineered the dismantling of the Lunada Bay Boys’ fort and masturbatorium, the only things that are going to make this city council change its tune are:

  1. Relentlessly bad media.
  2. Litigation.

The litigation part is of course coming, and it is going to hit like a tidal wave in the form of some biker who gets hit and killed or catastrophically injured. The biker will hire a lawyer and the lawyer will sue the city for its negligently dangerous road design. The city will have been shown to be on notice due to the minutes and video of the council meeting refusing the recommendations of its engineer and traffic safety committee, and part of the multi-million dollar settlement will include installation of the signs.

All it’s going to take is another dead cyclist or two. Real ones.



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§ 21 Responses to Dying for fun and profit

  • Dan says:

    If only we knew a lawyer with an interest in cycling issues in, say, Torrence.

    • fsethd says:

      I’ll keep my eye out.

    • Rob says:

      Is it that they aren’t putting up the signs ever or are they waiting for the completion of this traffic safety study or whatever? Sorry if I’m out of the loop but I only vaguely follow this lack of signage travesty thru this blog.

      • fsethd says:

        They’re waiting for the completion of the traffic study that hasn’t been funded, signed off on, or given a deadline for.

  • Rob says:

    So is there any telling of if they’ve even STARTED this study? Or is it going to be a case of some innocent cyclist getting hurt or worse KILLED again before they get their shit together and put up some signs to educate and protect the public? Hopefully it doesn’t come to that. I just don’t think 5 signs are enough. There needs to be a nationwide media campaign similar to what MADD did back in the day concerning .10 and all that. Too many motorists just tool along 10 mph over the speed limit thinking bicycles have no business being on the road.
    AUGGHH!!! I’m just a little frustrated, had a little close call southbound on PV Dr N toward Rolling Hills Rd while I was properly in the bike lane today that I think some proper signage would have helped.
    Peace, man, keep up the good fight!

  • Dan says:

    Not my area of law, but I wonder if it might be helpful to politely suggest to the council that under Government Code section 835, subd. (b), the city may be liable for the next cyclist injury since the city will have had “actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition under section 835.2 a sufficient time prior to the injury to have taken measures to protect against the dangerous condition.”

    But you have probably already considered and discarded this notion or already made the suggestion.

    • fsethd says:

      We’ve pointed it out repeatedly. They shrug and roll their eyes.

      • Waldo says:

        This has gone beyond negligence; it’s now recklessness. And some creative plaintiffs’ lawyer (roll eyes) will argue intentional malicious conduct by the city. Can you say: “punitive damages?”

  • Waldo says:

    I looked it up, masturbatorium is in the Urban Dictionary.

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