Many people have opinions on what to do about the traffic safety problems for bicycle riders in Los Angeles. However, the most important voices in this debate may be riders themselves.
People who regularly ride on the streets of L.A. are the ones who best understand the state of the infrastructure and how drivers tend to react when they encounter someone on a bike. Thus, they may have the most effective and practical suggestions for reducing serious injury and death in bicycle accidents.
Safety improvement ideas from actual bike riders
Recently, the Los Angeles Times published a series of letters to the editor reacting to a column that addressed traffic safety in the city. Among their suggestions:
- Design streets to discourage speeding. Instead of wide, straight roads, include curves, overhanging trees and other features that force drivers to slow down and pay attention.
- Install speed cameras that automatically detect speeding vehicles and issue citations to the vehicle owner. This would increase the enforcement of speeding laws and encourage drivers to stick to the posted speed limit.
- Increase enforcement of other traffic laws, especially the ones targeting distracted drivers.
- Consider adding speed bumps at some crosswalks.
Besides these ideas, many bike safety advocates have called for L.A. officials to extend bike lanes onto more streets, separate those lanes from vehicle traffic with barriers, and other suggestions.
Until L.A. is a safe biking city…
A commitment from city and state officials to improving rider safety and reducing serious bike accidents would be welcome. Until that happens, L.A. riders will have to deal with dangerous, reckless and negligent motorists. Despite their best efforts, some riders will continue to suffer serious injuries. Personal injury attorneys are available to help injured riders seek rightful compensation from the insurance company.