In a couple of posts, we’ve discussed the tragic death of a 77-year-old avid cyclist this spring by a drunk driver and the temporary closure of a section of the road that has attracted speeding vehicles. In July, a section of Griffith Park Drive that runs between the railway museum and the composting facility (about 2/3 of a mile) was closed as part of a pilot program to improve safety not just for cyclists, but for pedestrians and those on horseback.
Now the Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners has unanimously decided to make that closure permanent. L.A. City Councilmember Nithya Raman, whose office worked with the Department of Recreation and Parks, commended the “lightning speed” at which this was done and the “outpouring of support from the community.”
One of a “series of transit improvements”
She noted that this closure is just one of a “series of transit improvements” that she has recommended based on a study she commissioned. Her district includes Griffith Park. Other recommendations include lowering speed limits and better protecting bike lanes and crosswalks.
As one of the largest urban parks in the U.S., Griffith Park cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians have long had to deal with drivers cutting through the park to escape traffic jams on the freeways that run alongside it. It’s been estimated that some 8,500 vehicles drive somewhere in the park daily.
The head of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition applauded the unanimous vote, saying, “The decision to reduce the number of vehicles speeding through the park is a good step toward preventing the next needless traffic violence tragedy.”
While it’s important to have areas like this where cyclists can ride without fear of being struck by a negligent or reckless driver, it’s hard to confine your rides only to these select areas. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a crash with a driver, it’s essential to get the compensation you need for medical bills and other expenses. Don’t agree to a settlement until you know it will cover everything you’ll be dealing with. Having experienced legal guidance can help.