Bike Paths: Safe or Sorry? Los Angeles City

People injured on Bike Paths are being cheated out of the protections available to all Californians who are hurt on a public road, sidewalk or bike lane due to the negligence of a municipality.

•••

Released February 19, 2007 by CABO

People injured on Bike Paths are being cheated out of the protections available to all Californians who are hurt on a public road, sidewalk or bike lane due to the negligence of a municipality. The public has been led to believe that Bike Paths (Class 1 bikeway transportation routes, paved and separated from car traffic) are built with safety in mind partly because California Highway Code establishes minimum safety standards for Bike Paths. But the reality is that municipalities such as the City of Los Angeles are hiding from their responsibility behind a claim that Bike Paths built for transportation are the same as unpaved trails opened for recreation. People are being baited by the promise of a safe Bike Path, but switched to the “ride at your own risk” exposure of an undeveloped trail.

The cycling community is fighting back. California bicyclists and three of the largest cycling organizations in the country, the California Association of Bicycling Organizations (CABO), the California Bicycle Coalition (CBC), and the national League of American Bicyclists (LAB) have rallied to bring an appeal of current court precedent. The appellate briefs in the appeal, Prokop v. City of Los Angeles et al have been filed with the California Court of Appeal. Oral argument in this case, Case: B184025 2nd District, Division 8, is scheduled for February 28, 2007 at the California Court of Appeal, Los Angeles.

The appellate briefs, two amicus curiae briefs submitted by the cycling community that were rejected by the courts without explanation, and other background information are available at www.cabobike.org/Prokop.htm.

 Contacts

The following individuals are recommended and available regarding this appeal:

* John Forester, America's preeminent cycling engineer – 619-644-5481

* Jim Baross, CABO President – 619-280-6908; cell 619-980-5752

* Alan Wachtel, CABO Government Relations Chair – 650-494-7520

* Amanda Eichstaedt, LAB, President & West Coast Representative – 415-663-1777. Karen Coffin-Brant, Esq., appellate attorney for the plaintiff, can be reached at 661-964-7880.

Contributions to the legal defense fund, “Returning Standards of Care to Bike Paths” may be sent to:  CABO c/o Alan Forkosh, 33 Moss Ave #204, Oakland, CA 94610.