The transition from LA's car culture to a city utilizing a mishmash of bikes, buses, and autos promises to be bumpy. On July 4, a disastrous accident on Brentwood's Mandeville Canyon Road sent two cyclists to the hospital with serious injuries. The bikers claim a driver, Brentwood doctor Christopher Thomas Thompson, stopped suddenly in front of them on purpose. On Saturday, the Los Angeles Times broke the news that the doctor was allegedly involved in a previous "road rage" incident with bikers. Westside city councilman Bill Rosendahl scheduled a meeting tonight to address biking and safety, but that was abruptly canceled because, as a Rosendahl press release states, "In response to escalating tensions over a July 4 incident that sent two cyclists to the hospital, Councilmember Bill Rosendahl is replacing a public Town Hall meeting with a task force on how cyclists and residents can better and more safely share Mandeville Canyon Road." Residents were worried the meeting could get out of hand. As part of the task force, four cycling clubs, the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee, the LA Department of Transportation, and the LAPD are coming up with proposals to make it safer for both drivers and cyclists on Mandeville Canyon. UPDATE: According to bicycle.net, Thompson has been arraigned and charged today. Six felonies. More after jump.
He's being charged with six felonies that could land the 59-year-old emergency physician in state prison for up to 7 years, 8 months, in addition to revocation of his medical license. More after jump. Felony charges below (the doctor is being charged twice for each because of the two bicyclists, one of whom had a detached nose from the accident):
1. Reckless Driving Causing Injury
2. Inflicting Gross Bodily Injury
3. Battery Causing Serious Injury
MONDAY’S PUBLIC FORUM ON CYCLING ON MANDEVILLE CANYON ROAD IS CANCELLED
Rosendahl to Form Task Force of Residents, Cyclists and City Staff
LOS ANGELES - In response to escalating tensions over a July 4 incident that sent two cyclists to the hospital, Councilmember Bill Rosendahl is replacing a public Town Hall meeting with a task force on how cyclists and residents can better and more safely share Mandeville Canyon Road.
“At the request of the residents and of the cyclists who use Mandeville Canyon Road, I have decided that a more focused, deliberative task force will achieve my goal of bringing the relevant people together to discuss ideas and proposals for everyone to share this narrow canyon roadway,” Rosendahl said.
Over the past few days, officials with homeowner associations and the bicycling clubs that train on the winding, 5-mile stretch of road expressed concern that the tenor of media coverage and of blog posts would make a Monday public meeting counter-productive. Many said they worried the issue had become larger than the specific issues of Mandeville Canyon
“While I always prefer more public dialogue and welcome it even now,” Rosendahl said, “I appreciate the views and concerns of the residents and cyclists most involved in this issue and most familiar with this road.'
The Town Hall meeting had been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. July 14 at the Felicia Mahood Multipurpose Center in West Los Angeles
Instead, Rosendahl said he would convene a task force of representatives of the three Mandeville Canyon homeowners associations, the four cycling clubs that regularly train there, the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and his staff. The group will develop proposals to address issues of safety, personal and public rights, and civic responsibility – among both cyclists and residents of Mandeville Canyon.
Rosendahl said he hoped the more global issues of road-sharing between cyclists and motorists throughout Los Angeles would get a more thorough airing in a more appropriate, citywide venue. He noted he and several colleagues last week introduced a motion endorsing the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights.
“When the Transportation Committee and the City Council take up that issue, I think it will be an exceptional opportunity to begin a citywide education campaign about the rights of cyclists and the need for everyone to share the road. We’re all stuck in gridlock in Los Angeles, and we need to voice our frustration at the lack of a sensible transit system, and not at each other.
Rosendahl said he also welcomes any feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Mandeville Canyon photo from leanbean via flickr]
· Driver charged in bike crash investigated for previous incident [LA Times]
· Sweet sharrows! Bike-friendly moves suggested [Curbed LA]