Car-Happy LA Proves Hostile Terrain for Bicyclists

Many who bike to work find a not-so-friendly attitude from drivers
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2008 3:49 PM CDT
Car-Happy LA Proves Hostile Terrain for Bicyclists
Bicycle activist Matthew Simmons rides his bike in front of Los Angeles City Hall as he takes part in the Saving LA Project rally Monday July 14, 2008.    (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

Bicycling to work can be hazardous—and tiring—just about anywhere. Now imagine biking to work in Los Angeles, probably the country’s most car-dependent city. As more pump-pained commuters turn to biking, they’re discovering that many motorists aren’t well versed in sharing, the Wall Street Journal reports. "Drivers scream at me to get off the road," one bicyclist says.

LA is short on bike infrastructure, and clashes between cyclists and drivers can turn ugly: police are currently investigating a road-rage encounter that left two bikers severely injured. Still, some savvy bicyclists are fighting back with defensive-riding classes and mass freeway takeovers. "When we're used to seeing more cyclists, we will treat them better,” the manager of LA’s municipal bike program says. (More bicycling stories.)

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