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Thread Box:
Festival of RIGHTS
Thread started by SoapBoxLA at 12.1.09 - 2:38 pm

The DWP's 14th Annual Griffith Park Festival of Lights is upon us and apart from the token "Bike-Night" preview night, cyclists simply aren't welcome.

The Festival is currently open to pedestrians, equestrians and even our canine friends but as for cyclists, the bike parking at the perimeter is all we get. On December 18th it opens to the motor-vehicle crowd.

And that's when we ride!

On Monday, December 18th, we adorn ourselves in the appropriate holiday decorations and ride in ritual protest, sharing holiday goodwill and cheer with the motorists who find themselves trapped in the awe-inspiring gridlock that is most certainly one of the best reasons to ask Santa for a new Bicycle.

“Festival of Rights” - December 18 - meet at the Mulholland Fountain at the SW corner of Los Feliz Boulevard and Crystal Springs/Riverside Drive at 6:00 p.m. and ride @ 7:00 pm. (3700 Los Feliz Blvd. LA, CA 90027)


reply


The DWP website is very confusing. There is a bike night.. and then they invite bikes to come for a "vehicle free" half hour and then in the next paragraph "vehicle free" seems to mean no bikes. (we are vehicles after all) but horses are welcome all the time? What the fuck?

Kick-Off Preview Bike Night

Thursday, December 3, 2009
A preview Bike Night will be held for experienced and novice riders to come and enjoy the festival in a vehicle free activity just for bike riders. Enjoy the festival from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. We will kick-off the holiday season at 5:00 p.m. with our official festival launch and then all visitors can ride the festival on their bicycles.

Bike Riders
Come enjoy the festival "vehicle free" monday December 21 and 28 from 5:00p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

A “Vehicle Free” Celebration
To demonstrate our continuing commitment to a “greener” LA, the Holiday Light Festival will be a pedestrian only and “vehicle free” event from December 4 - 17. Visitors may park at the L.A. Zoo parking lot. Parking will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Walkers are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and to dress warmly to walk the full one-mile route each way. It is also recommended that walkers have outerwear, as it can get chilly. Shuttles will assist in bringing guests from the remote parking lots to the route entrance.



frumble
12.1.09 - 3:15 pm

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They should completely restrict vehicles all together. one side of the street for bikes the other side for pedestrians.





Foldie
responding to a comment by frumble
12.1.09 - 3:18 pm

reply






Joe Borfo
12.1.09 - 3:19 pm

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That's exactly what they should do. And allow maybe one car day for the handicapped.



toweliesbong
responding to a comment by Foldie
12.1.09 - 3:35 pm

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I'm with Foldie and Towlie.

My ex wife was responsible for the first bike night when ever that was. '04 or '05. I don't remember exactly. She's amazed they're still doing it.




frumble
responding to a comment by toweliesbong
12.3.09 - 2:22 pm

reply


from the website :

http://www.dwplightfestival.com/2009/html/Events.htm

Kick-Off Preview Bike Night

Thursday, December 3, 2009
A preview Bike Night will be held for experienced and novice riders to come and enjoy the festival in a vehicle free activity just for bike riders. Enjoy the festival from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. We will kick-off the holiday season at 5:00 p.m. with our official festival launch and then all visitors can ride the festival on their bicycles.


So WTF can I ride my damn bike through the damn festival or not ? The last sentence claims I can .. I think i can I think i can



Sicckmind
responding to a comment by frumble
12.3.09 - 2:40 pm

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You can definatly ride tonight. From my interpretation of their cryptic schedule, it is going to be pedestrian only from the 4 -17, so I think you will not be able to then. Starting the 18th they let smog machines create traffic and fumes, but it is up to debate and thus I think a good idea for the festival of rights for Bikes. It seems they have added 1/2 blocks (from 5pm to 5:30pm)on the 21st and the 28th to enjoy vehicle free also which is pathetic.

Horses get to use the walking path some days.



Foldie
responding to a comment by Sicckmind
12.3.09 - 2:52 pm

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Should be Friday (not Monday) December 18th, right?



dudeonabike
12.4.09 - 3:23 pm

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Kindly disregard my last post--the good organizers have made it all good. Onward!



dudeonabike
12.4.09 - 3:34 pm

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Sorry, I've had trouble syncing my Mayan calendar w/google. I bet people w/iPhone have a Mayan app for this.



SoapBoxLA
12.4.09 - 10:45 pm

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looking forward to this great ride!



indigis
12.15.09 - 6:07 pm

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Not thread jacking....but the Ride With No Name is a few hours after this ride...maybe some of you can come out for the ride afterwards....

cool. ride on!



barleye
12.15.09 - 6:09 pm

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I want to do both rides and it looks like we can. If there are a lot of us trying to catch RWNN can we call to hold up for a few minutes if we're running late?



mk4524
responding to a comment by barleye
12.17.09 - 1:10 pm

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I'm going to be riding from NELA near the flying pigeon.

If anyone is interested call me at 626 502 8659

Meeting at the pigeon at 530 and riding out at 6pm sharp to meet up w/ stephen



fob
12.17.09 - 3:48 pm

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Can't wait!!



Hipsta817
12.17.09 - 3:55 pm

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dress warm!



SoapBoxLA
12.18.09 - 12:34 pm

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So is this tonight or Monday? I can't go tonight but I could go Monday.



outerspace
12.18.09 - 2:22 pm

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It is tonight.....



Foldie
responding to a comment by outerspace
12.18.09 - 2:32 pm

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Should be plenty of time to make RWNN after a run or two through the festival (we won't be stuck in traffic). There's also the possibility of drinks at the Bigfoot Lodge if you're not feeling so ambitious.



angle
12.18.09 - 4:13 pm

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I'm surprised that the official bike night still exists...when we attended it there weren't nearly the amount of people on bikes I was expecting. With all the commotion and talk about more time for bikes to come out to the light show...well frankly if that night is the stats they are going off of...it hardly seems necessary. Now if there were 500 riders lined up to see the lights...someone might take notice.



TheJen
responding to a comment by frumble
12.18.09 - 4:19 pm

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For the purpose of this ride, the message is more about equality than demand. If "vehicles" are allowed on the street, that includes bicycles.

Besides, how will the people stuck in their cars see that a bicycle is a much better way to see the lights if nobody shows them?



angle
responding to a comment by TheJen
12.18.09 - 5:27 pm

reply


Besides, how will the people stuck in their cars see that a bicycle is a much better way to see the lights if nobody shows them?

SO TRUE!



oodlesofpoodles
responding to a comment by angle
12.18.09 - 6:07 pm

reply


Oh yes...being swarmed by Midnight Ridazz while stuck in their cars is always persuasive! Yes I'm being sarcastic...you aren't proving anything to anyone by doing this. You aren't winning any arguments...



TheJen
responding to a comment by angle
12.18.09 - 9:10 pm

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There is little a cyclist can do to impede a parked car. The Griffith Park Festival of Lights was bumper to bumper all the way out to Los Feliz and over the freeway. It's eco-nightmare excluding cyclists on vehicle nights is simply unnacceptable.

Forget about the Festival and consider that the restriction of cyclists chips away at access and other communities have made moves to restrict cyclists "for their own good." Palos Verdes, Culver City and Pasadena all made moves to resrict cyclists on specific streets that were still open to motor vehicles. They all three lost.

It's not about the safety of cyclists, it about getting cyclists out of the way in order to move more cars sand it comes at the expense of your rights.

That being said, we had a great time tonight and I am sure that those in motor vehicles (except for Smokey and his assistants) enjoyed seeing us, after all, they howled, they wished us well and they honked. (In a good way!)

Happy Holidays!



SoapBoxLA
12.18.09 - 11:07 pm

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TheJen, I think you're completely wrong about the "Festival of Rights" ride. You couldn't ask for a more persuasive argument why biking could be better than driving.

Here's how the ride went: A group of about 50 cyclists rode along Crystal Springs Drive and through the light displays at a moderate pace (taking about 20 minutes or so total) while people in their cars idled for 90 minutes to 2 hours in gridlock before they got anywhere near the lights. Some drivers cheered as we rolled past; countless bored kids leaned out of open car windows yelling "happy holidays!" at us and pedestrians waved at us from the dirt path opposite the displays. Not like a swarm at all; in fact, the only negative reaction we got (as far as I'm aware) was from general services police officers who cited "safety concerns".

By the time a small group of us got back to Los Feliz and Riverside (9:20 p.m.), park officials were attempting to close down Crystal Springs Drive, as the "Festival of Taillights" was beginning to back up traffic on the freeway. This apparently just pissed some drivers off, as they honked and swerved to get past the cones, or blocked traffic on Los Feliz to insure they got a spot in line. One car nearly ran down down a traffic guard; a few others decided to bail out of the whole mess, with sudden, screeching U-turns.

Creating a massive traffic jam for the DWP Festival of Lights is a supreme clusterfuck for the neighborhood and the environment, not to mention that it's completely unnecessary. And we all know that it's far safer for cyclists to ride through the light festival than it is to ride on any other major street in the city, so the "safety" argument for banning bikes doesn't hold water, even if it were legal to do so.

Bottom line: Anyone stuck in that traffic nightmare, seeing cyclists ride past, would have to be brain-dead not to think "I wish I rode a bike here, too".



angle
responding to a comment by TheJen
12.19.09 - 12:29 am

reply


Though they might not have expected things to be as crowded as they were in this case, I might argue that anyone who willingly sticks themselves in traffic for two hours is brain-dead to begin with. ;p



outerspace
responding to a comment by angle
12.19.09 - 2:39 am

reply


I deliberately avoid the "bike night".
Its a token gesture so they can justifying bike on the other nights.
I've rolled the light show solo with no problems.
I agree with others that its of 0 inconvenience to cars for any number of bikes to roll through and most all of them enjoy another site to see.

I couldn't make to to the festival of rights this year (3rd annual?) but I was there in spirit.
The times that I have ridden it alone nobody said anything and nobody tried to stop me.

And why should they. Its perfectly safe, it harms nobody.
Of all the disobedient bike actions this one really is a win win for everybody.

Thanks for keeping this holiday tradition going SoapBox.

Ride On.



trickmilla
responding to a comment by TheJen
12.19.09 - 2:50 am

reply


I'm not sure how persuasive our argument was especially if the drivers realized they had shut down an entire lane for us while we rode through. It really made us part of a privileged class for a change as we rode through an open lane unimpeded. It just didn't seem the same this year because of that.

As we rode past the cars with small children, I looked at our group. Not one rider had small children with them as opposed to the cars. To me, there wasn't much persuasive about our argment. Our stament to me seemed to be that without children, it's easy to ride a bike. I think if we want to be more persuasive, next year, we should have 50 riders with small children to show drivers it can be done.

If my children were the same age as TheJen's, I'm not so sure I'd put them on bikes and have them ride through a mix a car traffic. When my children were younger, it wasn't their technical ability to ride a bike that was the issue, it was the judgement they had that was developmentally appropriate for their age that made me reluctant to have them ride through heavy traffic. So I don't agree with the bottom line. If I were a driver with small children in my car, I wouldn't be thinking about wishing I rode a bike here.

As a ride, it was fun. As a statement to the drivers, I'm not so sure. I hate to admit this but the Park did clear a lane to accommodate us as we rode through. I'm guessing they did it in the interest of safety but I have to grudgingly appreciate that gesture.




mk4524
responding to a comment by angle
12.19.09 - 7:34 am

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I bike through crystal springs on a regular basis and I was there during the bike night... it was actually pretty cool to see no cars out there and since my niece lives near by I went to pick her up and we biked through it a couple of times... what i did like was that there were many families out there with kids so it can be done... the down side was that it was one of those really cold nights... i hope that is the reason why more cyclists did not show up because like someone mentioned... with all the cyclists in Los Angeles, it was still a small gathering of families on bicycles...



dayone
12.19.09 - 8:16 am

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Per the State Law, CVC 21200 . (a) Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division.

A bicycle rider has "rights" not "privileges" as car drivers are given. Yet when you exercise your rights, it becomes apparent that those rights can be revoked at anytime.

This really smacks of discriminatory practices that are akin to racism. So once you hop on a bike you are second-class citizen? Thanks for riding last night. Thanks for exerting your rights. One day bicycle riders will truly be equal, instead of being judged by what's between their legs.



urbanpedal
12.19.09 - 8:53 am

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There was an unusual situation that hasn't been mentioned... At the meet up place there were two police bicyclists there waiting for us and tailed the ride throughout. There WAS a cleared lane for us when we rode through which was immediately repopulated with cars after we left.

Either the police are perusing this board in order to be prepared for their action or they've learned from the last two years to expect us... not likely as the blocking of 50% of the lanes is a pretty radical play to do on a hunch.

I also want to thank SoapBoxLA for organizing. And amazingly, successfully arguing with the police his case for allowing the cyclists to return via the way they came. I just did the fast and easy loophole way, walked my bike as a pedestrian for 10 yards past the police roadblock, then hopped on and pedaled back without incident.





indigis
12.19.09 - 10:22 am

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Thank Mike...I certainly wouldn't take the boys out on a car night...that would be irresponsible of me. There were plenty of kids out on the official bike night...there could have been more. I would prefer to see 500 plus bikes and many with kids or kids in trailers and media promoting the bike night as to promote more bike nights vs cars and bikes mixing. I've walked the lights on a car night...gross! The exhaust was horrible. And frankly you never know who is in one of those cars...who may get aggravated by the people on bikes...I'm glad it seems that the night was mostly without incident. Even IF there was a lane for bikes I'd rather not ride with the cars.



TheJen
responding to a comment by mk4524
12.19.09 - 10:24 am

reply


Here is a write up of last nights ride and two videos are also included.

Thanks to all who came and stood strong with us to exercise our rights to the streets of LA! Especially to DJ Chickenleather, angle and Dan (?) for standing by until Stephen was "released".



illuminateLA
12.19.09 - 11:11 am

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I understand your point about children riding through the festival, and I agree that there's a safety issue. It does seem to me, however, that the way a lane was cordoned off for cyclists this year (which no one asked for, and was not necessary), it would be safe enough for all but very young children to use.

The way to solve the problem is to stage the festival as a pedestrian event. I have heard about many similar holiday festivals that are put on all over the country (in much colder places, I might add), and they are exclusively walkthroughs. None of them feature the obscene spectacle of an epic, intentionally-created traffic jam. There is absolutely no excuse for the waste and chaos that the auto-dominated DWP Festival of Lights causes every year. None.

As it stands now, though, cars are allowed through the festival for a period of time, so bikes must be allowed to be part of the traffic, just as on any other street in the city, per the California Vehicle Code. Much has been said on that subject already, but the takeaway is that the drive-through Festival of Lights and cyclists' rights are really two separate issues that have, unfortunately, gotten mixed up together.

I still think that when drivers see bicycles riding through the light festival (or on any road in the city, for that matter) it can make them question why it's commonly accepted that it is necessary to drive everywhere; that there's no alternative to the lifestyle that they currently lead. It's obvious to me that many people are stuck in their beliefs and simply seeing bicycles being used for transportation can have an effect.



angle
responding to a comment by mk4524
12.19.09 - 11:23 am

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Lest we forget...

Crystal Springs is a small road through a large urban wilderness park. It's a park.

The street through the Light Festival is single laned with bike lanes on each side and a large dirt trail for pedestrians, dogwalkers and equestrians. Lot's of room for everybody!

Until the LADOT takes the bike lanes and decommissions them to make another vehicle lane, prohibiting cyclists from Crystal Springs for the duration of the Festival.

It's odd that Sgt. Kilpatrick warned me against "inciting" the cyclists to "break the law" when the its operators of the Festival of Lights who "incite" motorists to do something completely insane that disrupts traffic in the park, in the surrounding community and on the freeway all the way back to the 134.





SoapBoxLA
12.19.09 - 12:24 pm

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A little wright up



buckchin
12.21.09 - 4:02 pm

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Check this one:

"RT @ACTOUT - Thank you L.J. Williamson from @LATimes for writing about this event! "L.A.'s bike-unfriendly festival" "http://bit.ly/5xlZw6,/a>



Joe Borfo
responding to a comment by buckchin
12.21.09 - 4:07 pm

reply


coming from the bike path by the 5 last night, i went through part of the festival of headlights preceding the festival of lights itself, so much smog! *cooough!* i would not want to ride through there along with all of those cars unless i had a gas mask...



natefrogg
12.21.09 - 7:33 pm

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I was driving on the i-5 south around 7:45pm. About a mile away from the i-5/glendale freeway interchange things got back up. I got past Los Feliz blvd around 8:20pm..

As a driver I would like to thank DWP and the city of LA for this gift of backing up traffic for 35 minutes for me. Them politician really know what to give the city that has traffic has the number 1 issue a real gift this holiday season.



sexy
12.21.09 - 10:07 pm

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