For several weeks I have been trying to call the Santa Monica Police Department’s attention to the menace of sidewalk bicyclists on Ocean Park Boulevard. I often do my 3-mile daily walk on the stretch from 17th Street to 31st Street and back, and can bear witness to the fact that this crowd is completely oblivious to pedestrians.
So far, I have taken the following actions:
1. I phoned in complaints directly from my walk, was given the number of the dispatch desk, and called about three sidewalk cyclists in a four-block stretch right after that. Of course, by the time a patrol car might have arrived (I never saw one) the cyclists were long gone.
2. I flagged down a policewoman in a cruiser in the business park and asked her to go after a cyclist who had just almost sideswiped me.
3. I sent a letter of complaint earlier this week to our neighborhood resource officer.
The one thing that seemed to work was a guy on a bullhorn, whom I did not see, so cannot say if he was SMPD or a private citizen with a megaphone. Around 29th Street several weeks ago, a fellow riding on the sidewalk was told to get off the sidewalk and into the bike lane by this very commendable — and loud — citizen. Guess what? The embarrassment worked, and the cyclist did as he was told.
My hope is that the department will put a few police on the side streets for a couple of weeks who will write citations every time they see a person riding on the pavement. While this might represent an expense to the department, it would be far better than even one injured walker.