City Hall has done much to be supportive of bicyclists and their needs insofar as safe riding lanes in the streets, places to lock their bikes and other user-friendly accommodations. The upside of all these policies is that more bicyclists are taking to our streets every day and with all the additional housing units being built the trend of more bikes is going to continue to rise.

With that in mind, I think it is time we consider requiring that all bike riders over the age of 18 pass a biking test and to carry liability insurance similar to that which motor vehicle drivers must carry. Surely the day will come, if it has not already, when a bike rider will be the cause of an accident to either another vehicle or to a pedestrian. Who will pay for that rider’s personal liability? Who will pay to make whole the injured party? If bicyclists want to be treated with respect, then they have to step up to the plate and be ready, willing and able to accept their responsibility to others on the road.

And last but not least, it is time the police department enforce the current laws we have regarding bike riders. Every single day I see bicyclists riding on the sidewalk, running stop signs and red lights, passing through crosswalks with pedestrians in them and just about every other unsafe maneuver one can imagine, all with apparent immunity.

It’s time for a serious conversation.


Jack L. Allen

Santa Monica

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