In the continuing saga of my incorrect citation the BIG news is that there is no big news. The great silence. After a few days of optimism that something would be done (receiving emails from various public officials), that THIS could be the great defining moment in Long Beach where law enforcement and bicycle advocates could work together....Nothing.
I've been assured that "something" would be done. But what? And why am I not involved in the middle of that "something"?
I have some ideas. No one asks me what they are. Even when I volunteer them, which I do often, what comes of it?
And this is what is really bothersome to me. I might as well just say it. How is it that the city can mobilize and allocate resources so quickly to have the Long Beach Bike Festival, but not do the same to address bikes and law enforcement when the latter would have a much more PROFOUND affect on the city in terms of being bicycle friendly?
Don't get me wrong, I like to watch a bike race as much as the next guy, but I'm skeptical as to how "aware" it made people of bikes in the city. It made them aware that they could race on a closed course or do skids down the street, but for me, it felt like there was a real lack in any "hey man, cyclists are people too and they're not doing anything wrong so lay off the horn." It made them aware, perhaps, of the new bike lanes and bike infrastructure, but it certainly didn't make anyone aware of the cyclists MOST BASIC RIGHT to ride on the street lawfully.
I wish the city would show as much verve and enthusiasm towards these more fundamentally important ( and admittedly less sexy) issues as they do to things such as festivals and races.
I could be wrong. It might be the fact that while watching the racers gracefully swoop around the corners with ease and aplomb, a few spectators had a thought, nay, a quasi-religious moment thinking, "watching this race has affirmed in me the belief that cyclists do indeed have a legal right to the roadway that should be respected. I should treat them with the common courtesy as is due any other roadway user....OUCH! Dude did you see that crash! He totally ate shit!" And maybe, there were several spectators that had this epiphany despite the distracting carnage on turn 6, but I can assure you that the officer that ticketed me last week was not among the converted.