Mandeville Task Force was attended by close to 30
participants including representatives from the three
home owners groups, cyclists representing Velo Club
La Grange, South Bay Wheelmen, Team Helens and others,
city bikeways staff, LACBC and BAC reps, local police
officers including the local captain, a representative
from the city prosecutor's office, a Public Works
commissioner, a criminal psychologist and of course
Councilman Rosendahl and staff. I apologize that I
did not keep good notes on the names of the participants.
immediately made it clear that the Task Force was
not a substitute for a town hall meeting on the larger
issue of tensions between cyclists and motorists.
He plans to convene a meeting of that nature in the
fall, where all will be invited including the media.
Tonight's meeting, however, was to focus on the situation
on Mandeville Canyon, though it was anticipated that
some of what comes out of this group could inform
the citywide debate. Elaborating on what he stated
in the meeting announcement, Rosendahl said participants
on both sides of the issue expressed concerns that
a large meeting would be chaotic, encourage the media
to focus on polarizing viewpoints and not be productive.
Judging from the generally constructive outcome of
this initial meeting, this seems like a wise choice.
The Councilman remained for the entire meeting and
provided a firm hand when needed to keep the discussions
introductions, Councilman Rosendahl got the discussion
started by giving participants the opportunity to
express their views and concerns. The tone of the
comments was respectful and constructive. Both of
the homeowners' groups and La Grange distributed handouts
that summarized their concerns and suggestions.
acknowledged that the road has clear recreational
value and should remain open for a variety of uses.
They pointed out that it is, however, the neighborhood
they live in, is narrow and needs maintenance. Their
concerns about cyclists focused on the behavior of
those who don't follow the rules, who speed, ride
two abreast, blow through stop signs, are noisy in
early morning hours, use coarse, aggressive language
towards motorists who encounter them and the hazards
that silent, speeding cyclists present to pedestrians.
stressed their desire to find solutions that will
allow them to continue to use the road safely and
with courtesy towards residents. They pointed out
that they have made efforts in the past to work with
the homeowners groups to address issues in the canyon,
but these efforts have not been consistent enough
to have much effect. Representatives from the riding
clubs admitted that there are a few cyclists who exhibit
bad behavior, but that these are far outnumbered by
those who make an effort to be courteous and safe.
They cited a major concern with speeding motorists,
some of whom make dangerous passing maneuvers to overtake
cyclists who are traveling at or near the speed limit,
and some who drive aggressively around cyclists. There
was widespread acknowledgment that the road surface
is in such poor condition that this often forces cyclists
to ride farther into the road. Sometimes trash containers
are placed where they force cyclists towards the center
Councilman then asked the two sides to separate and
caucus amongst themselves to identify their primary
concerns and take a stab at finding solutions. When
they returned, the homeowners group listed their primary
of accountability, ie, cyclists are anonymous and
problem riders can't be identified. Their proposed
solution was some form of license plate that cyclist
would be required to display. This idea was ruled
impractical because it would require statewide legislation
to enable it.
of adherence to laws.
who are unaware that motorists are near them and
don't move over to allow them to pass.
cyclist group identified these issues:
need for safe interactions between cyclists and
motorists. Aggressive driving can prove deadly to
of understanding about how driver behavior affects
the safety of cyclists and how to drive safely around
The need for repair of poor road surface conditions.
bike riders then identified these strategies for addressing
Create guidelines in the form of "rules of
the road" to be distributed to cyclists via
the internet, email, at bike shops and possibly
on sign boards at both the bottom and top Mandeville
Canyon. Also, collaborate with the homeowners groups
to develop corresponding guidelines for motorists
to provide guidance on safety factors for cyclists
and how to drive around them. For instance, rather
than honking (which seems to elicit adverse reactions),
motorists should try to only tap their horn a couple
times. Also, motorists need to understand that the
harsh words they sometimes get from cyclists are
not personal but reflect an instinctive reaction
when they are put in a dangerous situation by a
surface conditions should be repaired and maintained
so that cyclists can more safely ride closer to
calming. It was acknowledged that this has been
a controversial issue (residents of upper Mandeville
have made legal challenges when lower Mandeville
homeowners planned or implemented speed humps!).
Nonetheless, at least speed "feedback"
signs could be used, which display a motorist's
speed and have been shown to be effective.
Provide a means for homeowners to file complaints
about and descriptions of unruly cyclists to the
clubs so they can attempt to self discipline any
members who warrant this. Could be an email address
or website. It was pointed out that perhaps 40%
of the cyclists who ride on Mandeville are not affiliated
with the clubs, so they could not be controlled.
the homeowners were asked what solutions they could
offer, they said they would "match" the
education and other programs offered by the cyclists.
staff pointed out that there might be opportunities
to incorporate initiatives into the city's bicycle
plan, which is being updated, to address issues brought
up in this meeting.
site tour will be organized involving Department
of Public Works, cyclists, homeowners, police and
LADOT to survey Mandeville and Westridge for pavement
problems and other conditions that affect cyclist
safety and road positioning. This group will summarize
its findings and formulate recommendations.
of tonight's meeting and the sign-in sheet will
will develop their rules of the road guidelines,
as well as collaborating on guidelines for motorists.
future meeting of the Task Force will be scheduled.
town hall-type meeting will be scheduled for the
My apologies if I left out any important points, but
I wanted to, at least, get out a brief report.