A Locals Guide to Riding Your Bike in The City of Angels

Bike riding has become extremely popular in and around Los Angeles. As traffic gets worse and worse, more and more Angelenos are considering the environment before getting in their cars. Biking is a healthy and environmentally-friendly way to get around town. Unfortunately, it can also lead to accidents. Crashes can seriously injure bicyclists and even leave them with permanent disabilities. As a result, it is important that they are represented by an attorney who knows how to handle bike accident injury claims.

If you have been hurt while riding your bike, call Arash Law (888) 488-1391. At your free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles bike injury lawyer, you will learn just how we can protect you from insurance company tactics and fight for the compensation to which you are legally entitled. Don’t accept a lowball settlement offer. Get an experienced attorney fighting for you.

A Beginner’s Guide to Biking in Los Angeles Provided by our LA Bicycle Accident Law Firm

For new riders, biking in LA traffic can be daunting. It is essential to educate yourself before heading out on the city streets so that you are prepared to face any hazard. LAist has compiled a list of vital steps beginner riders should take: 

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Bike and Helmet
Get a Bike and a Helmet

The first step to riding is, of course, having a bike. Read up about different manufacturers and features to learn which are best for you. Speak to an expert at a bike store about which bikes are best for newer riders.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Bike Safety
Learn About Bike Safety and Etiquette

Bikers need to understand the rules of the road. In many ways, this is more important for bikers than drivers, because bikers are more vulnerable to injury in a collision. Start by riding on designated bike paths or streets with light traffic.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Fix It Yourself
Fix it Yourself

Constant trips to a bike repair shop can get expensive. More importantly, you might not always have access to a repair shop while out on the road. It is crucial to be able to make quick repairs on your own so that you don’t end up stuck on the side of the road.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Bike paths
Find Local Bike Paths

Beginners are often more comfortable on designated bike paths than out in traffic. This is a great way to get comfortable with your bike and the rules of the road before heading into congested city streets. These paths also tend to be more scenic and have more points of interest.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Bike Friendly Hangouts
Find Bike-Friendly Hangouts

Search online for coffee shops, restaurants, book stores, and other stops along your route that allow bikes. This will allow you a rest stop, so you don't tire yourself out along your route. These spots are also great places to meet other biking enthusiasts and share information.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Track your Rides
Use Biking Apps to Track Your Rides

Biometric apps can calculate your heart rate, mileage, calories burned, and other essential data. This information can be valuable in planning future rides and in collecting medical data.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Non-profit biking organization
Get Involved with Local Nonprofit Biking Organizations

There are many different biking groups and organizations in the greater Los Angeles area. These groups are a great way to network with other riders and share valuable biking information.

Our Los Angeles Bike Attorneys Know that LA is a Deadly City for Cyclists

City streets have become a dangerous place for bicycle riders. Outside Online reports that 2016 saw the most bicycle crashes of the past 25 years. In 2018, the number of bicycle fatalities jumped 10 percent from 2017 fatalities. Part of this problem is simply the sheer volume of traffic on the road: Americans drove 600 billion more miles in 2007 than they did in 1997. The number of traffic accidents has long been known to increase with the number of miles driven. Los Angeles – with its constant traffic and growing population – is a hotbed of both traffic and the accidents it causes.

New Safety Technology for Los Angeles Bicyclists

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Bike Safety Technology

So what is the solution? The President of People for Bikes suggests that new technologies could play a critical role in reducing the number of bicycle accidents. Self-driving cars are designed to detect obstructions in the road and avoid collisions. As the technology continues to improve and become more widely available, these autonomous vehicles are likely to reduce the number of crashes.

GPS technologies are also being adapted for bicycles. A system that recognizes the bike’s movement and communicates with the rider can also help avoid collisions. Safety equipment can also play a role. Because it is unlikely that the number of bike accidents will ever reach zero, bikers need to protect themselves in a collision. Helmets, wearable airbags, and other technologies can drastically reduce the severity of injuries that a bicyclist sustains in a crash. 

Where Cyclists Ride in LA

Many bikers are also moving off-road. Without the danger of traffic, trail riding can reduce some of the risks associated with bike riding. Outside Online reports that trail running participation has increased dramatically in the past decade: ten years ago, a few million people participated, but now the number is around nine million.

Recreational companies are responding to this trend. Ski resorts are investing in trail improvements for summer guests. A tech platform notes that off-road events “dominate the wish lists” of its users. It is likely the market will continue to respond to this growing trend. 

But bicyclists should not give up on city riding. Bike commuting currently accounts for about 10 to 12 percent of all bicycling. Increased bike commuting is critical in Los Angeles, where traffic congestion and pollution are among the city’s biggest problems. This cannot happen unless bicyclists have protected bike lanes and paths.

Amendments to the city traffic code could help establish bicyclists’ rights on the road. Bicyclists need to advocate for these critical changes. Protected paths, legal rights, and new technology can all work together to reduce the number of bicycle accidents in Los Angeles drastically.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Cyclist Ride

How to Ride a Bike in Los Angeles (And How to Drive a Car Around Bikes) - Tips from Los Angeles Bike Accident Attorneys

It can be challenging for bike riders and drivers to coexist peacefully on the busy roads of Los Angeles. LAist has prepared a list of traffic tips for both bikers and drivers. Here are some things everyone can do to share the road better:

FOR LOS ANGELES DRIVERS TO AVOID BICYCLE ACCIDENTS

Understand What Bicycles Are Legally Entitled to Do

Bicyclists have specific rights that are protected by state laws and local traffic ordinances. Drivers must understand and respect these rights to keep everyone safe on the road. From a legal standpoint, a driver is almost certain to be found at fault for causing an accident is he or she failed to yield to a bicyclist's right of way.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Honking
Don't Honk

Speaking of courtesy, honking is one of the most frequent violations of it. Horns are designed to be used in emergencies. They alert other drivers of imminent collisions or other dangers in the road. They are not for alerting other drivers or riders that you are impatient with them.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Bicycle Pass

Pass Responsibly

Any lane change increases the risk of collision. This is particularly dangerous for bicyclists, who are vulnerable to collisions and injury. Slow down and allow plenty of space between your vehicle and any bikes on the road.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Bike Accidents - Opening Car Door
Look Twice When Opening Your Vehicle Door

The “door zone” is another area where bikers are particularly vulnerable. Most drivers stop paying attention to the road after they turn off the engine. How often do you look around before opening your car door? This can be highly dangerous for bicyclists that are forced onto the side of the road to avoid traffic.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Organizations

Communication Is Key

Like drivers, bikers too must communicate with other road users. Make eye contact with drivers or other bikers to be sure they see you. Always stop before proceeding through an intersection without traffic lights or stop signs.

Where to Ride: All the Best Bike Paths in Los Angeles Recommended by Our LA Bicycle Crash Lawyers

An important step toward bike safety is knowing where there are safe bike paths to ride on. Fitt recently compiled a list of some of the best bike paths in and around Los Angeles. Check out these scenic routes that are designed specifically for bicycles:

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Griffith Park

Griffith Park

Here bikers can enjoy a nine-mile scenic loop in California's second-largest urban park. The loop passes many points of interest, including the Autry National Center, the Los Angeles Zoo and the Botanical Gardens.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Ballona Creek Bike Path

Ballona Creek Bike Path

This seven-mile stretch between Culver City and Playa Del Rey offers bikers much to see. The route passed the Culver City Stairs and Ballona Wetlands before ending at the Pacific Ocean.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Arroyo Seco Bike Path

Arroyo Seco Bike Path

Though short, this path acts as a critical connector between Southeast Pasadena and Los Angeles. The two-mile route passes horse stables and bridges while following a streambed.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Metro Orange Line

Metro Orange Line Bike Path

Located in the Valley, this path parallels the Metro Orange Line bus route for 18 miles. Enjoy shady streets, public art, and Anthony C. Beilenson Park along the way.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Shoreline

Shoreline Pedestrian Bike Path

Ride along the white sands of Long Beach in one of two dedicated bike lanes. Bikers can make the approximately five-mile route in their own lanes without fear of running into pedestrians.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Gabriel River Trail

San Gabriel River Trail

You might be surprised to learn that there is a single path connecting the Pacific Ocean and San Gabriel Mountains. This paved path is lined with trees. Don’t be fooled by the mild road conditions - it is 38 long miles from ocean to mountains.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Glendale Narrows Riverwalk

Glendale Narrows Riverwalk

For a scenic river route, you can’t beat the five miles of Glendale Narrows. This area is home to so many birds that bikers are cautioned to watch out for bird watchers along the route.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - The Strand

The Strand

The Strand is a 22-mile coastal connector between Torrance County Beach and Will Rogers State Beach. It is a wide cement path used by both joggers and bikers.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Palos Verde Donut Loop

Palos Verdes Donut Loop

This is a challenging - but beautiful - circuit through the rugged coastal areas of Palos Verdes. At 24 miles, the ride presents both technical and endurance challenges. Be prepared to share the road with vehicles at certain points along the Donut.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Arroyo Sepulveda Basin Loop

Sepulveda Basin Loop

Running through the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area, this is a nine-mile loop that follows the Los Angeles River. The path is sure to keep you entertained as it crosses through nature, wildlife, and recreational events.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Mandeville Canyon Road

Mandeville Canyon Road

In Brentwood, this path is a five-mile sliver of asphalt that borders the Santa Monica mountains. Riders who start at Sunset Boulevard will gain over a thousand feet in elevation.

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - San Vicente Boulevard

San Vicente Boulevard

This is a four-mile stretch on the west side of Los Angeles. Bikers have a designated lane to use between Ocean Avenue and Wilshire.

Why Our Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Attorneys Believe LA is the Worst Bike City in America

Los Angeles should be the premier biking city in the United States. It has ideal weather and wide boulevards. It has notoriously bad traffic, making bicycle trips an attractive option for local residents looking to avoid traffic. With so much going for it, why isn’t LA better for bikers? Bicycling.com took an in-depth look at the challenges facing bikers in the greater Los Angeles area. There are many problems:

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Serious Bike Accidents

Many LA serious bike accidents

 Between 2014 and 2016, Los Angeles County had more fatal bike accidents than did 46 states during the same period. (Only New York, Florida, and California as a whole had more fatal bike accidents.) This is due in large part to city infrastructure that is not conducive to bike riding. Los Angeles and its neighboring municipalities have paid many multi-million dollar lawsuits to bikers who have been injured and killed.

Failed bike initiatives

Sadly, biking infrastructure has not been left unimproved for lack of trying. Both the Bicycle Plan of 2010 and Vision Zero Action Plan of 2017 were targeted at improving roadway safety to reduce bicycle accidents. But in the years since their implementation, both plans have failed to enact any meaningful change. Bike lanes have been added at a fraction of the amount promised under the Bicycle Plan. Fatalities are nowhere near the low projections promised under Vizion Zero. And still, people are dying in the streets of Los Angeles every day.

Lax enforcement of traffic law

Los Angeles has one of the lowest ratios of police officers to residents of any American city. Because of this, traffic offenses – along with many other laws – are not uniformly enforced. This makes it easy for drivers to believe they will “get away with” speeding, texting while driving, and other dangerous behaviors. All too often, these actions are fatal to bike riders. 

In spite of these challenges, Los Angeles bicyclists should not lose hope. There are many groups, meetups, and nonprofit organizations that have successfully advocated for bike-friendly reforms across LA.

Our LA Bicycle Accident Attorneys Suggest that You Take a Virtual Ride and Decide: Is it Safe to Bike to Work in Los Angeles?

As bike infrastructure and local politics change, it is important for bicyclists to continue to reassess whether it is, in fact, safe to bike around Los Angeles. One reporter for the Los Angeles Times decided to bring this issue to the forefront in a uniquely personal way. By wearing a camera on his morning bike commute, he created a “virtual bike ride” from Echo Park to the LA Times building. He encouraged readers to watch his bike ride and decide for themselves whether they would feel comfortable making that same commute by bike.  

The reporter also shared some interesting statistics. He encouraged readers to consider the following when determining whether they would consider biking around Los Angeles:

  • About one in four Angelenos do not drive to work. Of those who don’t commute by car, only ten percent ride bikes. The remaining ninety percent walk or use public transportation. 
  • About half of all trips taken in Los Angeles are three miles or less. A whopping 84 percent of these short trips are made by car. This drastically affects two of LA’s biggest problems – traffic and pollution. 
  • The city reports that 77 cyclists have been killed on the roads of Los Angeles since 2011.
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So is it safe to ride your bike around LA? Follow the link above to view the reporter’s video. This “virtual bike commute” will give you a new understanding of what it is really like to ride a bicycle on the streets of Los Angeles.

Our LA Bike Accident Lawyers Present a Los Angeles County Sidewalk Riding Guide

It is important for bicyclists to understand the rules of the road. But cyclists in LA will also find themselves riding on sidewalks from time to time, and it is important to know what cities allow the practice. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation has provided a helpful guide on where sidewalk riding is allowed. Keep in mind that you should always obey posted signage about sidewalk riding.

Los Angeles County Sidewalk Riding
  • The City of Los Angeles: The Municipal Code prohibits riding a bike on a sidewalk “in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”
  • Los Angeles County: In unincorporated parts of the County that are not governed by a municipal code, bike riding on sidewalks is not allowed at all. Bear this in mind when cycling in Universal City, East L.A., Marina Del Rey, and other unincorporated areas of the County.
  • Beverly Hills: Here, it is illegal to ride a bike on a sidewalk in any “business district.” If you are unsure whether you are in a business district, play it safe and ride on the street. 
  • Glendale: Sidewalk riding in business districts is prohibited.
  • West Hollywood: Sidewalk riding is allowed if there is no bike lane in the roadway. Cyclists must ride with traffic and yield to pedestrians. 
  • Culver City: Sidewalk riding in business districts is prohibited. Culver City also bans sidewalk riding near schools, parks, and recreation centers, so be especially careful. 
  • Santa Monica: Sidewalk riding is not allowed. 
  • Inglewood: Sidewalk riding is not allowed for any vehicle.
  • Lancaster: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in “commercial zones.” This is less restrictive than “business zones,” but bikers should still ride on the sidewalk any time they are unsure. 
  • Palmdale: Sidewalk riding is generally prohibited. 
  • Santa Clarita: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in business districts, and cyclists must ride at a “reasonably prudent” speed. Cyclists must also dismount and walk their bike when passing a blind person who has a white cane or guide dog.
  • San Fernando: Sidewalk riding is only banned in the “central business district,” and otherwise generally allowed.
  • Burbank: Sidewalk riding is generally allowed (unless there are signs specifically prohibiting the practice). 
  • Hidden Hills: Cycling is prohibited on horse trails, but not expressly prohibited in other areas. Watch carefully for signs that give bicycle directions. 
  • Calabasas: No sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • Agoura Hills: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in business districts.
  • Westlake Village: Sidewalk riding is generally prohibited.
  • Malibu: Sidewalk riding is generally prohibited.
  • El Segundo: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in parks and business districts, but otherwise generally allowed.
  • Manhattan Beach: Sidewalk riding is prohibited except by riders under 14 years of age. 
  • Hermosa Beach: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in commercial zones, but otherwise generally allowed.
  • Redondo Beach: Sidewalk riding is generally allowed unless there are posted signs prohibiting the practice.
  • Lawndale: Sidewalk riding is prohibited.
  • Hawthorne: Sidewalk riding is prohibited.
  • Gardena: Sidewalk riding is generally prohibited unless it would be hazardous to ride in the street. 
  • Torrance: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in the business district. Riders must also dismount when crossing in a crosswalk, and this makes sidewalk riding largely impractical.
  • Lomita: Sidewalk riding is generally allowed, but the city council can ban the practice in certain areas if it posts signs. Business owners can also go through the city council to ban sidewalk riding on their property. Look carefully for signs banning sidewalk riding while in Lomita.
  • Rancho Palos Verdes: Sidewalk riding is prohibited.
  • Rolling Hills: Interestingly, Rolling Hills has no sidewalks. It is a gated community with private roads. Cyclists are thus on the road by default.
  • Long Beach: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in business districts. There are speed restrictions and rules of yielding when riding on the sidewalk in other areas.
  • Signal Hill: Sidewalk riding is generally allowed, but certain streets are off-limits to cyclists. 
  • Carson: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in business districts. 
  • Compton: There are very specific areas where sidewalk riding is prohibited. Otherwise, it is generally allowed.
  • Paramount: Sidewalk riding is generally prohibited. 
  • Lynwood: No sidewalk riding is allowed. 
  • South Gate: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in business districts. It is also prohibited near churches and schools (when in session). Use caution when deciding to ride on a sidewalk in South Gate. 
  • Bell Gardens: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in business districts. It is also prohibited anywhere else unless it would be hazardous to ride in the roadway. Only ride on Bell Gardens sidewalks when it is strictly necessary.
  • Huntington Park: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in the “Central Business District,” but otherwise allowed.
  • Commerce: Sidewalk riding is allowed except on walkways “maintained for the purpose of ingress, egress, and passage of the public.” Examples are included in the city code. 
  • Montebello: No sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • Monterey Park: No sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • La Canada Flintridge: No sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • Pasadena: Sidewalk riding is generally allowed.
  • South Pasadena: Sidewalk riding is generally allowed except in front of schools, churches, and places of business. 
  • San Marino: Sidewalk riding is generally allowed.
  • Alhambra: No sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • San Gabriel: No sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • Rosemead: No sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • El Monte: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in the business district, but otherwise generally allowed.
  • Temple City: No sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • Arcadia: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in the business district, but otherwise generally allowed.
  • Monrovia: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in the business district, but otherwise generally allowed.
  • Whittier:  No sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • Pico Rivera: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in the business district (and schools and recreation centers), but otherwise generally allowed.
  • La Habra Heights:  No sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • Downey: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in the business district that is defined in the city code. It is otherwise generally allowed.  
  • Santa Fe Springs: Sidewalk riding is generally allowed, but cyclists must dismount and walk their bikes through crosswalks. This makes sidewalk riding mostly impractical in Santa Fe Springs. 
  • La Mirada: Sidewalk riding is allowed if there is no bike lane.
  • Norwalk: No sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • Cerritos: No sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • Artesia: No sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • Bellflower: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in the business district, but otherwise generally allowed.
  • Lakewood: No sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • Hawaiian Gardens: Sidewalk riding is generally allowed unless there are signs banning the practice.
  • Azusa: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in the business district, but otherwise generally allowed.
  • Duarte: No sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • Irwindale: No sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • Covina: Sidewalk riding is prohibited in the business district, but otherwise generally allowed.
  • Glendora: Sidewalk riding is generally allowed unless there are signs banning the practice.
  • San Dimas: Sidewalk riding is generally allowed, with one quirky exception: wooden sidewalks. No bike allowed if the sidewalk happens to be made of wood.
  • Walnut: No sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • Diamond Bar: No sidewalk riding is allowed.
  • Pomona: No sidewalk riding is allowed.

The final tally is as follows: 

  • Sidewalk riding allowed: 12 cities
  • Sidewalk riding not allowed: 32 cities and Los Angeles County
  • Sidewalk riding not allowed in “business districts”: 25 cities
  • No clear language in the municipal code: 19 cities

As you can see, there is no clear pattern of when and where sidewalk riding is allowed. More importantly, these jurisdictions are spread across Los Angeles County like a jigsaw puzzle. It is not practical for cyclists to memorize the rules of sidewalk riding for every city in the greater Los Angeles County. When in doubt, err on the side of caution, and forego sidewalk riding.

The Los Angeles Bicycle Crash Attorneys at Arash Law Represent Bike Accident Victims

Bicycle riders are vulnerable road users. In a collision with a car or truck, the cyclists will be far more vulnerable to injury than the vehicle occupants (who are protected by seatbelts, airbags, and the steel frame of the vehicle). Bicyclists have no protection other than a helmet. This means that bicyclists sustain severe – often fatal – injuries in a car accident. Because of this, it is critical for bicyclists to practice defensive riding skills: 

  • Always be aware of your surroundings. 
  • Keep an eye on other vehicles and riders, and be sure you know where they are going.
  • Always check your bike and safety equipment prior to heading out on the road.
  • Yield the right of way – even if it belongs to you. It is better to avoid an accident than to spend time and money recovering from serious injuries. 
  • Make yourself visible to other road users. Light colors, reflective tape, and bike lights can all help ensure you are seen. 
  • Use hand signals before turning to make sure other road users are aware of your movements. Unpredictable moves can lead to collisions

Broken bones, road rash, head, and brain injuries, crush injuries, and internal organ damage can cost millions of dollars in medical bills. They can also require months – or even years – of rehabilitation. Some victims will never fully recover from their injuries. Drivers who cause these devastating losses have a legal obligation to compensate bike accident victims. 

Discuss Your Questions and Concerns with Our Bicycle Accident Lawyers in Los Angeles

Los Angeles - Local Guide to Riding Your Bike - Bicycle Accidents

Some bike victims are worried about circumstances that could complicate their personal injury claim. If, for example, the accident was a hit-and-run, it can be difficult to find the responsible party. But it is still critical that you consult with a lawyer! Your own auto insurance might contain uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage that will cover your losses.

Another common complication occurs when the at-fault driver’s insurance company attempts to blame the victim for his or her own injuries. The claims adjuster might say that the biker was not paying attention, or didn’t yield the right of way, or was speeding, or some other negligent behavior. The insurance company will then try to reduce their settlement offer accordingly.

A personal injury attorney can fight these claims with proof that the driver was at fault for causing the accident. An attorney can also file a lawsuit if the insurance company persists in trying to assign fault to the victim. At trial, an experienced bike accident attorney will know how to persuasively convince a jury that the driver was at fault for the accident and that the victim is due to fair compensation for all the losses caused by the driver’s negligence. 

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, it is important to consult with an experienced Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Your legal right to compensation can be affected by anything you say – even things you say to medics and police at the scene of the accident. Let an experienced lawyer protect you from insurance company tactics, so you can focus on making the best recovery possible. Call (888) 488-1391 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

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