A February 2021 report in The Guardian details both the potential paradise Los Angeles holds for cyclists and the city’s many hazards. Car culture and limited infrastructure make Los Angeles one of the most dangerous places to bike in the United States.
Review the scope of the problem and the steps safety advocates recommend to reduce cyclist risk of serious injury.
According to the data from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration reported in the article, 36 cyclist fatalities in Los Angeles County in 2019 represent a third of the total bike accident deaths in California that year.
As natives and transplants know, the city was constructed for cars and consists of several major highways that are less than hospitable to two-wheeled travelers. The Federal Highway Administration reports that more than 62% of roads in Anaheim, Long Beach and Los Angeles counties are in poor condition, which also increases the risk for cyclist injuries.
The proposed remedies
Despite the rampant hazards for Los Angeles cyclists, the city has made strides to improve the picture for bicycles. Last year brought 61 miles of bike lane upgrades, 200% more improvements than the year before that. The city’s Green New Deal proposal aims to ensure that 50% of all trips made in Los Angeles by 2035 involve walking, biking or public transit.
These improvements and further improvements will take time, however, so cyclists must remain vigilant while traveling in Los Angeles. Travel in designated bike lanes whenever possible. When you must travel on the road, stay as far to the right as possible so drivers can see you.