Caveat Pedester, The Sequel

Several cooler or more sympathetic heads than mine either took issue with my outspoken opinion or just didn’t see the problem I had last month with the lane-hogger joggers and walkers I’d been increasingly encountering on the L.A. River Bikeway.

Well prepare to feast your accepting eyes on this guy (and I use the word “guy” in the most jackass sense of the word) who my wife and I literally got stuck behind in the Sunset Boulevard bike lane through Silver Lake on our way to Echo Park Lake for the last day of the paddle boats there:

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2007/09/jack-thumb.jpg

I won’t be surprised if someone goes devil’s advopuss in the comments and argues that this jogger — despite hindering the vehiclular flow by running in traffic and putting himself at increased risk of getting run over by running in traffic– is on the right side of the lane and thus there’s pleeeeeenty of room for us worthless cyclists to accommodate him by going into the flow of vehicular traffic to get the hell around. And if you feel that way it’s a free country and you’re entitled to be even more narrow-minded and inconsiderate than this piglicker pictured here.

But if you’re me you tolerate his silly selfish street trotting for about a block before yelling loud enough to penetrate his headphones to “GET THE HELL OUTTA THE BIKE LANE!,” whereupon he rips an earbud out while veering hard to the right as we pass and yells “Just relax!” which is good advice on the whole but in this case idiot I’ll relax when you’re on all that wide open sidewalk to the right where you belong… or even the L.A. River bikeway.

40 Replies to “Caveat Pedester, The Sequel”

  1. I jog often. I enjoy jogging. I jog the streets, the beach, the parks, and the hills.

    Never would it occur to me to jog the bike lane.

    Now it has… thanks.

    Easy turbo, I’m only kidding.

    Great post for raising awareness, I may be wrong but I doubt this jogger realized the compromising position he was putting you and other cyclists in. Perhaps now with your above stated verbal suggestion he will take to the sidewalks next jog. For the saftey of all angelenos let’s hope so!

  2. Is it illegal to jog on the sidewalk? If not, then the jogger should be over there. It’s just common sense. I’d say the same thing about a bike rider in the regular car lanes if there was a bike lane they could be using. Don’t be a dick.

  3. I don’t think you can compare this to the other situation – there is clearly no reason what-so-fucking-ever for this asshat to be running in this lane.

    Maybe he’s a regular bikerider and he forgot that he wasn’t on wheels?

  4. I pass joggers in the bike lane on a regular basis, and in a high traffic area, I can see how irritating it could be, but I’ve never had a problem going around.

    Anyone in traffic, whether on a bike, in a car or on foot should most definitely not be wearing headphones. I get all “cranky old man” whenever I see some idiot setting him/herself up for a quick death by wearing headphones while in traffic.

  5. Oh, how inconvenient for you. Yield to pedestrians. Just because you’re on a bike doesn’t mean that you have a reason to be so possessive of the bike lane. Seriously, just get a little horn and stop venting here.

  6. For what it’s worth, the reason people do this is that it is a lot easier on the ankles and knees to jog on asphalt than on concrete.

  7. Here is a little tip for any innner city runners that might not want to tick off any bikers, motorists or others that I use. Myself, being a proud walker, runner, cyclist, blader and lover, always employ the same method whilst trotting through my beloved Los Angeles. Some of the inner circle say to me “Bert? Why you always running so fast?”

    The trick to this is I constantly look over my shoulder when I run. I pretend I am being chased. It psyches me up. And “them” out. But, it also keeps me aware of anyone perhaps looking to pass me (as if).

    That is my $50 running tip. Tips on love to be handled on another forum or privately. Thank you.

  8. I love it when the Gregg Fullers of the sphere tell people to stop doing something by doing the thing they want people to stop doing.

    And es tu El Chavo? Why sure ’nuff it’s easy to go around — I do it all the time. But my bad for not elaborating on the elements to this situation that precluded using your simplified solution, such as: there was a steady stream of vehicles in the lane to our immediate left that kept us hemmed in; and my wife is just venturing out onto the road and beginning to get her bearings and as such didn’t feel at all at ease in pass this bastard who was doing his share of bobbing and weaving across the lane.

    But if you’re REALLY that blank-check with your share-the-road dogma well then good for you. But I’ll tell you what, until that glorious moment when I’m given the consideration as a cyclist that I deserve, be it by this encroaching entitled jogger or the next 100 overbearing motorists who want me off the road I’ll treat them the way they treat me.

  9. I don’t know the relevant law in Los Angeles, but in my town the DMV states that runners should run on the left side of the road (i.e., facing traffic), and this is quite effective in helping runners and cyclists negotiate each others’ presence. But runners are indeed allowed in bike lanes (when lanes are present), and bikes must yield to runners in the same way that motor vehicles yield to bicycles. Think of it as a safety hierarchy with the order of yielding as follows: pedestrians > runners > rollerbladers (and the like) > bicyclists > motor vehicles. That is, yielding to pedestrians trumps all.

    Stay safe, people, and keep assholishness at a minimum.

  10. Joseph wrote: “But runners are indeed allowed in bike lanes (when lanes are present), and bikes must yield to runners in the same way that motor vehicles yield to bicycles.”

    Nope Joseph, they’re not or at least they’re only allowed if there’s no sidewalk nearby. California Vehicle Code Section 21966 states: “No pedestrian shall proceed along a bicycle path or lane where there is an adjacent adequate pedestrian facility.”

    And as clearly evidenced in the photograph there is adjacent adequate pedestrian facility.

    In fact, last June a woman in Orange County made the news for being cited by an OC Sheriff’s deputy for jogging in a bike lane.

  11. You can call it a “share-the-road dogma”if you like, I can live with that. All I know is that there are enough inconsiderate drivers, bikers, and pedestrians to go around; what really matters is how people choose to deal with them. Piling on the hate towards pedestrians seems short sighted and is the flip side of the hate drivers give to bikers.

    Besides, aren’t you the one that opined against bike lanes? Why don’t you demand the consideration you deserve and become traffic?

  12. El Chavo, thanks for the link but what I opined against was devoting resources to NEW bike lanes, arguing that there are alternative out there that are viable and cheaper and quicker to implement.

    And what I thought I made clear in my response to your first comment was that this is only the second time my wife has biked in traffic and this jogger’s ILLEGAL presence in the bike lane along with the steady flow of vehicles beside her left her no choice but to slow down.

    As to my reaction being negligent in your eyes, you say to-may-toe and I say to-mah-toe. After a block behind this entirely unaware guy moving at six miles per hour (if that) I saw the potential for my wife to have to stop completely — or even worse spill — and while you might’ve found the reserve to politely ask the good sir to move aside I opted to be substantially more abrupt and curt. What you consider short-sighted I found to be a last course of action and an effective one at that.

  13. Yeah, well I say he-toh-mah-teh. Do what you must but rude is rude; explanations about “illegal presence” are unnecessary. Next time some stupid SUV honks and yells “get in the bike lane” at a bunch of piglicker bikers hogging up a car lane during a group ride, I hope you’ll also be as understanding. You reap what you sow.

  14. El Chavo, I just find it so odd that you can see me as having been so inconsiderate but seemingly find none in the actions of the person who created the situation.

    And I’m sorry to beat the dead piglicker but the illegality of his presence in the bike lane is a valid point, especially when you find it fit to compare it to the full legality of cyclists on the streets. So when that next stupid SUV (Tuesday for me probably) honks and yells at me to get off the road or get a car you don’t have to hope I’ll be as understanding because I won’t be. I’ll never be when I’m dealing with such belligerent unadulterated ignorance.

  15. My point is that the attitude you show towards peds, no matter how right or legal you are, is ultimately detrimental to the respect bikers deserve. Indignant territorial claims to bike lanes sounds exactly like drivers claiming all street lanes, and laws in a book mean nothing when there is no culture of respect towards others. Besides, this guy is most likely a driver as well, why fan the flames against bikers? As I said in my first comment, he may be a jackass, but resorting to the same approach belligerent drivers take towards bikers doesn’t seem at all productive.

    It’s like when you get to a 4 way stop sign: you might know you have the right of way but if some ass insists on going first, the best thing to do is let them have it and accommodate. Yes, they’re wrong and it’s illegal, but insisting on your right to go first rarely ever makes the driving situation better. Creating a pedestrian/biker antagonism, when they should both be uniting against the dictatorship of cars, is a losing proposition.

  16. Look El Chavo, if I’d reeaaaally wanted to “fan the flames” I could have done any number of things far more loaded and antagonistic than saying “Get the hell outta the bike lane!” And if a few choice expletives or disparaging words didn’t get the embers glowing I could’ve stopped and escalated the encounter with “Who the fuck are you telling to relax, hoofer!?”

    Since you’re so focused on the two seconds of the actual encounter let me use your analogy of the four-way stop to illustrate that I did the accommodating you won’t or can’t recognize: I sat there a long time yielding the right-of-way and hoping the jogger would broaden his scope and see the detrimental effect he was having. He didn’t and I was thus forced to take action to alleviate the heightened risk his unsafe actions were making. I didn’t say bad things about his mother. I didn’t laugh at the Zune he was listening to. I didn’t cluck my tongue and tell him if he only knew how much his knees were going to pay him back in 20 years for not being smart enough to ride a bike instead of pounding the pavement.

    But by your interpretation it seems that with what I consider one of my more mild confrontations I’ve singlehandedly turned diplomacy on its ear and set bike cyclist/world relations back to the stone age.

  17. Lively exchange. Entertaining and educational.

    Bikes are bound by the DMV to obey all traffic rules as if you were driving a car. That means you don’t do two abreast in a lane. That means you yield to peds, no matter how annoying. Unless you have a specific code outlawing peds from running in the street you’re kind of stuck.

    I do agree that when they are creating hazards for bikes, cars or themselves something needs to be said. I don’t think you went over the line by simply using “hell” in the sentence. But then again I have thick hide and a wide line to cross.

    BTW El Chavo, I agree with the letting assholes take the right of way illegally. It is better than getting in an accident just because you are right.

  18. Frazgo wrote: “Unless you have a specific code outlawing peds from running in the street you’re kind of stuck.”

    That’s largely the foundation of my point Fraz: it is an infraction according to California Vehicle Code section 21966 which states: “No pedestrian shall proceed along a bicycle path or lane where there is an adjacent adequate pedestrian facility.”

    Apparently that doesn’t matter in the slightest so much as the fact that I committed some sort of hate crime in yelling at the violator.

  19. aren’t pedestrians on the road supposed to walk INTO traffic, walking/running along the left side of the road while bikes are treated as any other vehicle on the road? D-bag is running on the wrong side of the road too!

  20. Speaking of code violations: Mr. Campbell, you have violated California Marriage Code 16942 which states: “No husband shall post, print or make publicly available an unattractive picture of his wife’s ass.” If I took that picture of my wife, I’d be sleeping on the couch – at my brother’s house…

  21. you guys really should have bunny-hopped onto the sidewalk and sped around him . i saw cru jones do it in “rad” so i know it’s possible. ‘course he also successfully navigated an oversized bowl of kix. but if you’re gonna win lori laughlin’s heart, you’ve got to put it all on the line.

  22. I agree with El Chavo. It is hard to believe you can actually get by in this fair city, Will. Ranting about something sooo small in the grand scheme of things here in LA just continues to make you look like a sad George Costanza clone. Sorry your whole day was ruined by a jogger who was in your bike lane.

  23. Hey MK: Dangerous territory disparaging a man’s wife by thinly veiling it as a complaint against his lack of photographic composition skills.

    And Tom: Can’t disagree there but then again, yes I can.

    And Mmmmmmmmichael: Best Comment Ever.

  24. Geeb, I fancy myself more a post-Laugh Factory Kramer and I get by just fine thanks. I got by that jogger and I’ll get by your faux regret that my day was ruined, which it wasn’t. Sorry? Indeed you are.

  25. will…thanks for the cite, I’ll file that one away don’t know how I missed it, blame it on fogged over eyeballs.

  26. Uh, I disparaged your choice to run the photo, not your wife. Even Charlize Theron can be the victim of a bad photo. When I take photos I delete any that make anyone look bad (double chin… sleepy eye…bad angle on the butt etc.) Nobody likes an unflattering picture of themselves. And I would think that includes your wife. But your knee jerk reaction highlights a disturbing trait of yours that runs thru many of your comments here – your inability to accept responsibility for your actions and your apparent lack of a sense of humour. I am now in agreement with Tom – perhaps you do need to just relax. Seacrust out!

  27. MK! Dude!! Chill!! Overreact much? My apologies that the smarmcasm I was attempting didn’t translate. But thanks for going knee jerk yourself and trotting out those never tired accusations of my humorlessness and irresponsibility. Both of which are greatly and most heinously exaggerated.

  28. Personally, I find it hard to comprehend a jogger deciding to jog in what is clearly marked as a bike lane. Like, I just don’t get it at all. Whether you know it’s illegal or not, it’s clearly marked (again and again and again) BIKE LANE.

    Everytime I go biking it just amazes me.

  29. Wow quite a thread. As far as I’m concerned LA is in no way a safe place for bikes. On the westside I often ride sidewalks because: 1. There are not many established and respected bike lanes and 2. nobody walks and thus the sidewalks are usually traffic-free. People sometimes give a dirty look but I would rather that than be clipped by a driver on his cell phone.

    That being said I don’t see why any jogger would want to be on the street rather than keeping to the safety of the sidewalk. But I guess if he jogged on the sidewalk nobody would see him jogging, and in LA that’s the whole point…

  30. Just relax’ what an LA thing to say on a busy city street. Screw all these effete types trying to tell you to calm down and see his side Will. You’re right will, he was wrong. Maybe I’ve been living in a cutthroat city like New York for too long but i see someone in the wrong tell someone in the right on a busy street to just relax and i think to myself `I hope for his sake he’s wearing a cup’

  31. oh look, more people-only-jog-in-la-so-they-can-be-seen cliches masked as blog comments. The only thing missing was a reference to cellphones and plastic surgeons. Go back to the sticks Gomer.

  32. Just ride like this in the vid and you’ll be happy.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au0Zjn3eB9k

    I’m only kidding, but same situation in Japan too.
    Stupid selfish joggers and dog-walkers on all over the bike lanes, and they yell at you if you are going too fast. I usualy just keep on going, but sometime it makes me wanna tail-whip them.

  33. Just let him jog there… He’s probably just on his way to call his plastic surgeon on his cell phone from his Benz parked in Beverly Hills with his trophy wife and tiny dog in a bag and tofu and goat cheese and avocado and frozen yogurt…

  34. this seems like a situation where a little diplomacy would go a long way.

    sure, the guy made a mistake and i would be somewhat irritated in will’s situation.

    i would give him the benefit of the doubt and let him know that “when pedestrians are in the bike lane, it makes a hazard for the bikers who go around”.

    it would be a good opportunity to educate him – but i really don’t see any evidence presented here indicating that this guy is a jackass.

  35. You make fine points in the good and fair use of diplomacy and education Hexodus. But I can only agree with you in theory in this case. I can’t agree that it would have been a good opportunity to do so. I can envision me attempting to get him to come to a full stop and remove his headphones so that I could attempt to interrupt his jog to explain that he was doing something wrong sure it could’ve all ended amicably but I just didn’t see either of us going on our merry ways with him exploiting a newly found consideration and awareness and safety.

    Maybe if we had come up to a red light and were stopped together I could have signaled to him politely that his presence was problematic and hazardous. But with him moving and his hearing masked by his music and my wife and I wobbling behind trying not to hit either him or weave into traffic. Maybe I’m a crap teacher but I gave him the best education I could.

    And when I refer to him as a jackass I have nothing concrete upon which to lay that identifier other than he was self-focused and as such negatively impacting me and my wife. He may be the nicest guy in the world, but with what he demonstrated, a lot worse names come to mind.

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