In light of the news coming out about Wednesday’s assault and robbery committed against the cyclist riding Ballona Creek’s Bikeway, I’ve read comments to various posts about the dastardly crime that detail additional incidents that have occurred with a certain serial consistency along that stretch of off-street bike path roughly between Inglewood and Sepulveda boulevards:
“The last time I rode it (2006) there was a mattress across the path and a suspicious looking gentleman approaching. I turned around, got off the path and never went back.”
“I was running on the bike path last Thursday morning heading west. Just at the 405 underpass a cyclist stopped me to warn me off as two guys had just tried to attack him. I could clearly see the two up ahead hanging out on the path by that park watching us talk.”
“I bought a bike back in 1992 and took my first ride on the BC bike path. On the way back to Marina del Rey, heading west in this same location, I was rushed and pushed over by two thugs who wanted my wallet. I refused and they took my bike, crumpled tire and all.”
To further detriment is the alienation of the bikeway from the community. Accesspoints have been closed to placate crime-frazzled residents adjacent to the creek with next to no consideration for the impact such shutdowns have on the safety of those who use the bikeway. It’s no wonder pedestrians and cyclists are willing to just give up on the waterway as some sort of exiled and lawless zone of doom.
I don’t fault anyone making such decisions to protect themselves, but I for one am not so ready to let the thugs and bureaucrats win and instead plan to increase my presence by extending my inbound and outbound bike commutes to include this roughly one-mile stretch (map), like I did this morning as shown in the following brief image sequence, after the jump:
As you can see, at 10 a.m., all was calm and quiet. The only other person I encountered was a friendly cyclist coming in the other direction. We’ll see how things go this afternoon.
P.S. I’m not doing this as some sort of stunt, and no I don’t have some sort of urge to get my ass whupped and my stuff stolen. I’m doing this because I am both unwilling to accept that the bikeway is inherently unsafe and unable to allow gangbangers to partner up with shruggy, easy-way-out’ers in law enforcement and politics to further isolate and estrange me from a resource that we all should be enjoying, not avoiding.