Over on Yo! Venice they are talking about the recent enforcement of the one-way-ness of Speedway, especially in regards to cyclists. In case you don’t know Speedway is the very last road that runs along the coast through Venice and it’s one way on it’s entire length, though which direction alternates every few blocks. Actually calling it a road is giving it a lot of credit, as it’s actually much more like an alley as it’s populated mostly with the backs of houses with address on other nearby streets. The next street over is Pacific which is very narrow and regularly packed with traffic, especially on the weekend.
For people who live in Venice, Speedway is kind of a secret artery used when moving around in the neighborhood to avoid the mess that is Pacific. Given the crowds it makes sense that the police are keeping an eye on Speedway as it’s very narrow and one car going the wrong way could cause a major traffic mess. The thing Yo! Venice is pointing out, and that Tara and I ran into ourselves this weekend is that there have recently been police stationed on Venice who seem to be spending all their time stopping cyclists. The officer who stopped us this weekend actually said “look folks, I know this is petty but…” and it is, so the question is why are spending resources on it?
Now I understand that bikes and cars are required to follow the same laws, and technically if a road is one way then cyclists shouldn’t ride the wrong way on it either. The issue is that enforcing that in this situation pushes cyclists off a quiet very low traffic street onto a very narrow heavily trafficked road that is often filled with people making quick stops and sharp turns as they desperately look for beach parking. Additionally, Speedway is oneway to prevent traffic issues, and it would be hard to argue that a handful of cyclists going back and forth on it are causing any jams. And since even the officers who are stationed there enforcing this seem to think it’s a waste of their time, why does the city think this is something worth spending money on?