Film Industry Blocks Bike Lanes, City of LA Doesn’t Care

Film industry trucks block bike lanes all the time here in Los Angeles, particularly along busy and fast moving Sunset Boulevard. Shutting down a bike lane on Sunset forces cyclists to merge into traffic that is sometimes going as fast as 50 miles an hour. It’s a tragedy waiting to happen.

Not much room between a fast moving bus and a film industry truck.

As to the legality of blocking a bike lane I don’t have a good answer, but in my opinion it doesn’t matter. Even if it is legal, that doesn’t make it right or safe. Is a film production worth a traumatic brain injury or a death?

Those of us who ride a bike in Los Angeles need your help. I want get the word out that:

  • Elected officials in the City of Los Angeles (in this case, Councilman Garcetti’s district) do not take the safety of cyclists and pedestrians seriously enough.
  • The film industry values profits over human lives.

Please Tweet, Facebook and link to this post even if you don’t live here. Appeals to the police department and elected officials in the past have done nothing to fix this problem. All we get are excuses and, once LAPD calls the film crew, hand made signs like the one below:

In Portland, Oregon cyclists get a detour:

To contact those responsible for this situation please email the following:

Film L.A. (the non-profit entity that coordinates and processes filming permits): [email protected]
Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti: contact form 

Like most cyclists here in LA, I also drive, walk and take public transportation so I understand this issue from all sides. We need equity in our transportation choices and we all need to stay safe.

UPDATE: Looks like the city has “fixed” the problem with slightly more official looking signs:

Too bad it’s still dangerous. I guess it’s going to take a death to fix this problem.

UPDATE 8/29/12: More coverage in The Eastsider and Streetsblog.

Leave a comment


  1. Wonder what the city, film production and other involved entities’ insurance and legal departments would think about this risk?

    Sounds ripe for some actuarial case studies, considering that the work-around (orange cones a la Portland) likely costs less (and is more sustainable) than making signs.

    Hopefully it doesn’t take a tragedy for the production company and city to understand the wisdom in sharing the road with all citizens.

    • Because wearing a helmet, nixing the headphones and being careful does NOT allow a cyclist to control the actions of those around them. And, before it’s suggested, riding on the sidewalk is NOT a viable alternative. It’s probably illegal in LA anyway, considering the size and population.

    • Veronica is absolutely right. I have motorists on a daily basis do stupid things around me that are beyond my control, including harassing me while riding which is luckily now illegal in Los Angeles, although riding on the side want is not.

  2. Is this a repeat of an entry from last year? The pictures look familiar. I realize it’s a perennial problem – just trying to decide if I’m actually remembering or if it’s just deja vu 🙂

  3. Done and done. I am sure each of the links really cares about what someone in AL thinks unless thousand of people write both places like I did.

    Subject: “blocked bike lanes” on both and a link to your blog. Keep us posted.

    That picture looked familiar to me, also. At first, I thought you were recycling a post.

    For the person who suggested headphones, would that not make the ride more dangerous. Of course, maybe your external ear would not get road rssh or car bashed.

  4. Mleah, I bike in LA, and honestly, I avoid major streets even if they have bike lanes. Biking in L.A. is a hazard in general, so I try to go down residential streets and take the lane if I feel like cars are trying to squeeze past. It’s a pain but if I can cut my chances of getting run over I’ll take it. To the poster that advocates wearing a helmet and no headphones, blaming the victim isn’t really going to solve the core problem, which is bad bicycle route infrastructure and a very anti-bicycle car culture. A bicyclist can only be so alert and cautious and well-equipped. Drivers need to meet them in the middle. I know helmets can reduce injury, but what good is it if you’re outright killed anyway? They were really meant for protecting the rider from spills, not from getting smashed by 2 ton vehicles.

  5. Just wanted to let you know about an upcoming event in LA sponsored by the California Endowment that seems pertinent to this post about bicycles:

    Changing the Mechanics:
    How Bikes are Transforming the Way LA Moves

    Join us on September 19th to map the advancement of bikes as a viable mode of transportation for an equitable LA. Admission is free; however, an RSVP is required.

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