A decade ago, a small group of mountain bikers tried to change the City of Los Angeles’ Municipal Code in order to allow mountain bikes on unpaved trails in city parks. LFIA joined the Coalition for Safe Trails, a collection of community groups organized to oppose this change due to safety concerns about having mountain bikes on the same trails as hikers, baby strollers, and equestrians.
In 2010 the City Department of Transportation (DOT) developed a Bicycle Plan to provide safe bike routes as part of a citywide transportation plan. When the mountain bike lobby resumed their effort to get bikes permitted in city parks, the Coalition for Safe Trails and their attorney met with Councilmember Tom LaBonge, the Planning Department, the City Council’s Transportation Committee and others to delete Section 3.3 about mountain bikes. They negotiated a compromise that would allow for studies of off-road bicycle trails in parks. Although this compromise still leaves the door open for biking on trails, the current Municipal Code will be respected and any further decisions will be under the purview of the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.
By Marian Dodge