LA City Council Approves Law Banning Bicycle Assembly on Sidewalks – Los Angeles

Los Angeles City Council today approved an ordinance that prohibits people from assembling and disassembling bicycles in public rights-of-way.

Joe Buscaino, Councilman, introduced a motion for the ordinance to be drafted. The motion was approved by the City Council 10-4 on February 8. Mike Bonin and Curren Price were opposed.
Harris-Dawson stated at the time, that the law could have made Harris-Dawson rich
As a child, he was taken into custody.

On June 14, the ordinance was approved tentatively by an 11-3 vote. Price, Raman and Bonin were again against it. Harris-Dawson voted yes.

The measure failed to receive unanimous approval at first reading. However, it was returned to the council Tuesday for a second round of voting. It was approved by 9-3, with Harris-Dawson and Bonin opposed.

The ordinance was modeled after the one that is in place in Long Beach and prohibits assembly, disassembly, offering of sale, distribution, and sale of bicycles, parts, on public property or within public rights-of-way.

Buscaino stated that it would stop “bicycle chop shops,” in which thieves disassemble bikes and then sell them on the sidewalk.

Raman spoke out in February to express her opposition to the ordinance. She noted that the actions used as justification for the ordinance — such as bicycle theft and blocking of the sidewalk — were already illegal.

Los Feliz, Atwater Village and North Westwood neighborhood councils also opposed the motion.

Raman’s worries were echoed by the Palms Neighborhood Council, who stated that “the legal instruments already exist here”. This motion would instead make illegal, in most cases, street sale and repair of bicycles. It would also cast suspicion on street sellers of bicycles that are not stolen, who often serve the poor.

“Low-cost bikes are essential for low-income travellers and people of color. According to the statement of the neighborhood council, many delivery workers and messengers who rely upon low-cost bike service will see their livelihoods threatened.

Los Feliz Neighborhood Council informed council members in its community impacts statement that it was against the language of the ordinance. It stated that it believes it will criminalize the “major activities” of cyclists and could increase harassment and victimization for already vulnerable populations, such as the unhoused and black-and-brown cyclists.

Buscaino however stated that the ordinance would give the Los Angeles Police Department an advantage. “necessary tool” to reduce the number of bicycle thefts in Los Angeles. Under the proposed ordinance, a “Chop shop’s definition is:

— Three or more bikes
• A bicycle frame with the brake cables or gear cables cut; (2) Two or more bicycles without missing parts.
— Five or more bicycle parts

Buscaino claimed that the district bordering Long Beach has seen a “proliferation of bicycle chop shops.”

In support of the ordinance, Sunland-Tujunga, Northwest San Pedro, and South Robertson neighborhood councils released community impact statements.


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