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Mayor Villaraigosa breaks elbow in bicycle accident

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa broke his elbow in a bicycle accident Saturday evening, a spokesman said.

The mayor was riding in the bicycle lane on Venice Boulevard in Mid-City at about 6:50 p.m. when a taxi abruptly pulled in front of him. The mayor hit his brakes and fell off the bike.

He was transported to Ronald Reagan/UCLA Medical Center, where he was treated for the broken bone.

By 10 p.m. he had been released and was resting comfortably at Getty House, the mayor's official residence.

The mayor's accident comes as bicyclists in the city have increasingly been complaining about safety issues and pressing city officials to do more to make cycling safe.

Bicycle advocates have called for more dedicated bike lanes and appeared repeatedly before the City Council to argue that a specific share of funds from Measure R, the 2008 sales tax for transportation projects, should be set aside for bicycle- and pedestrian-related initiatives.

Bicycle activist Stephen Box filled out paperwork last week to run for City Council in the district represented by Councilman Tom LaBonge that includes Hollywood, Koreatown and North Hollywood. Box, who was run off the road by a bus while cycling on Sunset Boulevard several years ago, said Venice Boulevard already has bike lanes but needs considerably more attention from city officials.

"Venice Boulevard is notorious for having all of the trash cans block the bike lanes. Venice Boulevard is notorious for having motor homes block the bike lanes. And Venice Boulevard is notorious for having fast traffic that uses the bike lane to squeeze through even when bicyclists are in the bike lane," he said.

Police Chief Charlie Beck has made overtures to bicyclists, promising to make their safety a bigger priority and sending some of his officers to ride in the monthly Critical Mass bicycle ride in June. The LAPD issued a directive instructing officers that a motorist can be held responsible for causing a bicycle accident even if he or she did not make direct contact with the rider -- and can be arrested for fleeing the scene, Box said.

-- Andrew Blankstein and David Zahniser

Comments () | Archives (135)

What goes around, comes around...

Who regulates these taxi drivers? Is anybody checking their driving????

Bicyclists can have as many bike lane as they want as long as they pay for it. Automobiles have roads to drive on because every car pays to register, pays in gas tax and pays through tolls (on some roads). Bicyclists (or natural gas or electric powered vehicles) should not get a free ride on roads that were paid for by others. If you want more bike lanes, pay for it, start a bicycle tax.

Hope this doesn't prevent him from attending all the free sporting events...Nah..he's a trooper, he'll be there with a sling on!

Autos should take care when passing a cyclist, I have had some close calls they need to be reminded to share the road that they don't own it. Show some kindness and courtesy one day you might be out riding on the streets. Cyclist be careful not to tailgate our braking systems are different than automobiles. Ride on be safe.

Was the bike owned by the mayor or a gift from a company?

Perhaps his bike ride was an official duty promoting green energy in the city.

Who bought the bike?

I thought it was gonna say from too much of rubbing elbows with celebrities.

I guess their wasn't a Lakers game last night.

If you want to bike, stay on the sidewalk.

to bad he didn't crack his head ,that way we can find out what really going on in that head of his .

I am genuinely sorry to hear that Mayor was injured, but noting the irresponsibility with which he makes charges and the opportunistic way in which he addresses serious problems, I'm sure we can expect a press release that will go something like this.

This incident was obviously orchestrated by the nasty forces that call themselves the Republican Party of Califoria. A racist Anglo (are there any other kind) surely mistook me for an illegal immigrant and viciously took steps to stop what he thought was an attempt to run the border, using a bicycle as transportation, by a person of Latino heritage. As a result I once again renew my opposition to the law soon to go into enforcement in Arizona.

Then in a week a retraction will be issued, when an investigation reveals that the taxi driver is actually an illegal immigrant, who surely was inspired to drive in a reckless manner due to being in a state of constant fear at the prospect of arrest by immigration agents. The mayor will also assert that he has no time to address the issue of the safety of bicyclists, as more important issues that need demagoguing on currently occupy his thoughts.

Too bad he didn't break his neck .

Hiroki -- What a joke. I wish that the police would start enforcing automobile traffic laws more. How many drivers run red lights, stop signs, talk on cell phones etc.? As far as I know, no driver of an automobile has ever been killed by a bicyclist. Please get your priorities in order. There are far more drivers violating the law than there are bicyclists.

i have always said,i you want to start to get California out of its financial funk,start giving out tickets to these bicycle jerks.they run stop signs,ride on the side walks,and thumb their noses at all the laws that they are required to observe.what is the fine for blowing a stop sign?the other day,i observed about twenty plus riders do that.whats with that?...also i hate to say,every time i see a Mexican on a nice bike like the one tony villar was riding,i figured he just stole it.

Finally, something positive could come out of this ineffective buffoon of a mayor. There is a problem that drivers do not understand: highways, street and public access is to be shared not own. The DMV and public safety officers should teach drivers that people's lives are more important than mere discomfort of a few seconds delay drive. We need more bicycle lanes and have a society open to change in how we view sharing the road. LA is becoming more a Third World city, no respect to pedestrian laws and people's lives.

ha ha ha... good job driver... they should give the driver a medal!!!

If even the Mayor of Los Angeles can be injured this way, what hope do the rest of us have?

Bicycles are vehicles. They belong in the road. We should celebrate cyclists, since they are using virtually pollution-free transportation that is easy on the roads.

This is a wake up call. Los Angeles should re-invent its roads to make them COMPLETE STREETS that safely accommodate every mode of transportation.

Share the road with bicycles. It's the law, and it's the right thing to do.

I expected the article to state that he broke his elbow attempting to pat himself on the back for all the great things he has accomplished as mayor, but then reality set in.

Cyclists are a menace to the road. They run stop signs and create hazards. Cyclists should be compelled to pay extra taxes and fees.

was it an illegal driving the cab?

Couldn't have happened to a nicer person. Really. Too bad it was only his elbow that was broken and not something else that could have really kept him from irritating everyone else, lying out his teeth on EVERYTHING, and out of the cameras. Now anything bicycle safety related is gonna become his mission, just watch.

Ah well. I do think there needs to be improvement in bike safety. Los Angeles drivers are HORRIBLE...but bike riders aren't innocent either. I've been nearly run over by people on bikes on the sidewalk when there has been a clearly marked bike path right next to the sidewalk.

You know, there is a place in this world where they have too many people and bicyclists rule the road... Communist China.

If A then B, therefore a vote for Stephen Box is a vote for Communism.

I also expected the story to state that this happened in Washington DC or some other locale other than Los Angeles. Who'd have thought Mayor Tony spent any time in his own city?

I loathe Villaraigosa as much as the next Los Angeles resident. But glad he wasn't hurt more seriously. But, yeah, riding a bike on Los Angeles streets is asking for trouble. I use the sidewalks now, and I don't care whether or not its illegal. It's safer, and LA's cops aren't going to bother ticketing me.

But I'd agree, that yes, a lot of the serious cyclists, with the creepy Spandex outfits and the shaved legs, etc., are obnoxious.

May NOW we'll, (cyclists), will get some safe roads!!!

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