As a resident of the Ocean Park community of Santa Monica I truly love to ride my bike on the beach bike path. As such, I was shocked to have a very unfriendly encounter with a police officer in Redondo Beach this weekend while peacefully riding on the bike path.
I was slowly riding my bike in the path (~5 mph) on a Sunday afternoon when an officer demanded that I get off. Surprised I immediately got off of the bike and walked over to the officer. I asked what I did wrong, and he scoffed saying that I was in a no bike zone, and he immediately took out his pad to start writing a ticket. Startled I asked where the signs were, and he assured me there was a large stop sign, with lights, and it was extremely clear.
After receiving my ticket and marching back, what I saw was a police operated bike trap, whereby the city is writing tickets in excess of $100. There was no writing on the pavement, and there was only one small, unassuming sign indicating that bikers should stop riding in this area. While there were blinking red lights, the vehicle code meaning of those lights is to stop and then proceed, not to stop and walk ones bike. I fully appreciate the need for safety on bike paths, but this is truly extortionate. What about all the pedestrians who strut their stuff on the bike lanes? Redondo Beach is clearly desperate for revenue and thereby setting a trap to catch people from outside the area.
Santa Monica residents, do yourselves a favor and simply avoid the Redondo Beach part of the bike path, it’s unsafe at any speed.