L.A. Councilmember Proposes Criminalizing On-Street Bike Repairs

Councilmember Krekorian's proposal to criminalize bike repairs and sales on public right-of-way has been sharply criticized as a cynical move that will unfairly target the unhoused.

Read Time: 2 minutes

February 13, 2022, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Metro Bikeshare

Miune / Shutterstock

A proposal from a Los Angeles city councilmember to criminalize people who repair or sell bicycles in the public right-of-way has drawn criticism from advocates from the unhoused, reports Sahra Sulaiman for Streetsblog Los Angeles. 

"The motion, part of what might best be described as Buscaino’s 'broken sidewalks' platform – the effort to position himself as The Reclaimer of Streets from Utter Lawlessness as he runs for mayor – was said to be necessary in order for law enforcement to be able to address the larger problem of bicycle theft." As Sulaiman points out, Councilmember Paul Krekorian's statement that "one hundred percent" of Metro bike share bikes had been stolen from North Hollywood is false, as the area's stations have been out of service while Metro switches out the fleet.

"The scrutiny people of color, and lower-income and unhoused people of color, in particular, face with regard to bikes more generally is already intense, disruptive, and sometimes fatal." As an example, Sulaiman describes the 2013 killing of Ricardo Díaz Zeferino by Gardena police officers. Several councilmembers raised objections to the proposed ordinance. "It’s very different when you have to think about the problems that will be created by – and the jeopardy that you’ll be put in by – a policy if you’re someone who might be targeted," said Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who called the proposal "absolutely outrageous and beyond the pale."

Wednesday, February 9, 2022 in Streetsblog Los Angeles

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