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Santa Monica Bike Paths Present “Turf War” Between Cyclists And Pedestrians

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SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — A city that attracts tourists from around the world to its oceanfront pier and sprawling beach is drawing criticism for its chaotic bike paths.

KCAL9’s Bobby Kaple reports a turf war between cyclists and pedestrians is brewing in the city of Santa Monica – and cyclists may be winning.

“Essentially, the bikers have the right of way, but when people come out here speaking different languages not knowing the culture of what’s going on out here, they’ll just look at it as it’s a free for all,” said cyclist John Bivens.

Last week, Bivens was involved in a collision during his routine afternoon bike ride through Santa Monica, which Bivens claimed was primarily caused by the pedestrian who walked into the bike path directly in front of him without checking for oncoming cyclists.

“A young lady right in this walkway stepped in front of me and I ended up having a collision with her, and she was out cold,” he said. “You can be riding and if you are not 100 percent aware of what’s going on at all times, somebody is going to walk right in front of you, and 9 times out of 10 you’re not going to be able to react.”

While Santa Monica Police would not comment on the extent of the woman’s injuries, local lifeguards and police officers said the incident is all too commonplace despite signage that instructs pedestrians to look both ways.

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