A cop thought he could intimidate a bike rider. Big mistake

I don’t know Long Beach at all, but the 3mph limit suggests that these are pedestrian paths. Is that the situation here?

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Yeah. This is an esplanade right alongside the ocean.

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There are good people in Long Beach working hard to make it a more bike-friendly city. Because the boardwalk is shared space and the Aquarium of the Pacific is right there, you have a lot of people out pushing little kids in strollers. The cop is not the bad guy here.

I think it’s “walk your bike.”

civic sectional code.

This gets tricky. When I was on the L.A. bike advisory committee, a councilman was telling us he wanted a 3mph rule for sidewalks in DTLA. There were cops in the room. I asked LAPD: Is there any technology to facilitate accurate enforcement a 3 mph law? Nope. Issue was dropped.

As a cyclist, this is what I would argue as well, especially if I’m not -flying- around the Rainbow Harbor boardwalk. Which, incidentally, is covered in mostly unsustainably harvested Amazon Rainforest wood. “This law as it stands is unenforceable - you have no way of pinning down whether I’m going 2.9 MPH or 3.1 MPH.”

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Agreed. I ride about a hundred miles a week, and ride a mountain bike in a competitive sport. Going under 3mph is difficult if not impossible, which is probably why the cop defaults to “walk your bike.” Or, as the OP’s other videos suggest, he was doing BMX tricks in the Esplanade, and the cop didn’t like it and decided to fudge the law.

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As I understand it, this is roughly why there’s no enforced speed limit on bikes (England & Wales). Not that many people can go above 20 mph in a 20 zone, or 30 in a 30 for very long, but such a rule would require bikes to have accurate speedometers. That and anyone going that fast is more of a danger to themselves than anyone else.

(Full disclosure, I cycle, I drive, I take public transport. I sometimes take a taxi.)


For bonus points, the story takes place at lunchtime near the courthouse. Later in the day the cops arrive at the courthouse to testify in a trial and are stunned to find the person they harassed dressed not in biking clothes but in a robe and seated not on a bike but on the bench.

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The weird thing about a 3mph limit is like… there’s surely joggers out there. A 10 minute mile, which is fairly standard for a beginning runner, is 6mph, twice the speed limit for bikes. A skilled runner might be doing 10mph.

(I think a 10-12mph limit for bikes on a pedestrian walkway is reasonable, although I go faster than that if there aren’t people around)


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