Horsin’ Around

As you may know, the City of Burbank recently knuckled under to one-percenter pressure and banned bicycles from the Mariposa bridge over the LA River. You now can’t even dismout and push them across: bicycles are not allowed in any way, shape, or form on this bridge. The reason: fear that they will “spook” the horses ridden by the ultimate in self-entitled privilege junkies, the Equestrian-unAmerian community infesting Riverside Drive. Yes, from up on their skittish beasts, they literally look down on everyone. So, no bikes on the bridge. Even though, according to a 1938 Burbank Daily Review article quoted in an LA Times’ report, this bridge “would be for ‘only equestrians, cyclists and hikers.'”

None of that mattered to the present-day pseudo-centaurs growling out bike hate: their horses are just too nervous to be anywhere near a bicycle. Somehow, though, horses have been trained to go calmly into war for millennia. Yes, they can put up with flying bullets, arrows, and spears, flashing swords and bayonets, roaring cannons, and screams of rage and agony all around, but they can’t see a bicycle without suffering a heart attack. Maybe modern-day equestrians are just too lazy to train their beasts?

In another extralegal assumption of privilege, horsie folks actually made up their own official-looking signs “banning” bikes from the bridge long before Burbank’s city council (which had originally approved a cyclists-dismount provision) finally gave in to their relentless kvetching. No surprise: I’ve actually had horse people teel me that hiking was prohibited on Sierra trails for the same reason. You know, just plain walking. This was untrue, by the way.

The equestrians’ main argument is that bikes are prohibited on the dirt trails of Griffith Park, to which the bridge leads. This is true. But, a few feet from the park end of the bridge is a paved trail (AKA a “road”) where bikes are permitted, and could be walked to. And, of course, the LA River bike path will soon be extended past the bridge.

However, as CiclaValley reports, last night the very same Burbank city council met to consider accepting Metro funds to build a bicyclist- and pedestrian-only bridge about half a mile west of Mariposa, connecting Bob Hope Drive to the park side of the river. This is in anticipation of the bike path extension.

No word yet on the results of this august body’s deliberations. Maybe they’ll quit horsin’ around and allow all the city’s denizens free access to the river and Griffith Park. Maybe they’ll cower in fear of the stirrup set again and let the opportunity pass them by.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

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  1. Posted February 24, 2016 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    After applying for this Grant nearly 5 years ago, the Burbank City Council finally approved accepting the requested Metro funding for planning and design of the pedestrian/bike bridge crossing the LA River at the February 23, 2016 meeting. However, There will be more council approval iterations required for continued design and construction funding of this bridge project. That means if everything goes perfectly efficient and timely with all required Council approvals – the bridge will be completed in about 4 years….

    If there are any Council delays created by this seemingly endless iterative-process of required approvals, the bridge can take up to several additional years longer than the already (best case) 4-year estimate to complete.

    But bicycle-possession by pedestrians becomes ILLEGAL on the Mariposa Street bridge public right-of-way STARTING IN 30 DAYS from today – and that requires NO FURTHER Council approval…

  2. Mary Dickson
    Posted February 25, 2016 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    One clarification/question: Why do you think that bicycles are not permitted on trails? The LA City park ordinance says that you may not “ride” or “operate” a bicycle on a trail, but most reasonable people understand that means you can push or carry your bicycle. You are legally a pedestrian when you walk with your bike. You wouldn’t do that on a long trail, but a bicyclist might walk their bike on a shortcut (e.g., the cut-through to Travel Town). We were told the signs (which say that bicycles are prohibited) were posted by Parks & Rec, but we were also told by the LA City Attorney that the signs are wrong – bikes are not prohibited, bicycle riding is prohibited on trails. I am concerned that this continuing confusion will impact the extension of the LA River Path, which the equestrians reported is “highly controversial”!

  3. Posted February 25, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure why no one has ever bumped the pressure up on these equestrians. These equestrians get to poo all around public property with absolutely no qualms about it! …….That’s their horses, not them! Even though there has been sightings of the human variety, I am not accusing them of this. This could change as this issue comes to light. Seems like it wouldn’t be a bad idea to include it into any passage presented to Council.

    It wouldn’t be a bad idea to require these equestrians to start scooping up their horse’s poo. This is required for dog lovers isn’t it? So why do horses get a free pass? Sure you can equestrnize all you want in Griffith Park, but make sure you clean up after your horse!

  4. El Sharto
    Posted February 26, 2016 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    This is horsepucky!!!

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] Risemberg says horses have gone into war for millennia, but somehow can’t see a bicycle on the Mariposa bridge without suffering a heart […]

  2. By Today’s Headlines | Streetsblog Los Angeles on February 25, 2016 at 10:02 am

    […] Flying Pigeon Is Irritated At Equestrians For Blocking Burbank Bridge […]

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