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Caught in an unruly cycle

Local bicyclists complain that road etiquette is being shirked lately by many motorists.

August 02, 2008|By Veronica Rocha

GLENDALE — Bicyclist Deonne Monory wants to peacefully share city streets with motorists, but the roads have recently become more hostile.

Monory was almost hit by a motorist about two weeks ago on Broadway near Glendale Boulevard on her way to work at Glendale Adventist Memorial Center, she said.

“I have never been so scared before,” said Monory, 43, of Tujunga.

Attacks on cyclists are not uncommon, said Planning and Policy Director Dorothy Le of the Los Angeles County Bike Coalition.

Intimidation is often a factor of the attacks against cyclists, such as honking, motorists passing too closely to cyclists, tailgating and forcing a cyclist off the road, Le said.

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“If you [cycle] in [Los Angeles], you have to develop a thick skin to those types of things,” she said.

Incidents between bicyclists and motorists are not common in Glendale, police Sgt. Dennis Smith said.

“We had some, but not that many,” he said.

Monory was riding her bicycle when a white, Nissan minivan charged at her. Monory said the vehicle’s female driver yelled profanity, racial slurs and threatened to run her over.

The car was 6 inches away from her, Monory said.

“There’s nothing between me and the car except my body,” she said. “She had more than enough space.”

As the Nissan sped away, Monory was able to take a photograph with her cellphone of the minivan’s license plate.

Monory filed a report with the Glendale Police Department, and officers put together a lineup of six women who drive a similar minivan. Monory was unable to identify the driver.

“But I dream about her voice,” she said.

The owner of the minivan claimed to not know who was driving the vehicle during the time of the road-rage incident, Monory said.

“We have had a lot of road-rage attacks on people who ride bikes to work by motorists who think the road should not be shared with anyone else but themselves,” she said.

Monory said she has noticed in the past five years motorists’ attitudes toward bicyclists in the city have changed. Drivers have become more brazen, in that some try to challenged bicyclists to race, she said

“Glendale is different and not a friendly place to be,” Monory said. “It’s not safe anymore.”

Le has been riding her bicycle for four years in the L.A. area, and has become cognizant about her surroundings since she began riding.

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