LADOT to Cyclists: “Watch the Road” or Be “Bug Splatter”

If you don’t care for DOT’s new bike safety ads, here’s something you’ll really hate.

Damien Newtown out at Streetsblog LA pointed us to this flippant, counterproductive LADOT spot earlier today. While our own DOT implores street users to look out for each other, the agency’s LA counterpart plays up the supremacy of the motorist by likening cyclists to insects. Writes Damien:

[F]or anyone that thinks that it’s unfair to pull an LADOT advertisement
from a couple of years ago to compare to the hard-hitting stuff being
put out in NYC, components of the "Laws of Physics" advertisement
campaign are still being circulated today. At Bike to Work Day, I
received a yellow bracelet bearing the slogan "Ride right and stop at
the light," a slogan which still confuses me. Are they telling me to
ride correctly, or urging me to ride in the gutter? Is the bracelet an
example of bad grammar or bad advice?

Like several New York readers, Damien wonders if the "Look" ads might unintentionally scare would-be cyclists off the roads. But relatively speaking, at least, NYC DOT’s message holds up pretty well.

  • No hating here, I think it’s a good ad. Somebody needs to tell the cyclists riding the wrong way how to ride correctly. I tend to mutter “Wrong way” or something similar whenever I ride past someone going the wrong direction on the road, but an ad is going to do a lot more than one person.

  • Andy

    It’s a bit harsh for a PSA, and I can’t say I like cyclists being compared to insects, but the message is fine by me. I commute to work by bike everyday, and when I’m on city streets I ride the way I would drive. I wish police would stop cyclists that ride on sidewalks or the wrong way on streets and explain to them why it’s dangerous. I saw a cyclist going the wrong way on a busy 3 lane street the other day nearly get squashed by a van turning onto the road. While the driver would ultimately be the one to blame, I wouldn’t say that the cyclist has any excuse in that situation.

    When I’m on country roads, or when there’s no traffic approaching the intersection, I roll through and maybe even at speed if it’s clearly an open roadway. But the moment that I see cars around, I ride predictably and follow the rules so that I don’t cause or end up in a collision.

  • eLK

    As usual, it’s a one way street…..

    Most of the riders that I see riding the wrong way are messengers and delivery guys (commercial traffic). Do you think this ad is part of their viewing demographic?

    I’d like to see an add that asks drivers to be a bit more responsible.

    How’s this: The speed limit is 30, yet the average speed of motor traffic is 8. So why are they racing to the line of cars at the next red light?

  • Raiyn

    The ad’s fine. Whatever it takes to get these “salmon” pointed in the right direction.

  • Erin

    How about an ad NOT encouraging drivers to speed around like they’re racing?!


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