Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cyclist Escorted Off 405

A bicycle rider headed south on a car-less San Diego (405) Freeway was escorted off the road in West Los Angeles Saturday.

The rider, on racing-style bike, was spotted at 8:36 a.m. near the Montana Avenue in Brentwood, Sherman said. A CHP motorcycle officer shadowed the man and persuaded him to pull off the freeway near the junction with the Santa Monica (10) Freeway about 10 minutes later.

All along the 10-mile shutdown site, LA's finest and CHP officers are on the lookout for these unwelcome guests, although they are geared up for more than a cyclist.

Part of the plan has the LAFD using Carmageddon to test a motorcycle pilot program. Two teams of two firefighters are riding Kawasaki motorcycles 15 hours a day during the closure. The bikes are packed with 100 pounds of medical equipment and supplies and can run on smooth road or rough terrain.

Fire officials say the two-wheel approach provides a fast first response in case alternate routes are choked with traffic.

Once the freeway reopens Monday morning and the pilot program ends, the motorcycles will be returned to Kawasaki, and the overall success will be evaluated.

A group of riders had sought permission to plummet southbound through the pass while the freeway was closed, but that request was denied.

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