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Sep 18, 2015

11-Year-Old Bicyclist Called Out Reckless Drivers Like A Boss

"It's whiny, entitled behavior you wouldn't tolerate from a kid, why should I tolerate it from adults?"

11-year-old Matlock Grossman, who goes by "Matty," boldly stood up before a town hall meeting in Silverlake, California recently, and called resident motorists out on their "whiny, entitled behavior."

View this video on YouTube / Via

The topic of debate at the meeting is the Rowena Road Diet, which reduced traffic on Rowena Avenue from two lanes in each direction, to one travel lane each direction, plus a center left turn lane and bike lanes. Some locals are upset with the changes, while bicyclists like Matty see the road diet as a positive change to make the road safer.

Matty, who rides his bike on the road in question to get to school, felt compelled to speak up.

Sean Meredith / Via

His mother, Debra Matlock told BuzzFeed, "He heard my husband and I talking about the Hyperion Bridge project and that they were sort of reopening the Rowena Road Diet. I saw on Facebook that there was a town hall meeting hosted by a friend of a friend. So, he got pretty fired up to speak. He had recently read the autobiography I Am Malala, so that's what inspired him to speak up."

The sixth grader told BuzzFeed, "I ride the Rowena stretch to get to the library and when I heard there were thinking about getting rid of the bike lanes, I couldn't imagine riding to the library anymore, so I decided to speak."

Sean Meredith / Via

In his speech, Matty calls out the unfair treatment that bicyclists get from motorists. He wrote, "I have lost track of the number of cars who have PURPOSELY violated my legal right to three feet of safety or shouted obscenities at me. Clearly there are motorists out there who are not mature enough to share the road without having the rules painted on the road to show them who goes where. The Road Diet by design is meant to slow cars down because — motorists are the problem."

Matty just wants equal treatment and protection on his bicycle that drivers expect to have when they are in their cars. He told the residents, "I don't understand why driving a car makes you think you're more important than someone else. You're not."

Sean Meredith / Via

His mom Debra insists that it was absolutely Matty's decision to speak up. She told BuzzFeed, "Before we went I said, 'If you want to bail out that's totally fine If the vibe is weird in the room, don't feel like you have to speak, you can always email your comments to the council person.' But now that I see the reaction people had to him, I think I was wrong about that. Maybe you do have to speak up."

Matty agrees, telling BuzzFeed, "You should always speak up when you see something wrong no matter who you are."

Matty hopes to be an astrophysicist or Mayor of Los Angeles. Either way, we're pretty sure this isn't the last we'll be hearing of Matlock Grossman.

Debra Matlock

Photo courtesy of Debra Matlock.