New Bicyclist Anti-Harassment Ordinance on Deck for City Panel

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Photo by R. E. ~ via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

Lots of transporation news is coming out these days, from the new Silver Line and 902 Line, a car-free art show and now this new motion, via Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl's office:

The City is working to improve the quality of bicycling in the City and encourage more people to travel by bicycle. Unfortunately, as more people use bicycles, there has been an increase in the number of clashes between cyclists and automobiles. Bicyclists report that they have been bumped off the road, screamed at by drivers and had objects thrown at them. Occasionally, these situations have resulted in serious verbal altercations and physical assaults.

As efforts are made to promote bicycling, the City must take steps to stop the harassment of bicyclists. Several cities and states are addressing this issue by implementing ordinances that make harassing a bicyclist a criminal offense. It is important for the City of Los Angeles to do the same. Such a law would discourage this type of behavior toward cyclists, as well as provide another tool to prosecute offending individuals.

I THEREFORE MOVE that the City Attorney, working with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, be requested to prepare and present an ordinance that would prohibit the harassment of bicyclists in the City of Los Angeles.

It wil be discussed at a special bicycle-theme transportation committee meeting next week. It's likely, though, that the ordinance will not include rules for police. But in light of recent accusations that LAPD officers were tackling riders for running red lights, a working group next year will address how officers deal with bicyclists in addition to an internal investigation.

Other topics at the meeting will include sharrows, bicycle sharing and the draft master bicycle plan.