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Harassing a Bicyclist Could Cost You $1000

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Photo by Alex de Cordoba via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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Bicyclists in Los Angeles could soon be the beneficiaries of increased protection in the form of a new ordinance. The City Council is expected to take up a recommendation today from the Transportation and Public Safety Committee requesting "the City Attorney to prepare and present an ordinance making it a civil violation of the Los Angeles Municipal Code, including a fine of up to $1,000, for anyone to harass, threaten, or assault a bicyclist," according to today's Council agenda.

"In his report to both the council's Public Safety and Transportation Committees, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich said bicyclists have complained that people spit at them; throw liquids and solid objects at them; verbally threaten them; drive too close and cut them off; and honk horns to scare them," reports the Daily Breeze.

In the wake of several high-profile incidents involving bicyclists, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's accident, a motorist's brutal attack on riders in Mandeville Canyon, and the LAPD harassing groups of riders, bicyclists' rights have become a key issue in city politics. Just last week, however, the L.A. Planning Commission aligned themselves with the cycling community to reject the city's "Bicycle Plan."