Bicyclist Anti-Harassment Ordinance Now Law

Update 3 : Here’s a round-up of links covering the ordinance from the week – The Los Angeles Times, LAist (twice), Curbed LA, LA Now, The Source, Streetsblog LA (more than a few times), Biking in LA, LA Daily News (re-run in the Contra Costa Times), Flying Pigeon LA, and Blog Downtown, San Fernando Valley Sun, NBC Los Angeles.

Nationally: Washington Post, Huffington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, ETA (UK)

We’ll add more links as they’re published.

Update 2 : The official language of the ordinance is available on the City Clerk’s website here.

In total, 11 speakers came up to speak on the Bicyclist Anti-Harassment Ordinance, and all but one were supportive of the ordinance. Afterwards, Council Members Koretz, Rosendahl, LaBonge, Garcetti, Reyes, and Cardenas all spoke in favor of the ordinance.  Many important points were made by the council members and public speakers alike. Some of the highlights:

  • Council Member Koretz tried bicycling for the first time in 15 years during Carmageddon and was promptly harassed while on the road.  This type of behavior, he correctly observed, is what keeps prospective riders from getting out on the streets.
  • Council Member Reyes made the argument that many of Los Angeles’ bicyclists have to do so because of economic necessity.  Finding ways to protect them also protects their livelihoods and LA’s economy.
  • Attorney and bicyclist Ross Hirsch got the “visual aide award” for bringing his two sons up to the podium with him, urging the City Council to adopt the ordinance so that his sons might ride to school safely.
  • Ted Rogers of Biking in LA recounted the same story that he earlier told for Bill Rosendahl’s Youtube Channel.
  • Council Member Garcetti imagined a day where instead of “Carmageddon”, we might have a “Cycletopia”.
  • In a clear example of who the ordinance would benefit, CM Tom LaBonge asked for everyone in council chambers who had ridden a bike in Los Angeles in the last month to stand.  Over 90% of the room left their seats, making clear that this ordinance is a step in the right direction for everyone.
  • CM Cardenas lauded the efforts to “put teeth into the law”.  He made clear that what the ordinance really addresses is the “so what?” attitude that a small number of drivers take towards the rights of bicyclists.
  • CM Rosendahl noted the precedent-setting nature of this ordinance.  He pointed out that a lot of eyes around the nation are on Los Angeles right now, and we have the chance to inspire other cities to provide similar protections to their citizens.

The bike racks outside City Hall were well-used today

Update 1 : The Bicyclist Anti-Harassment Ordinance passed with a unanimous 12-0 vote at City Council. More details to come.

The Los Angeles City Council meets today at 10:00 AM and the Bicyclist Anti-Harassment Ordinance is scheduled for item #19. Since regular working folks won’t have the ability to attend today’s council meeting, we’re going to provide play-by-play at council by live-tweeting the proceedings from the BikeBlogChris twitter handle. We’re using the hashtags #bikeLA and #lamtg, so feel free to join in the conversation throughout the day.

You can also call the Council Phone system to listen in or stream the proceedings live on your computer.

We’ll leave you with one more excellent video put together by Bill Rosendahl’s office, this time interviewing Ted Rogers, the excellent author of the Biking in LA blog. We’ll have an update later today with the results of the council vote.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmlYpNfwwr0]

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