advertisement

UPDATE: Bicycle harassment ordinance passes unanimously

Tuesday, June 16, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 9:40 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 7, 2009

COLUMBIA — A bicyclist harassment ordinance passed unanimously at the City Council meeting Monday after nearly an hour and a half of discussion.

The ordinance makes harassment of bicyclists — including throwing objects, verbal assault and other offenses — a misdemeanor offense punishable by a $1,000 fine or one year of jail time, the council said.  

After the lengthy testimony from citizens and discussion by the council, the ordinance passed with plans to amend it at the July 20 City Council meeting. At that time, the ordinance will be expanded to include other types of pedestrian traffic.

The delay in a decision was due to debate over who should be covered under the harassment ordinance. Some council members felt the ordinance should be broader and encompass other types of pedestrian traffic, while others thought protecting bicyclists was important now and the rest could be added later.

Many in the bicycling community showed up to voice their feelings about the ordinance. Twenty individuals, some with children in tow, lined up to wait for their turn at the microphone. All 20 supported the ordinance.

Residents cited a number of reasons for their support and shared horror stories from bike riding. The tales ranged from waking up face down in ditches to having ashtrays dumped on their heads. The consensus among supporters was that the ordinance would help protect them on the streets.

“Unfortunately, there are people in our community who believe that roads are for automobiles and bicyclists who dare ride on the road should be honked at, yelled at or even have something thrown at them,” PedNet Education Coordinator Robert Johnson said.  

The ordinance, which is modeled after similar ordinances in South Carolina and Colorado, makes it a misdemeanor to do the following: throw an object at or in the direction of a cyclist, threatening a cyclist to frighten or disturb the cyclist, sounding a horn with the intention to frighten or disturb a cyclist, knowingly placing a cyclist in the path of physical injury, or knowingly engaging in conduct that creates a risk of death or serious physical injury for a cyclist.

Residents who spoke at the meeting said they have experienced all of the above, and those who remained after the deliberation stood and cheered when the ordinance  passed.  

“If you’ve ever been in a subcompact car and had a semi get on your back bumper and blow the horn, that’s what it was like,” ordinance supporter Steve Epstein said of being tailed by motorists.

Before the ordinance passed, the only charge for a cyclist to file against a motorist exhibiting these behaviors was third-degree assault. The new ordinance “fills in the gaps,” Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton said.

Although both bicyclist harassment and third-degree assault are Class A misdemeanors, the language of the new ordinance includes actions that do not fall under a third-degree misdemeanor charge.  

The council disagreed over who should benefit from the ordinance. Fourth Ward Councilman Jerry Wade thought harassment prevention should be applied to everyone, not specific sets of people.  

“I think that it is inappropriate to start crafting ordinances that specify each individual group,” he said.

Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala disagreed.  

“I don’t see reducing harassment for any population as a privilege. I guess I see it more as a right,” he said. “Maybe it would even set the example for harassment for other groups.”

Eventually, the council agreed it was better to have an ordinance in place to protect cyclists from harassment immediately and to later add protection for other pedestrians, such as walkers, joggers and individuals in wheelchairs.

Supporters leaving the council chambers three hours after the meeting started expressed their satisfaction with the ordinance's passage. 

“I was shocked,” Pam Thorne said. “I thought it was leaning toward not passing, but I think at the end they finally realized it was worth passing, but maybe with some rewording.”

Resident and bicyclist Steve Kullman was also pleased with the results. 

"I’m especially happy that they’re going to expand to other methods of transportation,” he said.


Like what you see here? Become a member.


Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Comments

Bob Smith June 16, 2009 | 7:49 a.m.

I live near the Katy Trail and on a daily basis see what kind of dangerous acts some of the bicylist do. I think I'll start videotaping some of the behavior and bring it to the city council and PedNet. Maybe then they can see that, yes, Columbia auto drivers are bad, but the bicyclist are just as bad.

(Report Comment)
Greg Collins June 16, 2009 | 8:03 a.m.

Memo to the city clowncil ... those minority of cyclist falling into the willfully stupid category and whose repeatedly reckless behavior deserves a horn honking and cussing will still get it ... I look for this to be repealed after the first few cases get laughed out of court.

(Report Comment)
Michael Scott June 16, 2009 | 8:41 a.m.

Our city is falling apart. This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard of. And the fact they wasted so much time on it makes you wonder about the intelligence of our council. You can't take the right to honk away. If a bicyclist does something stupid or illegal (which is pretty much all the time), that's what they put horns on cars for.

(Report Comment)
Andrew Hansen June 16, 2009 | 9:32 a.m.

Sometimes Columbia is such a silly place.

(Report Comment)
Thomas Dillingham June 16, 2009 | 9:40 a.m.

What recourse will motorists have when the reckless behavior of bicyclists--which is far more common than the law-abiding kind, at least downtown and around the campus--leads to accidents or false accusations? Every time I drive in Columbia, I see bicyclists coming off sidewalks to cut diagonally across the road in front of cars, I see bicyclists ignoring stop signs and racing through intersections, I see bicyclists ignoring red lights, riding the wrong way on the street, generally ignoring common sense, much less the rules of the road. What protection does a motorist have from that kind of behavior? I regularly encounter bicyclists at night riding with no headlights, no reflectors, wearing dark clothing. What protection does a motorist have against that kind of hazard? The motorist will be blamed for any accident. This ordinance is one-sided and probably unenforceable, but it reflects the smug and holier-than-thou attitude and rhetoric of bicyclists who insist that they are "harassed" and always innocent. Yes, sometimes motorists are irrational and angry. Oddly enough, sometimes motorists have good reason to be angry at the reckless scofflaws who ride bicycles, and don't tell me those are a minority--I have driven for too many years in Columbia to believe that.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz June 16, 2009 | 9:48 a.m.

I wonder how many people mocking the ordinance and posing various what-ifs have even read the language? I'm not necessarily in favor of it, but there is some stretching going on here.

(Report Comment)
Greg Collins June 16, 2009 | 10:13 a.m.

"John Schultz June 16, 2009 | 9:48 a.m.
I wonder how many people mocking the ordinance and posing various what-ifs have even read the language? I'm not necessarily in favor of it, but there is some stretching going on here."

Yep, read it. A pathetic document but the part that calls for harassment to include as sounding "a horn, shouts or otherwise directs sound toward any person riding a bicycle for the purpose of frightening or disturbing the person riding the bicycle" is about as dumb as it comes.

Shouting a warning about stupid behavior could very easily be abused by a minority of cyclists who are "disturbed" or "frightened" when they blow through stop signs or other reckless stunts.

Apparently the council has now blessed this bad cycling behavior with special status and thus the minority of bikers I personally classify as jerks and idiots are now -- by ordinance -- immune from the slings and arrows other motorists get such as horn honking, single finger salutes or the "way to go dumba--" comments often made during efforts to avoid a collision or wake them up.

(Report Comment)
Allan Sharrock June 16, 2009 | 10:17 a.m.

So who are the enforcers of the ordinance? I mean can any bike rider just call the police and you (the driver) gets a fine?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 16, 2009 | 11:02 a.m.

(It's amazing that this town is now issuing ordinances on manners and creating a new "protected class" of citizens. Have you hugged your bicycle today?)
Perhaps we also need to have license plates on bicycles so that car drivers can report 2-wheelers that jump out of no where, drive at night with no lights, run stop signs and red lights and pass on the right...Heck, there are bicycles being used by 16-19 year olds to case homes in parts of Columbia and an ordinance for license plates would help identify these criminals who are riding around between homes and in backyards and then ride away on sidewalks.
I've also witnessed bicycle riders litter and yell at automobiles. Are we not allowed to yell back? If a family is walking on campus and a bicycle cuts them of or haphazardly approaches, is the father not allowed to holler at the cyclists? If the cyclists ignores the "watch out, we're walking here" yell, and the upset family gives the biker the one finger salute, do we put that family in jail for an entire year?
(Where is the ACLU when you need them? Where's AAA? I accuse the city council of intmidation, hostility and harrassment of automobile drivers. What recourse of action do I have? Maybe the motorists of Columbia should privately pass an ordinance on the city council forbiding them to pass STUPID/UNFAIR INAPPROPRIATE ordinances. I think it's time to start making some phone calls to automobile-friendly attorneys/politicians and challenge the "fairness" of this ordinance. It's time to blow negative effects of having a city run by GetAbout-PedNet Lovers out of the water. This town is getting to have the reputation of being CAR-UNFRIENDLY. What kind of medal does our mayor get for that?)

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking June 16, 2009 | 11:26 a.m.

ray wrote:

"This town is getting to have the reputation of being CAR-UNFRIENDLY. "

I'd imagine few people, other than those whose hatred for bicyclists leads them to spend large amounts of time complaining about them, would think that Columbia is in any way car-unfriendly. The amount of money spent to maintain, build and widen roads every year dwarfs the GAC budget.

That said, this ordinance is likely unenforceable for most incidents - it will be the cyclist's word against the motorist's. It's simply a tool that police have for obvious incidents of harassment (which it sounds like Ray is ready and willing to oblige). Day to day, Ray, you'll notice little change. Relax.

DK

(Report Comment)
Jason Ozenberger June 16, 2009 | 11:28 a.m.

I am out on the road practically every day on my bicycle, whether it is commuting, training, or riding with my family. Most people I ride with, myself included, follow the rules of the road. We keep as far right as possible (when safe), follow all traffic signals and signs, and wait our turn in lines when stopped at intersections. Just like cars. No riding on the sidewalk or anything like that. Needless to say, there is always someone that has to pass me without giving me any room in the lane (i am talking about passing within 18 inches of me). If there was something in the road that I needed to avoid, I would have nowhere to go except into the vehicle beside me. I also always have people pass me in school zones when I am going 20-21 mph. The speed limit is 20 mph. Usually these people pass me so they can beat me to the red light. Completely unnecessary. I would like to think that the new harassment ordinance will not be abused, but I am sure that there are going to be people that take advantage of the system and report incidents like this. Which is unfortunate since all it will do is further sour the relations between motorists and cyclists. That is the thing about all of the press that this ordinance is getting: people that might not have previously had a problem with cyclists on the road, might now. Lets just all have some respect out on the roads people.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 16, 2009 | 11:32 a.m.

The mayor's next step in forcing people to give up their cars and "love" bicycles will be the passing of an ordinance to make any perceived negative behaviors, comments or thoughts against the bicycle or cyclists as a "hate" crime.
What's even more bizarre is that he's able to manipulate his egotistical mission onto the City Council by parading its support by a few, select residents.
Our city council members are behaving like lemmings.
(A one-sided ordinance to overly-protect cyclists!
This mayor is one very smart, dangerous attorney.)

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking June 16, 2009 | 11:37 a.m.

Ray, this has far less to do with the mayor and far more to do with the efforts of a dedicated cycling community. You could have gone to the meeting and voiced your opposition just as easily as any of the supporters did. More easily, in fact. I'd imagine few of them drove (I wasn't there, BTW).

DK

(Report Comment)
John Schultz June 16, 2009 | 11:40 a.m.

The proposed language of the ordinance is below (unknown to me at this time if council amended it in any way). I'm not seeing the major concerns that some people are pointing out. Subsection 3 is what most people who are actually arguing about the ordinance (as opposed to conduct of bicyclists and other philosophical grumblings) are concerned about. Personally, I think the purpose clause leaves a major loophole as someone would have to judge the intent of someone's yelling/honking toward a biker.

Sec. 16-145. Harassment of a bicyclist.
(a) A person commits the offense of harassment of a bicyclist if the person:
(1) Knowingly throws an object at or in the direction of any person riding a
bicycle; or
(2) Threatens any person riding a bicycle for the purpose of frightening or disturbing the person riding the bicycle; or
(3) Sounds a horn, shouts or otherwise directs sound toward any person riding a bicycle for the purpose of frightening or disturbing the person riding the bicycle; or
(4) Knowingly places a person riding a bicycle in apprehension of immediate physical injury; or
(5) Knowingly engages in conduct that creates a risk of death or serious physical injury to the person riding a bicycle.
(b) Harassment of a bicyclist is a Class A misdemeanor.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 16, 2009 | 11:43 a.m.

Mark:
Per the ordinance:
"...a misdemeanor offense punishable by a $1,000 fine or one year of jail time, the council said.")
In my world, an apology usually will suffice for any offense involving bicycle indignation.
What amazes me is that the arrogance and entitlement attitudes of the cyclists, of all ages from teenagers on up, indicates that they not only know how to apologize but they actually feel so inferior and intimidated by being in a world with 2,000lb. people driven automobiles, that they have to "cry" to the mayor for protection....

(Report Comment)
J W June 16, 2009 | 12:28 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Greg Collins June 16, 2009 | 12:33 p.m.

"Personally, I think the purpose clause leaves a major loophole as someone would have to judge the intent of someone's yelling/honking toward a biker." John Schultz June 16, 2009 | 11:40 a.m.

Bingo ... quite right.

However, the larger question is why have to appear before a judge at all because some apparently emotionally crippled or immature cyclists are fearful of getting flipped off, cussed out or honked at -- and go running to mother government for help saying the world is mean to them.

It comes down to the fact we have some cyclists - a vocal minority - unable to deal with the realities of life on a paved road.

What's next? An ordinance that requires us all to play nice together?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 16, 2009 | 12:38 p.m.

John Schultz:
Here's my proposed "ordinance."
Harassment of a living, breathing human being.
(a) A person commits the offense of harassment of another person if the perpetrator:
(1) Knowingly throws an object at or in the direction of any person for any reason other then trying to get their attention or transferring goods or product.
(2) Threatens any person for the purpose of frightening or disturbing the person, unless you are trying to communicate with that person.
(3) Sounds a horn, shouts or otherwise directs sound toward any person for the purpose of frightening or disturbing the person, unless the perpetrator's intent is to get the other person's attention.
(4) Knowingly places a person in apprehension of immediate physical injury, unless the presence of another person automatically puts the "supposed victim" in a heightened state of awareness and increases anxiety levels.
(5) Knowingly engages in conduct that creates a risk of death or serious physical injury unless being on this planet automatically puts people at risk to begin with.
(b) Harassment of a person can be considered annoying and unless it's proven that a person has been the sole reason for any physical harm done to another person, an apology for being "ill-tempered" will suffice as such behavior is legally considered as a crass three misbehavior punishable by society's plea of please don't do that again.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 16, 2009 | 12:47 p.m.

@Greg Collins:
("What's next? An ordinance that requires us all to play nice together?")
Exactly.
Just another reason to have to hire a lawyer to represent and defend one's "frame of mind" and "actual intent" when some guy on a bicycle "feels" uncomfortable or slighted.
This ordinance is a nuisance ordinance against the populace and will only generate more animosity between our residents and add cash flow for some key, elitists.
The mayor is an opportunists.
The city council has "sold us out."

(Report Comment)
Bill Smith June 16, 2009 | 1:27 p.m.

Sounds like about everything is already covered by a state statute. Perhaps our city government didn't think about the creative application of laws already existent on the books.

(a) A person commits the offense of harassment of a bicyclist if the person:

(1) Knowingly throws an object at or in the direction of any person riding a bicycle; (This would fall under the state statute of 3rd degree assault, unless the object didn't strike the bicyclist or whiz past them placing them in apprehension of immediate physical injury, in which case it would fall under the state statute for littering.)

(2) Threatens any person riding a bicycle for the purpose of frightening or disturbing the person riding the bicycle; (this section is quite possibly the only thing that might not be entirely enforceable under an existing state statute. However, it can loosely be enforced using the state peace disturbance statute.)

(3) Sounds a horn, shouts or otherwise directs sound toward any person riding a bicycle for the purpose of frightening or disturbing the person riding the bicycle; (this would fall under the state statute for peace disturbance.)

(4) Knowingly places a person riding a bicycle in apprehension of immediate physical injury; (this is covered by 3rd degree assault)

(5) Knowingly engages in conduct that creates a risk of death or serious physical injury to the person riding a bicycle. (also covered by 3rd degree assault and if the "harasser" is operating a vehicle, then it would also be considered careless and imprudent operation)

(Report Comment)
Eric Cox June 16, 2009 | 1:33 p.m.

It's unfortunate that so many people exhibit such anti-social behavior that this is necessary.

Greg Collins wow "emotionally crippled" I'd say the morons who have no concern for the safety of cyclist, honk, flip-off and throw things are the emotional cripples. People have the right to get around without the expense of a car.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 16, 2009 | 1:37 p.m.

@Eric Cox:
("People have the right to get around without the expense of a car.")
Up until you impede on my rights...

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking June 16, 2009 | 1:42 p.m.

ray wrote:

"In my world, an apology usually will suffice for any offense involving bicycle indignation."

Slow down, sir. You're getting a little tough to understand.

It usually would, and in many cases these incidents are accidental (or at least the result of negligence on the part of either party). However, frank harassment does happen, and it's easy for a motorist to get away with it. It has happened to me twice, and both were cars full of drunk kids out raising hell (I almost caught up with one of them BTW - they ran a red light to get away from me). I didn't report either incident - I didn't think it was anything malicious. Little b*stards were just bored.

Remember, you're operating a machine that can be far more deadly than a firearm. It behooves you to be diplomatic about how you operate it, just as it behooves me, for my own safety, to follow traffic laws and respect other road users.

This is not the mayor's idea. Like I said earlier, a lot of people in the cycling community felt that an ordinance like this was needed, and a lot of them showed up to support it. Ergo, it passed. What do you expect your representative to do if you don't communicate your displeasure with a proposed ordinance, either to them privately, or at council meetings?

DK

(Report Comment)
Mike Sykuta June 16, 2009 | 1:46 p.m.

As one who has had cars swerve AT him while running on the shoulder of the road, or honking as they drive by just to see if they can get him to jump out of his shoes, I have a lot of sympathy for the PedNet folks that forwarded this ordinance. In some sense, I agree with the Council members who would have expanded its scope to include joggers/runners.

That said, it does seem silly that we should have to create an ordinance to deal with that kind of harassing behavior.

I think PedNet is blowing smoke with its argument that failure to have an ordinance might dissuade bicyclists from riding their bikes. And I'm on the PedNet supporter list. I don't run (or bike) any less because of the harassing behavior of motorists. I know many people that bike for commuting, athletics and recreation--none have ever expressed the intent to stop biking due to harassing behavior of motorists.

The sad fact is we live in a culture where people have little regard for others...especially anonymous others who might be a trivial inconvenience in our self-center, self-righteous hurry to get somewhere. And we live in a city that is filled with paternalistic government do-gooders who wouldn't know personal liberty if it bit them in their seat.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 16, 2009 | 2:14 p.m.

(...especially anonymous others who might be a trivial inconvenience in our self-center, self-righteous hurry to get somewhere.")
By virtue of a license plate, retribution seekers can pursue all these "anonymous evil spirits" you wish to seek out.
Motorists and pedestrians are not privy to identify these cyclists in the same manner for the "infractions" cyclists impose on others. (Real or imaginary.)
There are enough Motor Vehicle, assault and civil laws on the books already.
I would have been much more pleased with my elected leaders if they passed an ordinance to have bicycle owners display their tags so that I can report their unsafe, inconsiderate, illegal, hazardous anonymous pedal pushing behaviors out in public.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 16, 2009 | 2:20 p.m.

@Mark:
("It behooves you to be diplomatic about how you operate it.")
You obviously were never a New York City cab driver.

(Report Comment)
Michael Fields June 17, 2009 | 5:08 a.m.

What exactly does "disturb" mean?

(Report Comment)
David Lynn June 17, 2009 | 6:33 a.m.

Normally I don't write to these forums but the last city ordinance concerning bicycle riders and people sounding their horns at them. Missouri has a traffic law that actually requires drivers to sound their horn as a warning to people on either motorcycles or bicycles as follows;
304.677. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the law to the contrary, every driver of a motor vehicle shall exercise the highest degree of care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian, any person propelling a human powered vehicle, or any person operating a motorcycle, and shall give an audible signal when necessary, and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated, or intoxicated person.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr June 17, 2009 | 8:10 a.m.

>>> 304.677. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the law to the contrary, every driver of a motor vehicle shall exercise the highest degree of care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian, any person propelling a human powered vehicle, or any person operating a motorcycle, and shall give an audible signal when necessary, and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated, or intoxicated person. <<<

Well doesn't that beat all so their ordinance is not enforceable due to an already standing state statute!!

(Report Comment)
Fred Holland June 18, 2009 | 4:56 p.m.

You people are really angry. Be honest, now. Do ALL bicyclist really break all these rules of the road or is it SOME bicyclist? What are you really upset about? Do you think throwing objects at LAW ABIDING bicyclist is a good idea? Do you like it when some jerk pulls up next to you and blows his horn because you were doing the speed limit and he wanted to go faster? Is it really the notion that you can no longer "get away" with this type of behavior that ticks you off so?
I've been a bicyclist for 23 years and have used my bike for transportation for the past 21 years and I have seen some pretty stupid cyclist. They never have trouble, I do. People use thier cars to rage against thier fellow man and justify it by saying they see bicyclist breaking the rules and they just can't help themselves. This will never work.
What we really need is to treat eachother with the same respect we want others to show us. I'm just like you in that I'm just trying to get where i'm going. So don't cuss, honk or throw things at me. Pass me with enough room so that I can dodge a hazard, should the need arise.
I won't dart out in front of you, nor will I take your right of way by blowing through a stop sign/light.

(Report Comment)
Pamela Thorne June 18, 2009 | 9:14 p.m.

Dudley...read it again. See where it says "and shall give an audible signal when necessary". The necessary honks aren't what we dislike, it's the unnecessary honks that I dislike. It's the driver who lays on the horn while coming up behind me and continues to honk while passing that constitutes harassment. This type of honking becomes an intimidation tactic not a warning. Honking alone isn't the real problem, it's the hatred directed at me that discourages me.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 18, 2009 | 10:24 p.m.

@Pamela:
So like honking has now been elevated as a hate crime against a newly created "overly-protected" special interest group because you think people hate you?
Heck, I hated my father and loved my mother. but I never would think that dear old dad would ask the city council to issue an ordinance to put me in jail for a year and fine me a thousand bucks just for expressing myself.
Does your bicycle have "sissy bars?"

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 18, 2009 | 11:11 p.m.

@Pamela Thorne:
In response to your question, I'd like to quote a poster from another thread on this ordinance from another source. In fact there are 300+ comments which you can cull through and maybe gain some insight on how people "feel" about this
"bike-friendly/motorist unfriendly" town of ours....

The post reads...

This ordinance will do several things:

1) It empowers a special interest with special rights. Such things will always breed abuse and resentment. When two cyclists, sitting side by side at a stop sign jawing, jams up traffic behind me, don't expect anything but a delay. I'll simply wait and let everyone behind me do the same.

2) It will cause people to not warn cyclists at all for fear of an innocent warning becoming misinterpreted as "harassment". You folks on two wheels are 100% on your own. Few will want to risk a visit from the local politzei.

3) It has cost my council person, Laura Nauser, my support from this point on. I was a strong proponent and defended her on several issues. Gone, over, done. You just don't empower one group with an ordinance that gives them special dispensation. My support and $3 will buy a small Starbucks, but ward politics revolve around very small numbers. An angry consituent can make a lot of extra work when election time rolls round. This is unconscionable, Laura and you get a big, fat "F".

June 17, 2009 at 11:58 a.m.

Source and more....

New city rules shield cyclists
By SARA SEMELKA
For years, Columbia has been working to brand itself as a bike-friendly city, but bicycle commuters came out in force last night to give a glimpse at the ugly side of what can happen when cars and cyclists mix

http://www.columbiatribune.com/

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr June 19, 2009 | 5:20 a.m.

Pamela Thorne most of the cyclists I see in this city ride with their headphones on or listening to iPod type devices and do not even have a clue a car might be behind them.

So yes drivers are and should be allowed to honk as needed no matter what or if a cyclists is caught riding with a music device in ear then maybe a $1,000 fine is in order to make them more aware of the rules of the road.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking June 19, 2009 | 6:28 a.m.

I don't even have an iPod, Chuck, nor do I want one.

Cyclists have a lot better view of what's around them, and many have rear view mirrors. We're very aware of auto traffic, for our own safety.

As needed is one thing, and no one should object to that. Road rage "F---ing B@s#*!! A$$#0!& get off my road!!!" activities is what this is intended to discourage.

DK

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 19, 2009 | 10:23 a.m.

DK
You seem to be a member of a very small and select group of anti-car cyclists who respond to concerns about those who wish to temper this over zealous thrust to alter the complexion of Columbia with your own personal desire to remove automobiles from our planet. I would have no problem living in a horse-drawn or horse back mode of transportation, coupled with engine driven vehicles where needed. It's your seasonal, foot driven, impractical, non-motorized, bottom of the barrel bicycle that I have the biggest problem with, when way too much money, propaganda and priorities are given to a very inferior mode of limited, small usage transportation. Obviously the intention of cyclists is to push motorists out of the city and to attempt to attract more like-minded cyclists. Your objectivity is skewed by your passion for peddling. Mine is skewed by my concern for how resources of a town are maximized and how priorities are addressed. I see know reason why bicycles get the kind of elevation in this town, except for the fact that our mayor has the hots for his own bicycle. It's that perversion which has spilled over to town policies and now this lame ordinance.
If we had a mayor who loved his hot air balloon, perhaps we'd be spending 22 million dollars on that as an alternative form of transportation. At least then we wouldn't have to alter our terrain to accommodate one man's obsession and ambition to ruin it for the majority.
IMHO, the ordinance is an over-kill response and the concerns addressed by the 20 "victims" could have been addressed in a more reasonable, realistic fashion. As engine road driven vehicles have license plates, unlike bicycles, any "victim" already had the option to record said license plate and report any perceived assault event to the police. To jump on the "hate crime" bandwagon is what I find most disturbing, bizarre and offensive. I'll even go as far to accuse the mayor and his council of perpetuating a "hate crime" against automobiles by passing this one-sided ordinance.
An ordinance, such as this, is the direct result of our town having a mayor who is an attorney and his significant other is a two-wheeler....What's next, allowing pednuts to include their bicycles on the domestic partner registry?
Put me in office and I'll promise a horse in every yard and a hot air balloon on every porch.
Now that's practical.
Don't you think?

(Report Comment)
Pamela Thorne June 19, 2009 | 12:08 p.m.

Ray I don't remember asking a question so I'm unclear on what you were answering.
Charles, I watched this morning while on my way to work and while I rode through campus. Saw 9 bicyclists, not a single one had headphones on (including me). I see them too, just happened to notice today so far it's 0/9.
Seriously this issue goes far beyond honking, I was merely giving an example of the difference between a warning honk and a hate honk. For me personally, honking is not the main issue. It's the hate directed at me by motorists who yell, curse, pass too closely etc.. I am certain that all the bike haters will simply never understand. I've said it many times, I drive and I bike and I don't harass anyone while doing either. I'm not sure why folks can't just be civil to one another.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr June 19, 2009 | 12:19 p.m.

>>> and many have rear view mirrors. <<<

Do not come here floating that line of bullox Mark as even I know from long ago when I rode alot whether you have one of those little rear view mirrors on the handlebar or one of those fancy ones that clips onto your glasses when you are riding on any surface those mirrors are bouncing out of focus like hell. You cannot see clearly much of anything.

Stop trying to B.S. people and brain wash them into your campaign of bicycles B.S. You are a good dude Mark but you and the rest of the SpendAboutColumbia and the PedNut Drones really need to stop this B.S.'ing of the community.

(Report Comment)
Carlos Rodriguez June 19, 2009 | 8:30 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Rick Sayman July 9, 2009 | 10:02 a.m.

After reading some of these comments, I will not be coming to your fair city to visit and spend my money there. You can singlehandedly thank your Ray Shapiro for all his warmth and great comments. It sounds to me like some of your drivers need to realize that bicycles are clean transportation. Bicycles outnumber car 2 to 1 in Boulder, join in. Your fossil fuel burning cars are dinosaurs that are on the way out. But then again, it took a long time for some folks to believe that the world was not flat either. Ray, the world is round, the planets revolve around the sun and bicycles are the way of the future. Live with it.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking July 9, 2009 | 10:46 a.m.

Ray wrote:

"You seem to be a member of a very small and select group of anti-car cyclists who respond to concerns about those who wish to temper this over zealous thrust to alter the complexion of Columbia with your own personal desire to remove automobiles from our planet."

I never said I wanted to removve automobiles from the planet, so stop hyperbolizing. I want people to view cars as a last resort for transportation, not as a first, and recognize their tremendous cost to our society (and world) in terms of lives and environmental degradation.

I view my car like I view the maul that I use to split wood. Both are dangerous tools, and I don't particularly like either one of them. However, they are both useful for certain tasks. If more people took that attitude when choosing to use their car (and where and how to live), we'd have a lot fewer cars on the road, fewer accidents, and we wouldn't have to spend so much money upgrading and fixing roads. Sounds like a winning situation to me.

Difficult to explain this to an effortless mobility addict however...

DK

(Report Comment)
Mike Harris August 11, 2009 | 4:31 p.m.

This ordinance is completely ridiculous. A real solution would be making more bike lanes so that we can establish whether the cyclists are really as law-abiding as they say. Also, cyclists should be cited with Class-A misdemeanors and a mandatory $1,000 fine or 1 year in jail for comitting any traffic offense or causing an accident. An additional $1,000 if they leave the scene.

It's for their own safety. After all, they are the smaller ones out there and car vs. bike, they lose, every time, as they should.

(Report Comment)

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.

advertisements