At the City Council meeting on Monday night, Fourth Ward Councilman Jerry Wade said, "I believe we made a mistake."
Wade was referring to the council's unanimous decision on June 15 to pass an ordinance that makes it a misdemeanor to harass a bicyclist. This includes throwing objects, hurling verbal assaults and putting a cyclist's life in danger.
The comments portion of the council meeting allowed the other council members to weigh in, and this discussion showed that Wade wasn't alone. Second Ward Councilman Jason Thornhill agreed with Wade, citing a personal encounter in which, he said, he had to lock his brakes at an intersection when an anxious cyclist eagerly tried to trump Thornhill's right-of-way.
At the meeting Monday, Thornhill said he was uneasy about the hastiness with which the ordinance was passed. He looked down at his notes and said, "I left here wondering what I'd done as well because I had similar feelings" to Wade.
However, Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe said a suspension of the ordinance would set a bad precedent for future City Council decisions following a unanimous vote.
Hoppe said education for both motorists and cyclists would lead to a resolution of public unrest over the decision.
During the discussion, some members brought up public input that has appeared online and has made it clear that a segment of the community isn't happy that the council enacted an ordinance concerning a specific group of people.
City Council is to bring up the issue again for a first reading and a possible suspension at its next meeting on Aug. 3.
If City Council suspends the bicycle harassment ordinance, does it set a bad precendent for the future?