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Columbia City Council adds pedestrians, wheelchairs to bike law

Protection for pedestrians and wheelchair users added
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Pedestrians and wheelchair users under Columbia law will now command the same respect from motorists as bicyclists do.

On Monday night, the Columbia City Council voted unanimously to add pedestrians and wheelchair users to an ordinance that prohibits automobile drivers from harassing or intimidating bicyclists.

Council members passed the amendment after some discussion of tabling it for another two months as City Manager Bill Watkins suggested. A group has been formed to review the ordinance and has only met once, Watkins said.

"My preference would be to wait," Fourth Ward Councilman Jerry Wade said. He said that passing the ordinance would not make sense when a task force might draft another ordinance.

Mayor Darwin Hindman disagreed.

"I don't think (pedestrians and wheelchair users) should have to wait as a vulnerable group," he said.

A proposal to table the amendment was rejected, with only Wade and Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser in support.

At a meeting in June, the council passed the original bicycle harassment ordinance, which makes it a Class A misdemeanor — punishable by a $1,000 fine and/or a year in jail — to intentionally intimidate or harass bicyclists by yelling, honking or throwing objects at them, among other things.

The ordinance immediately created tension, however. Some members of the public complained that bicyclists were being singled out for special treatment. That encouraged Wade, who felt the council had acted too hastily, to propose suspending the ordinance for six months. His council colleagues rejected that idea by a 4-2 vote in August.

Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala then suggested including pedestrians and wheelchair users in the ordinance, which led to Monday night's hearing and vote.

Robert Johnson, a representative of the PedNet Coalition, made a public comment Monday stating, "We (PedNet) certainly, just for the record, support the expansion to other, beyond-road users."


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Comments

Tim Robertson October 20, 2009 | 9:36 a.m.

I guess that means we can still harrass unicyclists, roller skaters, skateboarders, stilt walkers, Shriners driving crazy little cars, turtles crossing the road, squirrels, Will Work For Food vagrants, Segway riders, horseback riders, politicians handing out flyers during a parade, Honk For Peace protestors, Westboro Baptists, Ku Klux klan, Neo-Nazis, Brother Jed, Greeks in rocking chairs raising money, and boys hiding in Jiffy Pop balloons.

(Report Comment)
Debbie Melvin October 20, 2009 | 11:18 a.m.

Columbia needs volunteers to run this harrassment squad. Our paid Policemen and women need to do what they are paid for and protect us from the criminal element around here! Will all of Columbia be like the University Campus is now with people walking everywhere but the sidewalk? Oh, I'm sorry on campus the cyclist ride on the sidewalk.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 20, 2009 | 12:35 p.m.

("COLUMBIA — Pedestrians and wheelchair users under Columbia law will now command the same respect from motorists as bicyclists do.")
Is the issue respect, safety or politics vis a vis a PedNet and GetAbout agenda?
I would like to know why cars, buses, motorcycles, scooters, trucks and vans were not included in this ordinance as potential targets of harassment?
What makes anyone think that people who drive fueled devices never feel hassled or harassed by cyclists, pedestrians or people driving around on scooters and wheelchairs?
By creating an ordinance to villafy gasoline powered vehicles makes Columbia just that more car-unfriendly.
If you need to "command" respect, all you get is animosity and resentment.
Poor community leadership tactics in my opinion...
(“For example, a coercive or commanding boss who thinks he or she knows everything creates strong negative sentiment in the workplace. He or she generates resentment, negative emotions – and a culture where people gripe to their co-workers.”)
http://www.truckpartsandservice.com/apps...

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 20, 2009 | 5:12 p.m.

ray wrote:

"By creating an ordinance to villafy gasoline powered vehicles makes Columbia just that more car-unfriendly."

Ray, ever driven on the MU campus when classes are changing? Pedestrians have the right of way there, and the gridlock is comparable, or exceeds, that of a downtown New Yawk City street. But people still drive. Addiction is a terrible thing.

MU is one of the most car-unfriendly places in Columbia, and it still has a bunch of cars driving around. I'm sorry you might be temporarily inconvenienced by some of these ordinances, but remember that your car is a destructive, lethal weapon, and your operation of it has consequences that go far beyond it's immediate footprint.

Most people do not care one way or another about these ordinances. They don't affect them. Only a true mobility addict, with an axe to grind, would put forth such effort to vilify non-auto commuters.

What would you do if you somehow couldn't drive, Ray? I think it would kill you. With the anger and venom that you show to non-motorists, I think if you ever lost your car, you'd freak out. You'd kill yourself. You'd rather put a bullet through your head than ride a bicycle. Hmmm?

That's pathetic...

DK

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 20, 2009 | 5:23 p.m.

("Mark Foecking October 20, 2009
ray wrote:
"By creating an ordinance to villafy gasoline powered vehicles makes Columbia just that more car-unfriendly."

-With the anger and venom that you show to non-motorists, I think if you ever lost your car, you'd freak out.")

I sure wouldn't blame car drivers for my own weakness and have an agenda to advance pedal-power at their expense and inconvenience.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking October 20, 2009 | 5:42 p.m.

ray wrote:

"I sure wouldn't blame car drivers for my own weakness"

What weakness? I can get anywhere in Columbia in 20 minutes, and carry 300+ pounds of stuff. I don't need imported oil to do it, either. What's the problem, other than your way of life (i. e. addiction) is threatened?

DK

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 20, 2009 | 5:43 p.m.

Mark Foecking well stated,presented and to the point.

There was this evil nasty post in the Tribune tonight by some Pedestrian and wheel chair hater named Puck that was obviously meant as a warning to all non motorists.

http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2009...

Talk about having an agenda to push forward? Everything this Puck posts is pro car and anti bike.

Maybe people should have to under go Road Rage Testing before they get their licenses.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 20, 2009 | 5:59 p.m.

@Mark:
Not addicted.
Just offended.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle October 20, 2009 | 6:21 p.m.

All you angry motorists hate each other too. Admit that.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 21, 2009 | 4:47 a.m.

>>> Derrick Fogle October 20, 2009 | 6:21 p.m.
All you angry motorists hate each other too. Admit that. <<<

Sure they are in a fit of Road Rage or you would not see them posting so radically not only here but on the Tribune too.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 23, 2009 | 3:59 a.m.

("Charles Dudley Jr October 20, 2009 | 5:43 p.m.
Mark Foecking well stated,presented and to the point.

There was this evil nasty post in the Tribune tonight by some Pedestrian and wheel chair hater named Puck that was obviously meant as a warning to all non motorists.

http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2009......

Talk about having an agenda to push forward? Everything this Puck posts is pro car and anti bike.

Maybe people should have to under go Road Rage Testing before they get their licenses.")

-Which evil, nasty post are you referring to Chuck?
I read Puck's comments, along with all the others posted.
What makes you think he's a total "wheelchair hater" or total "pedestrian hater?"
Sounds to me like he's taking exception to bicycle lobbyists working through PedNet and GetAbout without any consideration or regard on how it affects motorists and not including or partnering with any motoring groups.
Also seems like he thinks those who must depend on wheelchairs shouldn't be riding on the coat tails of these bicycle peddlers. I would think that he's entitled to his opinion and is probably more concerned about the disabled then you are.
I also could find no "warnings" to non-motorists and see no indication of "road rage" exhibited by said poster.
What's your problem, Chuck?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 23, 2009 | 4:06 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Ray Shapiro October 23, 2009 | 4:06 a.m.

Mark Foecking October 20, 2009 | 5:42 p.m.
("ray wrote:

"I sure wouldn't blame car drivers for my own weakness"

What weakness? I can get anywhere in Columbia in 20 minutes, and carry 300+ pounds of stuff. I don't need imported oil to do it, either. What's the problem, other than your way of life (i. e. addiction) is threatened?

DK")

I meant that literally, Mark.
I was not referring anything about you having a weakness by driving a bicycle or a Metro.
I would not blame car drivers for any weakness which would prevent me from being able to drive a car.
(I might, however, blame Chuck.)

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro October 23, 2009 | 4:17 a.m.

@CD:
That answers nothing.

(Report Comment)

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