I’m buried with work today.
And I’m damned if I’m going to let an 84 degree sunny SoCal day pass without at least a quick spin down the coast.
But I don’t want to let this morning pass without catching up on yesterday’s news from the City Council Transportation Committee. Because it marked one of those vital quantum leap moments — a seemingly small shift that could result in a dramatic change down the road.
I’ll try to fill you in with more details later, but here’s the key point. After eloquent comments by Ross Hirsch — the attorney for hit-and-run victim Ed Magos — and BAC chair Glenn Bailey, the Transportation Committee voted unanimously to move forward with drafting a first-of-its-kind ordinance to ban harassment of cyclists.
While other cities and states have passed anti-harassment laws, this ordinance would be the first to allow cyclists to file suit themselves for violent or aggressive actions directed towards them, whether it’s committed by drivers, bystanders or even other riders.
As the representative from the City Attorney’s office stressed, it would not prohibit anything that is not already against the law, and it would not prevent criminal prosecution for any incident where there’s sufficient evidence to prosecute.
It would simply, finally, give cyclists the opportunity to protect themselves on the streets of L.A. And possibly prevent the kind of harassment that we’ve all experienced at one time or another.
And mark L.A.’s growth from a bicycling backwater to a world leader in protecting the rights of cyclists.
Yes, it really is that big.
The next test comes on Monday when the proposal will be taken up by the Council’s Public Safety Committee, which has been significantly less friendly to cyclists in the past.
The more riders we can get in that room, the better our chances to keep it moving forward.