This update and call to action comes from Kevin Jackson.
You may have heard about the cyclist anti-harassment ordinance that Los Angeles adopted over the summer. This provides cyclists with an important measure of protection against aggressive motorist behavior by allowing them to sue the offender in civil court in the all-too-common situation that police are unable to enforce the criminal laws.
The Sunnyvale Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) is sponsoring a study issue to implement a similar ordinance in our city, and a strong show of support is needed in order to maximize the chances that it will be approved. You can find the description at http://studyissues.insunnyvale.com in the Department of Public Works section (the study issue identifier is DPW 12-01). Here is an excerpt from the report prepared by the Los Angeles Office of the City Attorney:
“We understand that a significant problem for bicyclists is not a lack of legislation prohibiting harassing acts, but is the difficulty in obtaining enforcement of the laws. To address this problem, we believe that the City could enact an ordinance making it a civil violation of the Los Angeles Municipal Code for anyone to discriminate against a bicyclist by unlawfully assaulting, threatening, or harassing a bicyclist, and create a private cause of action with attorneys' fees for a violation. This would allow bicyclists to seek redress for harassment in situations where the police or other enforcement personnel do not witness the harassment, or where there is insufficient evidence to warrant a criminal filing.”
If you agree this is a good idea, please add your voice by sending a message to the City Council at email@example.com asking them to improve cyclist protection from irresponsible motorists by giving a high priority to study issue DPW 12-01. It is important to send a message of support before they prioritize the list of study issues on February 3. No elaborate arguments required, just make sure your support is counted.