Monday, October 29, 2012

Protecting Cyclists in Berkeley...why not here?


This is great news not only because cyclists shouldn't be harassed but because the emphasis is on education of road users.  Something that is too often neglected when it comes to promoting cycling simply because it is generally expensive to educate people.  People want to do things on the cheap which is one of the reasons our public school system is in such dire straights in this country.

Excerpt (full article here):
Last week, Berkeley became the second American city to implement an anti-harassment law to protect bicycle riders and allow victims to sue offending drivers in civil court.

The ordinance will be followed by an educational campaign later this year, and proponents hope it will garner greater respect towards people cycling on the city’s streets. 
“This ordinance is about educating motorists about how to be responsible users of the roadway,” said Dave Campbell, program director for the East Bay Bicycle Coalition (EBBC). ”We have roadways that have not been designed for safe bicycle usage by planners and engineers. That in and of itself encourages bicyclists to disobey the rules of the road, because the rules were never written for them, and when motorists start treating cyclists as second-class citizens, that even further encourages [that behavior]. This is about changing that.” 
Los Angeles was the first city in the country to adopt a bicyclist anti-harassment law last July, after which L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti proclaimed: “If L.A. can do it, every city in the country can do it.”

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