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City Council meeting will address cyclist harassment amendment

The Missourian: City Council meeting will address cyclist harassment amendment

Friday, October 16, 2009 | 2:52 p.m. CDT
BY MAGGIE SQUIRES

COLUMBIA — An amendment that would add pedestrians and wheelchair users to an ordinance that protects bicyclists from harassment will be up for a vote by the Columbia City Council on Monday.

The council in June passed the original ordinance, which makes harassment of a bicyclist a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and/or a year in jail.

This ordinance caused controversy within the community and on the council. Fourth Ward Councilman Jerry Wade said after the fact that the council approved the ordinance too quickly and proposed suspending the ordinance for six months. The council in August rejected that proposal on a 4-2 vote.

Third Ward Councilman Karl Skala issued a statement Aug. 3 saying the ordinance should be amended to include pedestrians and people in wheelchairs. The council on Aug. 17, however, opted to table that proposed amendment for two months. It will be discussed again on Monday night.

The amendment is the first item under old business on the agenda for the meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. in the council chambers on the fourth floor of the Daniel Boone City Building, 701 E. Broadway.