Lewis Diuguid

Anti-harassment ordinance proposed in Kansas City would benefit pedestrians and bicyclists

Cyclists use the bicycle and pedestrian path over the Heart of America Bridge. A proposed anti-harassment ordinance would from them from problems that motorists sometimes create.
Cyclists use the bicycle and pedestrian path over the Heart of America Bridge. A proposed anti-harassment ordinance would from them from problems that motorists sometimes create. TAMMY LJUNGBLAD

It may sound like a third wheel, but an anti-harassment ordinance would be welcomed by people who walk and bicycle in Kansas City.

Too often people engaged in the slower forms of commutes or are just out for exercise have to endure offensive, drive-by comments from motorists. Even worse, cars may get too close to people on bikes just trying to share the road.

The main streets where traffic is the heaviest are the worst. The Kansas City Council is considering joining other municipalities such as Columbia and St. Louis in making threatening and dangerous acts illegal, The Kansas City Star reports. BikeWalkKC proposed the ordinance.

A national group, Stop Street Harassment, found in a study this year that 65 percent of women reported being victims of harassment or worse on U.S. streets compared to a quarter of men.

An anti-harassment ordinance would give people a way to curb the problems they encounter on the street especially if the evidence includes cellphone tape recorder and videotaping capabilities. If Kansas City’s ordinance is like Columbia’s with fines of up to $1,000 and a year in jail, it would go a long way toward widening the roads to accommodate every traveler and making this a more polite society.

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