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Sonoma County Board of Supervisors backs cyclist harassment law

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously endorsed a proposed ordinance that would make it easier for bicyclists and pedestrians to sue those who harass or intimidate them.

The move has been hotly debated in online forums where it drawn fire from some motorists who say they are being unfairly targeted. Cycling enthusiasts have defended the measure, saying incidents of roadside abuse are widespread.

The issue has surfaced amid the county's ongoing struggle to maintain and modernize a vast and crumbling road system, one that some critics say is ill-equipped to handle the growing ranks of recreational and commuting bike riders.

Opponents of the measure, however, were a no-show at the board meeting Tuesday. Several cyclists attended to support the board's action.

Advocates have advanced the ordinance as way to offer a clearer path to civil court remedies for bicyclists and pedestrians and limit hostility toward those road users.


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