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Kansas City Ordinance Targets Persons Intimidating Bike Riders, Walkers

A Kansas City City Council committee has finalized an ordinance making it illegal to intimidate walkers and bike riders on Kansas City, Mo., streets.

Maggie Priesmeyer, who volunteers for an organization that helps provide bikes to needy people, was among those who shared stories about rude, intimidating and inconsiderate motorists.

She told the Public Safety Committee the story of a homeless, jobless veteran named Joe who came in for for help with bike repairs wearing a sling and brace of the type used to support a broken collarbone.

Priesmeyer said the man told her he was riding to a job interview when an irate motorist forced him off the road, causing him to flip over the handlebars.

Another witness, Patrick Dunlap, told a similar story about an aggressive motorist who crowded him and honked loudly, causing him to hit a curb and crash his bike.

The ordinance got some final changes in committee to make it more clear and enforceable and eliminating wording that would have included making lewd comments to walkers and bikers among the offenses. That was deemed a probable violation of protections of free speech.

The full council will vote on the ordinace Thursday afternoon.

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