Sonoma County’s tentative approval of an expansion for Mark West Quarry east of Santa Rosa has bicycling advocates and some county supervisors asking whether enough is being done to protect cyclists and others who use the quarry’s busy east-west haul route.
Trucks entering and exiting the century-old quarry off Porter Creek Road traverse the hills between Sonoma and Napa counties on narrow and busy roads that also double as an approved bicycle and pedestrian corridor.
Gary Helfrich makes a point of listening to the complaints and the rants, the calls and emails of people upset by cyclists who don’t follow traffic laws or who clog narrow roads.
Helfrich, the head of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, knows that bicyclists can do better at following traffic rules, but said that doesn’t give a motorist the right to drive dangerously, or assault a cyclist.
Helfrich, 59, head of the bicycle coalition for the past two years, is on a mission to shift the culture and attitude toward cyclists.
The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider a proposed ordinance that would make it easier for bike riders and pedestrians to sue those who intentionally threaten and harass them.
Sebastopol became the first city in Sonoma County and one of few in the nation to pass an ordinance that makes it easier for bicyclists and pedestrians to sue drivers who threaten or harass them.
Greenhouse gas emissions declined in Sonoma County in 2011 for the third straight year, reflecting an expansion of renewable energy sources and a down economy, which lowered demand for power and transportation. Still, Sonoma County’s goal of reducing emissions 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2015 remains elusive, officials said Tuesday.
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors today is expected to endorse studying a proposed ordinance that would make it easier for bicyclists and pedestrians to sue drivers who intentionally threaten and harass them.
Bicycle advocates unveiled a proposed local ordinance Friday meant to arm cyclists and pedestrians with new legal ammunition against drivers who intentionally threaten and harass them.
The proposal from the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition would make it easier for ‘vulnerable users’ to sue drivers in civil court. It defines various forms of harassment and triples monetary penalties, making cases more attractive to attorneys.
It’s intended to fill perceived gaps in criminal prosecution, which has a higher standard of proof and requires such things as as the positive identification of the driver.