Safe Streets

| November 21, 2012
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In response to this year's rash of bicycle- and pedestrian-related accidents, the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition has taken matters into its own hands with the proposed Vulnerable User Protection Ordinance. The ordinance aims to reduce harrassment of cyclists and pedestrians while creating greater accountability for perpetrators. The coalition celebrated a victory when the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Nov. 13 to study the ordinance, after Supervisor Shirlee Zane brought it to the agenda. This week, the Sebastopol City Council also considers the ordinance. Considering Sebastopol's lack of usable bike lanes, it might be the perfect time to give more protections to cyclists in the area.

Members Only

In 2009, the Bohemian covered the story behind the disenrollment of 30 Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo members, including Liz Elgin DeRouen, a former Dry Creek tribal chairwoman. As election time comes back around, the issue has again come to the forefront, with the bloodline legitimacy of two candidates being called into question by tribal chairman Harvey Hopkins and others on the board. To acquire membership status, one must be able to prove that a blood ancestor lived at the Rancheria when it was established in 1915. One also cannot claim membership in any other tribe.

For members, disenrollment results in the loss of about $650 a month in payments, much of that earned from River Rock Casino profits, in addition to medical, educational and housing benefits. The issue must be resolved internally, since tribal sovereignty keeps the Bureau of Indian Affairs out of the legal fray.—Leilani Clark

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I love to walk, I ride a bicycle and ride a scooter regularly and have never been harrassed in 25 years as referenced in this article.

Every year hundreds of good intentions are translated into new codes, rules and regulations. Unfortunately good intentions also obey the law of unintended consequences. Let me give you an example. In the 90's I participated for years in a homeless feeding program in San Francisco at the Civic Center on Sundays. One day (to help) we decided to let all the people with crutches and canes go to the front of the line without having to wait. Well within 3 weeks the numbers of people with canes and crutches more than tripled from before.

When we ask for new laws we very rarely see how they play themselves out over the years in real life. In many cases they create as many problems as they solve. We need to find wiser and saner ways to deal with our issues rather than want to regulate everything.

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Posted by Chris108108 on 11/26/2012 at 10:16 PM
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