Thanks to your support, City Council unanimously voted in support of an anti-harassment ordinance in KCMO on October 2, 2014 to protect vulnerable road users.
Many pedestrians, cyclists, and other vulnerable road users are experiencing harassment on Kansas City streets, and it’s hindering their right to a safe trip.
Mothers walking children to school, cyclists biking to work, and individuals waiting at the bus stop are just a few examples of the countless people who have become targets on our streets and in our neighborhoods, and it’s time for a change.
Harassment is illegal in many US states. Most states — including Missouri and Kansas — have statutes explicitly prohibiting “harassment.” These laws ban behavior like using “coarse language” or committing a “threatening, intimidating, or alarming action.” Many states also make disorderly conduct or disturbance of the peace offenses.
The problem is that — except for the most serious actions, like groping and assault — street harassment behaviors are rarely explicitly prohibited. That lack of specificity means that something like a suggestive comment or taunting, sadly, is often not legally recognized as harassment. BikeWalkKC is dedicated to making our streets safe for walking, cycling, and other modes of transportation. As we build new bike lanes and sidewalks, tighter laws and education will be equally important. We spearheaded the anti-harassment ordinance to make it safer for all vulnerable road users to have freedom of travel on our streets.
BikeWalkKC is currently planning educational workshops to inform people about the issue of harassment in Kansas City and provide them them tools to combat it in our communities. Stay tuned for more info and contact us if you’d like to be involved.
We are working with law enforcement, educators and Stop Street Harassment (a nationwide organization dedicated to ending street harassment) to host an anti-harassment workshop this fall. If you would like to help organize this event or participate we would love to hear from you.
See more street harassment statistics at http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/resources/statistics/statistics-academic-studies/