Public Hearing on Assault of Bicyclists Prevention Act on Nov 2

Official notice from Councilmember Phil Mendelson (At-Large) announcing a public hearing on Enforcement of Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety and Bill 19-475, Assault of Bicyclists Prevention Act of 2011 on Wednesday, November 2, 2011.





Enforcement of Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety


Bill 19-475, Assault of Bicyclists Prevention Act of 2011


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

11:00 a.m., Hearing Room 412, John A. Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20004

Councilmember Phil Mendelson, Chairperson of the Committee on the Judiciary, announces a public oversight hearing on the enforcement of pedestrian and bicycle safety and on Bill 19-475, the Assault of Bicyclists Prevention Act of 2011. The public oversight hearing will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 2, 2011 in Hearing Room 412 of the John A. Wilson Building. This hearing notice has been revised to include consideration of related legislation.

The purpose of this hearing is to hear testimony from the public on continuing issues surrounding the enforcement of pedestrian and bicycle safety. The Committee held a hearing on February 4, 2011 on this subject but continues to hear complaints about enforcement, particularly regarding bicyclists. Concerns reported to the Committee include a lack of understanding and enforcement of the laws as they pertain to bicyclists, the failure to obtain a bicyclist’s side of the story when an accident occurs with a motorist, and improper citations of bicyclists who are obeying the law. The hearing will explore steps

taken to improve enforcement in this area, particularly in light of a report by the Office of Police Complaints on pedestrian and bicycle enforcement issues expected to be released during the month of September. The Committee also invites testimony on Bill 19-475, the Assault of Bicyclists Prevention Act of 2011, the stated purpose of which is to provide for relief including: up to three times actual damages; punitive damages; and attorney’s fees for a person who while riding a bicycle is the victim of an intentional assault, injury, harassment, or the threat thereof.

Those who wish to testify should contact Ms. Jessica Jacobs, Legislative Counsel, at (202) 724-8038, by fax at (202) 724-6664, or via e-mail at and provide their name, address, telephone number, organizational affiliation and title (if any) by close of business Monday, October 31, 2011. Persons wishing to testify are encouraged, but not required, to submit 15 copies of written testimony. If submitted by the close of business on Monday, October 31, 2011 the testimony will be distributed to Councilmembers before the hearing. Witnesses should limit their testimony to five minutes; less time will be allowed if there are a large number of witnesses.

If you are unable to testify at the hearing, written statements are encouraged and will be made a part of the official record. Copies of written statements should be submitted either to Ms. Jacobs, or to Ms. Nyasha Smith, Secretary to the Council, Room 5 of the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20004. The record will close at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 16, 2011.

Download the complete announcement in PDF

Joe Stratton
Joe Stratton

I bike commute everyday, all year round. I'd say I have to avoid collision with a car about once a week. Cars running red lights and stop signs are the biggest problem, followed by cars driving in the bike lanes. The bike lanes should be wider, divided from the road with barriers, and drivers need to be educated that the bike lane isn't a car lane. That said, DC has come a long way on bike safety. Keep it up, and keep going. I'm one less car on the road, making the commute quicker for those still behind the wheel. Thanks! Joe

Ana L. Hernandez
Ana L. Hernandez

I would love to have more biking friendly roads in the District. I like to bike, I have no car so I move around by bike.Plus it going green, and also it is a good exercising. I have so many reasons to have more friendly roads to do my biking. Thank you so much for your time, and service. Sincerely, Ana L. Hernandez


I am concerned about the lack of bike lanes on 14th St. NW, between Columbia Road and U Street NW. This section sees much bicycle traffic because 14th Street NW has bike lanes just north of Columbia Road, and just south of U Street NW. The lack of bike lanes puts cyclists at serious risk of injury. Please consider adding bike lanes in this area of 14th St. NW. Also, many bikers get "doored". I have been doored myself. This means a person getting out of a car opens the door without looking into a bike lane, and the cyclist gets hit. I think a campaign educating drivers and cyclists about this risk, and reminding motorists to check their mirrors before opening their vehicle door would raise awareness of this issue, and help prevent such accidents. Thank you.


  1. [...] Those wishing to testify in person should contact Jessica Jacobs, either by telephone (202.724.8038) or via email (  Written testimony can also be submitted until November 16–though in-person testimony is likely to be more impactful and effective.  Full details for providing in-person or written testimony are available HERE. [...]

  2. [...] problems, and no one suggested that the status quo was acceptable. The council will continue to accept comments on Bill 19-475 up until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November [...]