Commuting by bicycle is gradually becoming more popular over in car-crazy LA, where the City Council has just sent a message to anyone who tries messing with bike riders, with the passage of The Bicyclist Anti-Harassment Ordinance. In a unanimous vote, the Council passed stiff fines of up to $1,000 for such violations as physical assault or attempted physical assault against a cyclist, threats of physical injury, intentional distraction and forceful removal from street.

LAist reports that violators of this law "shall be liable for treble the actual damages with regard to each and every such violation, or $1,000, whichever is greater, and shall be liable for reasonable attorneys' fees and costs of litigation. In addition, a jury or court may award punitive damages where warranted."

Here in NYC cyclists venture out onto the streets with no special legal protection, and Michael Murphy, a spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, says we need it. "A car-centric city like Los Angeles stakes out a leadership role in promoting bicycling while New York—a city known worldwide for it's vibrant street life—suffers through a campaign of misinformation designed to undermine efforts to make our city a safer place to ride a bike. Good for L.A. but New Yorkers deserve better."

Reached for comment on the other side of the office, local cyclist and Gothamist editor Garth Johnston tells us he thinks the Anti-Harassment Ordinance "seems like a good idea, but from what I understand the bike war there is way more intense than it is here." That may be, but at least in La La Land they don't have terrorist cyclists to worry about. To quote Die Hard's Bruce Willis, "Fuckin' California!"