[Washington Post] In the hysteria that predated the launch of New York’s bike-sharing system last year, many critics cried that the bikes would make the city’s streets less safe. All those cyclists wouldn’t be wearing helmets! They’d have no insurance! Accidents would skyrocket, and with them lawsuits against the city. Fatalities would triple!
The system’s safety record quickly turned out to be less sensational. But this was as bike advocates expected. Biking — as with walking — offers a prime example of the power of crowds. The more people who do it, the more drivers become attuned to their presence (either on sidewalks or road shoulders), and the more cities are likely to invest in the kind of infrastructure explicitly meant to protect them.
This pattern is confirmed in a large biannual benchmarking report released this week by the Alliance for Biking & Walking in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report, based on data from census travel surveys, the American Community Survey, and local data tracking cyclists and pedestrians, offers some crucial national perspective outside of cities like New York and Washington.
Hey Washington Post!
Far be it from me to call the good people at the Washington Post retards, but the good people at the Washington Post are retards. I mean whoa! You’re telling me that if everyone rode a bike, traffic fatalities would decrease! THAT’S AMAZING. Next you’ll be telling me that if everyone threw away their guns, stab wounds would increase!
This is the absolute definition of killing the patient to cure the disease. It’s true that if more people rode bikes, fewer people would be killed in traffic accidents. Of course, that’s because bikes are incapable of going fast enough to kill anyone. So yeah, everything would be safer, in the same way that everything would be safer if everyone used sailboats to get across the ocean. No more plane crashes! It’s perfect! And if we made surgery illegal, imagine how many fewer medical malpractice claims there would be! And do you know how many people freeze to death every year? END THE TYRANNY OF ICE! SPRAY EVERY AEROSOL YOU HAVE INTO THE SKY! GLOBAL WARMING FOR THE GOOD OF MANKIND.
I also like how the article points out that “The more people who do it, the more … cities are likely to invest in the kind of infrastructure explicitly meant to protect them.” Yeah, no shit. If you create a problem, people are going to have to put money and energy towards trying to solve that problem. Of course it would never occur to people to simply eliminate the problem in the first place. No no, best to keep throwing millions of dollars to create bicycle infrastructure so a handful of spandex-clad pedalfuckers can continue to impede traffic. Good on you, Washington Post!
[NOTE: the final paragraph has been edited from its original form, as it contained language that was, perhaps, a bit unsavory even for a deliberately over-the-top blog]