In Other News, Times of London Pilots Unprecedented Cyclist Safety Program

The Times of London has launched what Dani Simons aptly calls a “nearly mind-blowing” pro-cycling campaign. Inspired by a crash that seriously injured a Times reporter, “Cities Fit for Cycling” is the kind of multifaceted public safety program that is normally the province of non-profit advocacy, right down to the eight-point manifesto that covers everything from education and street improvements to truck design.

Here’s a sample:

  • “Trucks entering a city centre should be required by law to fit sensors, audible truck-turning alarms, extra mirrors and safety bars to stop cyclists being thrown under the wheels.”
  • “Two per cent of the Highways Agency budget should be earmarked for next generation cycle routes, providing £100 million a year towards world-class cycling infrastructure. Each year cities should be graded on the quality of cycling provision.”
  • “20mph should become the default speed limit in residential areas where there are no cycle lanes.”

The Times is taking suggestions from the public on how to make streets safer. There’s even an online form that puts readers in touch with their local officials.

“Imagine if the NY Times or the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal put their considerable clout and resources behind an effective strategy to promote cycling safety,” writes Simons. Instead, sensationalist fear-mongering, fabricated controversies and shameless victim-blaming continue to be the hallmarks of cycling coverage in New York, where the press corps tends to be embarrassingly regressive even in comparison to other stateside media markets.

Maybe that will change once city bike-share adds thousands of everyday cyclists to the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Or maybe, if The Times campaign generates enough buzz (and the paper itself isn’t felled by scandal), News Corp. will export “Cities Fit for Cycling” to one of its properties across the Atlantic.

Heads up, Cuozzo.

  • Anonymous

    Great story. Though the “scandal” link at the bottom feels gratuitous. Anyway, contrast the Times of London’s advocacy with the NY Times’ big yawn in 2007 when managing editor (now editor in chief) Jill Abramson was run down by a truck in Times Square and hospitalized for three weeks with a broken hip.

  • fj

    A great initiative to start making the world’s roads and streets safe for net zero and near net zero forms of travel to mitigate the direct violence the oil industry stages against those who use them.

    The local & global monopolies of cars, buses and trucks are maintained by the extreme life-threatening danger they present to much more practical net zero and near net zero modes.

  • Random Times Puncher Guy

    April 2002. NEW YORK (AP) – New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr.
    has sported a black eye for several days after he was apparently the
    victim of a bike-by punching in midtown Manhattan. “It’s nice to know that at the age of 50, I can still take a
    punch,” Sulzberger said through spokeswoman Catherine Mathis. Mathis
    said Friday that an unknown bike messenger randomly “popped him in the
    eye” on April 9.

    http://amarillo.com/stories/042102/ent_sulzberger.shtml

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