Note to NYC Press: Public Health Experts Don’t Sell Cheeseburgers

For the second time in the past few weeks, a New York City media outlet has allowed Milk Burger owner Erik Mayor to claim that protected bike lanes in East Harlem will increase asthma rates. Earlier this month it was the Daily News, and over the weekend NY1 gave some airtime to Mayor too.

East Harlem is beset by disproportionate rates of obesity, traffic injuries, and asthma. The least a respectable reporter can do would be to check Mayor’s claims against the word of an actual public health expert.

Here’s what Joanne Eichel of the New York Academy of Medicine said at a recent community board meeting about the East Harlem bike lanes:

“There is no evidence to suggest that bike lanes increase asthma rates. On the contrary, we know that riding a bike has extraordinary health benefits.” Adding protected bike lanes would be “a major step toward improving the health of people of all ages in the community.”

Why does someone who sells cheeseburgers for a living get to spout garbage all over TV and the tabloids, while a public health professional like Eichel gets ignored?

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