Tuesday’s Headlines: Wow, Miss Manners Doesn’t Get it Edition

This is why cyclists yell at drivers, Miss Manners!
This is why cyclists yell at drivers, Miss Manners!

We haven’t had much beef with The Washington Post’s Miss Manners over the years (we’re polite that way). But the etiquette-emphasizing essayist really got our goat with her answer to a bike rider who sarcastically reminds drivers to, well, stop trying to kill him.

“I often call out expressions of encouragement to the people I observe in traffic, such as, ‘You go, girl, right through that red light! VIPs don’t need to stop!’ and ‘No need to park in a driveway when you can double-park in the bike lane!'” the sarcastic letter writer said. “I notice that the objects of my enthusiasm often respond with vulgar insults, obscene gestures and threats of violence. Am I missing something?”

Now, granted no one hoping to live up to the surname “Manners” is going to be OK with such sarcasm — but is it too much to ask that she acknowledge that the selfish drivers are deserving of blame?

“It is true that your insults are less crudely worded, but they are clearly insults, and they inspire retaliatory insults,” replied Miss Manners (actually a trio of Martins: Judith, Nicholas and Jacobina). “You started it. And Miss Manners is asking you to stop. You are making a public nuisance of yourself.”

Not a word about killer drivers? How rude!

Here’s the rest of the news from a slow day:

  • So who really is the best Council Member? The worst? City & State has a methodology that’s questionable — but the resulting “Best and Worst” list is certainly a talker!
  • The MTA has more bedbug problems. (NYDN, NY Post)
  • The Fair Fares program keeps growing. (amNY)
  • Times Editorial Board member Binyamin Appelbaum makes a great point about historic preservation — the only thing it’s preserving is rich people and their housing prices.
  • And finally, the 103rd Precinct in Queens wants you to know that Vision Zero is “still” in effect. Um, isn’t it always? (103rd via Twitter)

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Today on the Streetsblog Network, we ever-so-gingerly broach the issue of etiquette when pedestrians and cyclists share the same space. Washington, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty has proclaimed pedestrian safety a top priority, and is backing up his words with millions in federal stimulus funds and a pedestrian master plan. Adam Voiland at DC Bicycle Transportation […]