Tuesday, August 12, 2008

NJN News "Gets It"!

I'm an NJN News junky and rarely a day goes by that I don't watch it. If you saw yesterday's edition, there was a wonderful 3 minute piece on bicycle safety and the end of the broadcast. If you didn't see it, HERE it is. Just scroll forward to 22min 12 sec where the piece begins.

The piece made some great points beyond the massive scary upswing in bicyclist fatalities so far this year. Those include:
  • Many of these fatalities happened because the MOTORIST did not see the bicyclist
  • Cyclists are allowed to ride on the street and must follow the rules of the road
  • Lack of bike lanes (mentioned at least twice)
  • "I've had some weird NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES"
However the best quote of the piece comes from Kate Slevin of the Tristate Transportation Campaign. She says:
"The number one thing we need to do is make the streets safer for people who want to bike around... to include cyclists (and pedestrians) when they plan / rehabilitate roadways..."


While this is Bicycle Planning 101, all too often bicycle improvements are passed over when road projects are built even in places where there is obvious demand. And note, she said "ROAD IMPROVEMENTS", not trails, not parks and not sidewalks but ROADS. For the most part, this is where adult bicyclists belong and this is where they should be accommodated.

So "a tip of the hat" to the folks at NJN for covering bicycling in a very positive light and for using the nice, smiling Jenny Applegate who wears regular cloths and rides a regular bike as the focus of the story. She is such a welcomed reprieve from the stereotyped cyclist image typically perpetrated in the media. You know, male, sometimes nerdy, wearing funny spandex and riding an uncomfortable road bike (not that road bikes can't be cool too). But Jenny puts a regular face onto cycling that most non-cyclists can relate to.

Also another big "
tip of the hat" goes to the Tristate Transportation Campaign and Pam Fischer at Highway Traffic Safety for getting this issue into the media spotlight!

Lets keep it going!

PS - WOW! What a difference from yesterday! Huh!

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