Why Are Threats Against Bike Riders Considered Acceptable?

Today on the Streetsblog Network, Sustainable Savannah
asks the question, "When is it socially acceptable to threaten the
lives of innocent people?" The answer, apparently, is this: "When they
are riding bicycles."

The post comes in response to a comment on the website of the city’s major newspaper, the Savannah Morning News. Sustainable Savannah’s John Bennett writes:

bikelanewithmoss.jpgPhoto: Sustainable Savannah

[I]t appears at least one person in this "wonderfully
hospitable and gracious city" feels comfortable boasting about his or
her willingness to murder innocent people. From the Vox Populi section of the Savannah Morning News on Dec. 2:

"Please tell all these wannabe Lance Armstrongs to get
on the streets with bike paths. One of these days they are going to
pull out in front of someone, mainly me, and, ‘adios.’"

Well, at least this person said, "please." It’s interesting that
threatening the lives of cyclists, at least anonymously, is socially
acceptable. Socially acceptable enough not only for a person to send
this to the Savannah Morning News, but also socially acceptable enough
to win the approval of the paper’s editors.

As a matter of fact, the comment in question seems to clearly violate the paper’s terms of service agreement,
which requires users to agree not to post content "that is unlawful,
harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing" — unless, apparently, the
threat is made with a motor vehicle and the target is a person riding a
bicycle.

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

More good stuff from a very busy day around the network: Riding in Riverside wonders why we can’t build truly public infrastructure any longer. Dotage St. Louis muses on the city’s culture of destruction. And bikePHL provides a primer on the most common types of car-bicycle crashes — and how to avoid them.

  • Scary for sure.

  • Nick

    Here in SF, Ive noticed a decline in these types of incidents directed at me during the past few years. Sadly, I don’t think the amount of incidents are decreasing; rather they are being divided out amongst the growing number of cyclists on the street.

    I can recall the exact moment that someone purpsefully tried to hit me on Judah Street. “The roads are for cars, get out of the f-n street…” It turns you into an instant advocate even if your intentions were never to get involved in any kind of political movement.

  • Brian

    This is why U-locks were invented.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Accident vs. Crash: The View from Savannah

|
Here at Streetsblog, we often discuss the ongoing carnage caused by drivers on the nation’s roads and streets — and the near-total lack of accountability for those who are anything but staggering drunk. And we often discuss, too, the role that language plays in our perceptions of accountability. Today’s Streetsblog Network featured post, from Sustainable […]

Warning: Windshield Perspective Hazardous to your Health

|
Over the past couple of months, we’ve been following a story in Savannah about a crackdown on jaywalking — a crackdown prompted by the death of a tourist who was hit by a car on Oglethorpe Avenue in the city’s historic district. Streetsblog Network member Sustainable Savannah has done a great job of articulating why […]
STREETSBLOG USA

Savannah Weighs Bike Ban in Beloved City Park

|
Talk about a reductive view of safety. After a couple of unusual incidents where bicyclists collided with pedestrians in Savannah’s 30-acre Forsyth Park, the city is now considering outlawing cycling in the park. Savannah Bicycle Campaign says that will force cyclists onto nearby streets where traffic moves at deadly speeds, and the city has no […]
STREETSBLOG USA

Georgia DOT: Only People on Bikes Go Joyriding

|
It’s always fun to hear the explanations from transportation agencies about why they are shortchanging bike projects. Money always makes a convenient excuse, though it’s rather specious being that a whole urban network of urban bike facilities often pales in comparison to the cost of, say, a few miles of interstate highway construction. Well, here’s […]

To Reduce Pedestrian Fatalities, Focus Enforcement on Cars

|
Today the issue of pedestrian safety has popped up a couple of times on the Streetsblog Network. First, the folks at WalkBike Jersey report that a bill giving pedestrians more protection in the crosswalk has passed the State Assembly and is moving to committee in the Senate: Photo by tomswift46 via Fickr. Under the bill, […]

UC Berkeley’s First Bike to Campus Day

|
From EBBC: Students and professors- Roll up your right pant cuff and hop on a bicycle Friday, September 9 to participate in UC Berkeley’s first ever Bike to Campus Day. Bike to Campus Day aims to get students, staff and faculty motivated to bicycle commute to campus. Both new and seasoned cyclists are invited to […]