Should road cycling outlets cover road safety?

See linked story. 8-year-old killed by driver in Houston suburb on Monday. Police messaging is abysmal, of course, placing blame on young child for not driving in the suburbs. Story does not appear on CT or Velonews. Should CT be running more stories about the safety of our roads to highlight cases and supplement poorly written narratives? Does fluff get more clicks?

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That’s about as safe a place as you could ride a bike in Houston. Lived in that cesspool of a town and state for 6 years and was glad to get out. Awful place to live and more of an awful place to try and ride a bicycle.

Police don’t give a shit, the public there is extremely aggressive to any road cyclists and even MTB’rs. I used to get harassed/intentionally buzzed/swerved at once or twice a week. Now worst I get is occasionally shouted at like once every 2 years by some highschool kids driving mom’s car around. Outside of the loop is a little better but if you ride north of I-10 cops won’t respond to any calls or take reports of aggressive drivers and the quiet roads west of Katy are getting more packed with aggressive idiots. Of course the town has done very minimal bike infrastructure projects mostly limited to expensive, rarely used things that politicians can stand in front of for a photo opp.

I think they also set up radar traps on the MUP in GBP and were aggressively ticketing any cyclist going more that 10mph.

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That is a delicate question. I believe that if journalism is tied in service of holding power to account as the bike Houston people seem to have done. it is worthwhile. Their actions helped elevate this story to wider attention and hopefully, the Houston Police will take notice (somehow I doubt it). What I don’t want to see is NY Post style coverage where they just cover the worst stories from the worst angle. I don’t think that CT has the resources to have an on-the-ground reporter digging into and covering vehicular manslaughter around their reading area.

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By the way, they’re not always accidents. “Collisions” or “incidents” doesn’t take the blame away from the driver the way “accidents” does. If someone is texting while driving or passing too close because their time is just so important, and they hit a cyclist, it could have been prevented and therefore isn’t an accident.

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Yes, it’s precisely points like these that I’d like to see covered. I’ve changed the forum post to “road safety.” How that for ya? Differences in semantics matter, and passive language constructions like “car hits cyclist” redirects blame away from reckless drivers behind the wheel.

There’s a line in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby that always comes to mind when I read such news reports: “The ‘death car’ as the newspapers called it, didn’t stop; it came out of the gathering darkness, wavered tragically for a moment, and then disappeared around the next bend…” No indication that Daisy was driving. Fitzgerald also knew exactly how these reports worked.

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I don’t think so. Not because road safety is not an important topic but because I’m not sure its coverage by cycling press really accomplishes much of anything. It’s preaching to the choir–the folks invested enough in cycling to be reading specialist cycling media in the first place. I’d be happy to be proven wrong but I don’t think I am.

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No, not unless it’s an unusual or high profile case.

Besides it being pretty far from what the site is about (and I’m fine with that), can you imagine the sheer volume of stories we’d have from around the world? A quick, cursory google suggests 41000 deaths worldwide each year. I’m not so sure (understatement: I’m very, very sure I do not want this) I want to see CT covering over 100 deaths per day.

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Okay. But what does Amstel Gold racing coverage or articles on Ineos-branded hand sanitizer actually accomplish in the real world? The ethos of CT is to preach to the choir…and the choir loves it.

The media has more than one purpose. It doesnt just inform, it motivates and changes opinion.

CT, in the past, has had plenty of coverage of road safety issues. This has the potential to spark grass roots activism for road law reform, better infrastructure and cultural change.

Sure, individual reportage of single collisions,unless they are sentinel events, is pointless but informed opinion pieces about road safety are far more important than who came first on some race.

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I think coverage of this issue in a general sense is good, but I don’t want incident by incident coverage. Go to Road.cc- they literally cover every close pass in the entire UK. I’d never get on a bike in the UK if I lived there and read Road.cc.

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Cycling safety issues tend to be highly regional too, which complicates covering the issue for an international publication like Cyclingtips. Just from reading this forum, it seems like the main issue can be driver attitude, driver attentiveness, or infrastructure in different regions.

I live in a fairly cycling friendly part of the US, so I’m more worried about distracted drivers and a few bad intersections than I am about driver hostility. I’m currently riding in Denmark and it’s a virtual cycling paradise in comparison.

It would be interesting to read a big- picture overview of what some regions have done well and how to apply those lessons though.

I think that ultimately cycling safety will need to be driven by getting more people commuting on bikes. There is only so much leverage that the recreational cyclists can have, since we are honorary to most people.

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So much of it is attitude. Was recently cycling in Basel- a wonderful system of on-road and off-road bicycle routes, totally respected by autos. Felt utterly safe at rush hour in the city. Thankfully I also live in a generally bike friendly place (Minnesota), although I ride almost all gravel out of concern about distracted drivers as well.

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Was coming here to mention road.cc

It feels like that at times, the daily road safety coverage perpetuates this myth driven by the anti-cycling lobby that it’s open warfare between cyclists and car drivers which just isn’t true.

Many of our European cousins certainly have better infrastructure and a more enlightened attitude to cycling but I’ve also ridden in worse places (Sydney comes to mind) than the UK.

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Totally agree about Sydney, the only place we felt the need to drive to our ride start because of the lack of safe infrastructure and driver behaviour. I can’t believe I used to ride regularly on the M5 shoulder 18 years ago.

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Come to northern Qld, some of the stuff I see is crazy…

#rednecks
#bogans
#mullets

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Oh I experienced that only a few weeks ago!
My partner was doing the Port Douglas Gran Fondo and we spent a few nights in Yungaburra on the way up.
We did a short ride out to Malanda and back and a medium rigid truck with long tray squeezed me into the gutter and I would gone under the rear axle for sure if I didn’t do an emergency stop (his near side wheels rode up onto the gutter just in front of me.
The old must get in front - even thought we were descending at a reasonable speed 30 metres from a T intersection controlled by a stop sign :roll_eyes:

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Barely any police presence around there on the roads too.

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https://www.streetsblog.org/ does a fantastic job of regionally focused reporting on transit and biking. but this is all they do it is their specialty. It would be weird if they started doing race reports.

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Truth. Largely different target audience as well. But also the interests do cross-over, particularly given that many of us commute, ride recreationally, race events on local roads, and so on. It would be interesting to run a poll on how many CT members have even heard of the Chicago cycling protests and die-ins going on this month? Pretty remarkable events.

I had no idea about the Chicago protests. But I tend to keep it hyper-local with bike politics. I can say I am over the moon about the redesign of the Schermerhorn bike lane in down town Brooklyn.

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