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.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

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 plan to redesign them: A proposed […]

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. The state of Georgia would deny facilities to this group of "recreational" infrastructure users — if they were riding bikes, that is. Photo: Sustainable Savannah Money always makes a convenient excuse, though it’s rather specious being that a […]

A Livable Streets Renaissance in Savannah?

|
The last time we checked in with the folks down at Sustainable Savannah, it was to get an update on the jaywalking ticket blitz that the city was conducting — not exactly evidence of a progressive attitude toward traffic safety. Today, we’ve got better news. Biking in Savannah: the future is looking brighter. Photo by […]

In Charleston, an Affordable, Effective Alternative to Highway Expansion

|
Roads like Charleston’s Savannah Highway are a common sight across America: a suburban arterial marked by high-speeds, dangerous pedestrian crossings and depressing aesthetics. A five-lane strip of asphalt surrounded by used car dealerships and motels, it’s heavy on parking and curb cuts, light on crosswalks and trees. Like many streets of this type, Savannah Highway […]

Georgia Screws Transit Riders, Again

|
Georgia ranks near the bottom in transit spending among U.S. states. MARTA, which serves residents of the Atlanta region, is the largest transit system in the country to receive no state funding. And Darin at Network blog ATL Urbanist reports that the state has yanked the rug from under transit-using Georgians once again. [Y]ou can […]

Re-imagining Parking Spaces as Micro-Apartments

|
Can parking spaces get a second life? A student project in Atlanta helps demonstrate the possibilities in every stall. Students at the Savannah College of Art and Design created three “SCADpads:” 135-square-foot micro-apartments designed to fit in the space defined by a single parking spot. Three prototypes for these modular homes, which cost $40-$60,000 to […]