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Bicycle Safety

Boston Globe Columnist Tweets Out History’s Dumbest Anti-Bike Rant

I hesitated to even respond to Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby's odious tweetstorm against cycling in Boston, because the man is obviously just trolling for attention.

But boy, Jacoby made it hard to hold back. In response to the death of Amanda Phillips, 27, who was struck and killed by a truck driver earlier this week, Jacoby went straight to the old bike ban argument:

@Jeff_Jacoby Cars in urban areas: Pollution, noise, takes lots of space, kills hundreds in Boston annually.

But sure, bikes are the problem

— Austin (@Indy_Austin) June 24, 2016

So Jacoby doubled down with this gem:

Driving on busy streets requires focus. Having to keep checking for cyclists adds more distraction, and more risk. https://t.co/cdvHGimHdc

— Jeff Jacoby (@Jeff_Jacoby) June 24, 2016

After that the whole internet piled on.

"Looking out the big clear rectangles" of your car is not a "distraction" it is literally driving. https://t.co/KQ8ypGiE6S

— Rick Freeman (@RWFreeman) June 24, 2016

Jacoby, relishing his troll-dom, continued to blur the line between profession columnist and anonymous bottom-feeding internet commenter:

First suggestion is to get priorities straight. Motor traffic is vital to Boston life & commerce. Bicycles aren't. https://t.co/Rnk0dwDWlv — Jeff Jacoby (@Jeff_Jacoby) June 24, 2016

2nd suggestion: Protected bike lanes are a great idea, where the land exists to widen roads and build them. https://t.co/Rnk0dwDWlv

— Jeff Jacoby (@Jeff_Jacoby) June 24, 2016

3rd suggestion: Time-of-day restrictions for bicycles on busiest roads. I.e., no biking on Mass Ave in rush hour. https://t.co/Rnk0dwVxd3 — Jeff Jacoby (@Jeff_Jacoby) June 24, 2016

It's not the first time Jacoby has spewed cartoonish and reactionary arguments to limit people's freedom to travel.

In 2015, after another woman was killed while biking in Boston, the Globe let Jacoby use her death as a pretext to insist "urban roads aren't meant for bicycles."

For all his bluster,  Jacoby is right about one thing: Cycling is too dangerous in Boston. The city could fix that with more bike infrastructure and by calming car traffic throughout the city. Doing so would save a lot of drivers' lives too.

Ban walking! Source: VisionZeroBoston
Ban driving and walking in Boston! Source: VisionZeroBoston
Ban walking! Source: VisionZeroBoston

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