Cyclists and the City: NewsCorp Weighs In

It's the timeless battle of the cyclists and the non-cyclists, and it's playing out again in New York City's pair of NewsCorp. papers today.

On the one side, there's the New York Post, blasting cyclists for taking up valuable street space and flouting laws, blindly putting pedestrians and drivers at risk. And the paper make no secret of it's staunch resistance to anyone who advocates for even more bicycling in the city.

In an editorial today headlined "Khan game", the New York Post took Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan to task for her plan to build a pedestrian mall on 34th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. Sadik-Khan said yesterday she was scrapping the idea, but the Post seems to doubt it's gone for good.

And the Post adds that she's already "committed a boatload of costly mistakes -- starting with turning over vast swaths of city streets to delivery boys on bikes and the occasional cool dude peddling along in his Day-Glo tights."

But the Wall Street Journal, in an article also published today, says the image of the dangerous cyclist is dramatic and overwrought, and that the reality doesn't warrant the backlash. 

"Cyclists are getting painted with an unfairly broad brush," reporter Jason Gay argues.

He continues:

"Just as all drivers can't be judged by the idiot weaving down the BQE, all cyclists aren't clowns slapping car hoods and cursing out stroller pushers. Cycling is an activity that encompasses racers, enthusiasts, commuters, messengers, food delivery people, rich, poor, young, old, and, yes, That Guy Who's Always On the Unicycle.

As disparate as these groups are, they all basically want the same thing: to get somewhere efficiently and alive."

What's your take on bicycling in the city? Do we need to do more to accommodate bikes and encourage safe cycling? Or do we try to focus first on inhibiting dangerous cyclers? Share your thoughts below.

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