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ABC 7 Poses Backwards Poll Question While KPCC Takes a Second Try at Bike-Car Conflicts

9:19 AM PST on November 9, 2009

11_9_09_abc.jpgWeird wording...what do they have to be afraid of?  Losing a mirror when sideswiping a cyclist?

As we mentioned last week, there is reason for concern about the way the traditional media is covering the "bike v car" controversy in the wake of the verdict in the trial of Dr. Christopher Thompson.  Sometimes there is a soft bias, such as in the wording of the question in  today's "Question of the Day" by KABC and sometimes it is more pronounced on radio shows or other two-way communications.

The wording of ABC's question, "As a driver, do you feel safe when sharing the road with cyclists" implies both that cyclists are guests on the car's road and that cyclists pose a danger to people surrounded by several hundred pounds of metal.  In the wake of a jury trial where a driver was convicted of intentionally causing a crash that hospitalized two cyclists, this implication is especially insulting.  Considering that two of ABC 7's top six stories for today are of a driver killing a pedestrian in a crosswalk in Long Beach and of a driver crashing into a store front in Woodland Hills maiming a five year old girl; the question must come from someone who doesn't even watch ABC 7 to witness the devastation that out-of-control drivers, not cyclists, wreck on our streets.  Or maybe those crashes were just "accidents" unlike the intentionally unsafe conditions that cyclists bring every time they pedal onto car's streets?

Meanwhile, KPCC is giving cyclists a second chance to air our views on Larry Mantle's AirTalk show this Wednesday at 10:20.  Last week, Mantle tackled the Mandeville Canyon Crash, Trial and Verdict with a distinct pro-car bias.  You can read KPCC's announcement to their cyclists list after the jump.

Due to the intense interest in this topic
and response to this week’s bicycle show, AirTalk with Larry Mantle will
revisit the issue, this time with some expert guests. It’s set for 10:20
to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11. You can listen live on the air at 89.3 FM or
online at  kpcc.org. We’ll have an
archive of the broadcast available online after the show, and places on the
show website for simultaneous comments, and to continue the discussion
afterward.

Please feel free to pass the word.
I’ll be e-mailing cyclists who are in the Insight Network an alert to the
follow-up show. Also, anybody who wants to add their bicycle story and photo to
our Insight Network of news sources is welcome to do so at this link: www.scpr.org/in/questions/bike

Thanks very much for making your voice
heard on this issue.

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