Victim-Blaming at the New York Times (Encore!) Edition – Streetsblog New York City


Seriously, what is the Metro section of the New York Times?

This question was raised again on Monday, when Winnie’s “14th Street Busway is a war on cars” Hu dropped another article with the subtle subtext: “Everyone should just drive cars, because cars are normal. “

You didn’t have to go past the title to see where Hu was coming from: “As electric scooters and e-bikes proliferate, safety challenges grow. The article essentially blamed electric scooter riders and e-bike users for their own deaths under the wheels of the city’s growing number of car drivers.

After a long opening explaining the rise of micro-mobility (it’s cheaper, faster, easier and better for the city), Hu goes on the attack. “Yet the electric mobility boom has posed significant safety concerns on the already congested streets of New York City,” she writes. “At least 17 people have been killed while driving electric mobility vehicles this year.” Hu never mentions who killed these victims – a bizarre oversight that would never occur in a story about gun violence or murder.

Even a simple suggestion that cars are the problem in the city is summarily dismissed.

“The influx of electric bikes and scooters has also sparked more conflict on the streets at a time when road deaths peaked in nearly a decade due to more cars, excess speed and reckless driving, ”she writes, another phrase that blames the“ conflict ”on the lightweight, durable newcomer, not the 3,000-pound giant that has been ruining our cities for about 100 years.

It’s really amazing what passes for a balance in the editorial staff of The Times. Seriously. This is not news. It is the agony of automobile culture.

And that’s especially heinous given that the alleged security concerns associated with micro-mobility are almost entirely the result of an upper class of privileged New Yorkers – who would order take-out and then pick it up or have it delivered to the door. a local restaurant on foot or by regular bike – now orders take-out without worrying about the miles and miles traveled by these cutting-edge independent entrepreneurs.

We thank Nicole Gelinas for pointing out in her Weekend Post column that the increase in violence on the road may be directly linked to the “predatory business model” of app-based delivery companies (which are actually than tech companies) who treat delivery people like consumables. . For some reason (maybe because of all the Grubhub ordered on W. 43rd Street?) The Times is unable to see the full picture.

At the very least, Metro editor Jim Dao should know that around the same time Hu’s story was published, an electric cyclist was killed by a teenage Chevrolet Silverado driver on a bridge in Queens who had a protected cycle path – until the city decides. couldn’t be bothered by maintaining the flexible poles that separated it from traffic as we reported (the Daily News article did not initially note this until we complained).

  • There was news of a lot more bloodshed over the weekend:
    • A 95-year-old man was shot and killed on Grand Street – and the driver has not been charged. (News12)
    • The NYPD released details of an accident that killed a pedestrian in Bedford-Stuyvesant in July. (Room)
    • A driver has been arrested for punching and killing a man who was riding a Citi bicycle on Henry Hudson Parkway (the driver was unlicensed, cops said). (Cloth on the west side)

In other news from a long weekend … news:

  • DN wood on busIn other “damn” related to The Times, people actually use bikes? ”news, the Paper of Record had a cute story about soccer players who have to travel to New Jersey because of a geocoded oddity in the law – and the Times found a few Upper Manhattanites and Bronxites who just take their bikes on the George Washington Bridge to place their bets. (Sorry to remind the Times, but people use their bikes for a lot of things. It’s not that weird, you know.)
  • Monday’s Daily News wood (right) was a classic: two-thirds of the city’s school buses – school buses! – got a speeding ticket in a school zone or a red light ticket!
  • The MTA has not improved its post-Covid schedule, says Scott Stringer. (NYDN, NY Post, amNY)
  • Taxi drivers want (and need) a better bailout. (Gothamist)
  • State comptroller Tom DiNapoli said the MTA was missing about $ 56 million in tolls for cheaters. (New York Post)
  • Oh, speaking of unpaid tolls and penalties, meet a cop with $ 15,000 in it… on his Range Rover! (New York Post)
  • Oh, and speaking of badge dishonor, another firefighter was caught driving drunk on Staten Island (NY Post)
  • Manhattan Borough President (a new board member) Gale Brewer and current board member Keith Powers want Rockefeller Center to be pedestrianized, as Streetsblog has long advocated. (New York Post)
  • See, we Recount you de Blasio was a terrible mayor… none of the local sports ball teams win! (New York Post)
  • Vox has given a good overview of how being killed by a motorist is still by far the biggest threat to young people in our country. (Our friend Charles Komanoff says that Vox actually underestimated deaths from cars.) This table is kind of all you need to see:

vox child death chart

  • We enjoyed Richard Zoglin’s teardown of the Moynihan train hall, which is like a Potemkin transit village. (WSJ)
  • Here’s a pretty balanced story (for once!) From the Sunnyside Post about DOT’s excruciatingly slow rollout from its groundbreaking 39th Avenue Bike Boulevard in Queens.
  • Want to see Fifth Avenue as cars started to devastate our city? Here’s a trip to Bad Memory Lane (YouTube). And then another, about five to ten years later, when the cars had already taken over. (Youtube)
  • Authorities will release NON-toxic gases in the subway to test… er… the movement of toxic gases. (NYDN)
  • And, finally, WTF, David Remnick ?! (We sent an email, but got no response.)

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