11 comments to Stop WGBH and Gatehouse from declaring a Wheel War
It’s really hard to quantify the depth of disgust aroused when I saw the logo for your new “Wheel Wars” series. “Who rules the road?” written underneath as though the act of getting to work, school or where ever was some sort of ancient, brutal gauntlet to be run. Your flippant approach to this very serious issue is truly unfathomable.
Last summer my friend Alex was run down on his bike by a truck driver in Wellesley and died on the street. The driver had multiple infractions on his license and the Wellesley Police Department did a fine job if reconstructing the accident for the DA. Charges were filed and the driver arrested. However, the grand jury declined to indict him. Why? Because they are car drivers and they saw themselves in this man, this animal who ran down my friend. They would never want to see themselves or a loved one go to jail and they don’t know anyone who rides a bike. Clearly it’s a war out there right? Car drivers have the weapons and the system on their side.
You are reinforcing this dangerous bias with this series. It’s irresponsible and will prove deadly.
A while ago I worked at a newspaper as a copy editor and designer. One night while I was working several youth in Lawrence fell through the ice of the Merrimack river and died. The editors of my paper agonized and discussed how to best portray this tragic story and honor these little men who perished trying to save each other. They considered the families and the public service of warning of the dangers of thin ice. How long did your editors consider the impact of this work? Was this conceived in a mid-morning trip to the crapper?
BTW, that paper and coverage won a Pulitzer prize. Maybe redeem yourselves with some balanced journalism some time? Please and thanks.
The series should be focused on improving bicycle infastructure, to increase bicycling, and not to create an “US vs. THEM” mentality.
As a mature cyclist and long-time member of WGBH, I would expect GBH to have more sense than to use this ugly image and phrase to promote a program which might have value but does not appear to be up to the high standards expected of America’s premier public television station.
The choice of the words “Wheel Wars” is worse than unfortunate. While the alliteration is nice, it is to the detriment of the message.
I’ve been commuting every day by bike, 52 weeks a year, going on five years, and I can honestly say that the level of cooperation on the roads has done nothing but improve. My experience is that this is even true in neighborhoods/roads where bike commuters are not as common — Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park — where I ride the bulk of my miles. I’m not going to go as far as saying that I feel safe during rush hour on Blue Hill Avenue or Hyde Park Avenue, but I certainly feel safer today than I did a year ago or two years ago. The tension on the road isn’t news. The lessening tension on the roads is.
Um, I like the idea of expressing displeasure at the stupidity of “Wheel Wars”, but last time I checked, there aren’t really “sides” and not too many people carry around weapons, so I can’t sign the petition, because the last sentence is inflammatory and inaccurate.
I’d say it’s pretty clear that the intentions are good, but what a stupid, stupid title.
Better bicycle infrastructure benefits everyone not just cyclists. Cleaner cities, healthier populations are goals we should strive for. I use both cars and bicycles to commute but I think mortality is higher on the bicycle. This is unnecessary.
To characterize improving infrastructure as “war” is yellow journalism and will not save lives. We need to see what has worked, why and try to replicate it where we can, not highlight polarization which is just lazy media production. We need creative expository pieces not negative rants. It’s easy to find fault but far more difficult to find solutions.
Drivers and cyclists need constructive dialogue about sharing the road. This should NOT be a war.
I applaus you but have some suggestins for a change of the text above. Your analogy,”… jaywalking as a war between motorists and pedestrians” seems to imply that cyclists are somehow engaging in a per se illegal activity. Not so! Change the analogy to something more apt. Your analogy to not using the term “accidental shootings” to describe a results of drive-by shooters” tkaing out “innocent bystanders” actually uses their improper tactics (violence) language to make a point – a bad move. Choose something non-violent.
This title is SO counter-productive, for bikers and drivers alike. Please take some responsibility for your work.