Fact check on my caption

I was interviewed for for this story about bike safety in the Santa Cruz Weekly. The print edition includes a huge photo of me holding my bike down by the ocean. Please do not read the caption.


week

I wrote to the Weekly asking for a correction. “Georgia” is Georgia Perry, the Weekly journalist who interviewed me. She moved to Santa Cruz from Portland OR.

Hi Georgia,

Thanks for the opportunity to talk with you about bike safety. Well done on your story about Josh Alper.

I realize it’s probably a page editor who wrote the caption under that photo of me in the print edition, but that caption is almost the exact opposite of what I told you.

The caption says that I claim “it’s a complete myth that bicycling would be safe even if all cyclists were all completely law abiding.” What I said is that harassment would continue if even all cyclists were completely law abiding. I also told you that there are things a cyclist can do to decrease the risk of collisions. First among them: obey the rules of the road.

Can you pass my request for a correction along to the editor, please? I realize it doesn’t exactly fit the narrative of your story, but the caption is completely contrary to the facts, to safety statistics, and to the message I try to convey at Cyclelicious.

Thank you again,

Richard Masoner

The story itself, which sensitively covers the death of Josh Alper, is worth reading.

Update: The editor acknowledges he paraphrased my quote but asserts that the meaning remains the same. Grrr….

4 Comments

  1. Well done Richard, I’m glad they gave you a correction. It’s a shame when editors find the need to twist things around, had the same thing happen to me with the Sentinel years ago.

  2. Well that is true, if somewhat banal and a useless quote to feature. Nothing is truly “safe”.

    Every half hour or so someone goes to ER because of injuries caused by a falling television, etc.

  3. The article makes other mistakes, like claiming that the contraflow lane on High and the two-way bike lane on Beach increase safety. Neither does. Both increase convenience at a fairly large increase in risk. (The two-way bike lane on Beach in front of the Dream Inn is a major safety hazard as it is too narrow for two-way traffic. Any one riding on that stretch of road should take the road and state out of the “separated bike lane”.

  4. Here is an idea that would be met with howls. Make West Cliff Drive a one way road and use the left over lane for a 2 way cycle track.

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