Contrary to the typical (and carelessly) demagogic attacks on bicyclists as privileged hipsters, I submit this.
"Nationally and in cities across Sun Belt, the bulk of those who bike to work – based on our best available data – are low-income people. Nationwide, 49 percent of people in the cycling category earn less than $25,000 per year. In Houston, the figure is closer to 42 percent...
Despite a clear indication that most cyclists appear to be low-income people, other images of cyclists persist..."
And the reason why people use this demagogic attack on bicyclists?
"All of these conflicting ideas of who rides a bike matter because they inform policy discussions.
“I’d like to think that policy is created through reasoned debate finding the best choices among many,” Longhurst said. “But in fact, cultural associations shape a great deal of what decision-making bodies do, to both the good and the bad.”"
http://www.governing.com/topics/transpo ... sters.html
Articles, whether posted here or in other places, whose central argument rests on the premise that bicyclists are privileged are at core demagoguery, even if they include valid side arguments. Keep that in mind when responding to them. I certainly don't know what the magic bullet is for dismantling demagoguery but I think the first step is recognizing it for what it is before you decide on a strategy to respond.
If they are written by a person who has attained a high level of education and should reasonably be expected to have done some at least cursory investigation as to whether or not the core of their argument had merit that is doubly a shame. Creating an image of a group of people that casts them in a negative light to score political points? Simply put, it is a moral failing.
It is true that some bicycling advocates do not represent the socioeconomic status of most bicyclists. However, this isn't at all relevant. What is relevant is that the group that benefits from bicycle infrastructure is poorer than the general population, and if people sharing their opinions bring the concept of privilege into this discussion they should not turn it on its head.
Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
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