In a bizarre video posted to the Wall Street Journal’s website, the venerable paper’s editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz railed against New York City’s plan to create a public for-pay biking infrastructure, ominously warning that “the bike lobby is an all powerful enterprise.”
After the host of the video segment asked Rabinowitz why New York might want to make bikes more accessible to its citizens, Rabinowitz snaps: “Do not ask me to enter the mind of the totalitarians running this government of the city.” She goes on to suggest that the nefarious program is “what happens when you are run by an autocratic mayor or government before which you are helpless and that New York’s best neighborhoods are being “begrimmed…by these blazing blue Citibank bikes.” Watch it:
In reality, bikeshares are reasonable, cost-efficient ways to improve access to healthy public transportation. The networks of public bikes, open to anyone for a a small fee, are “the lowest cost-per-mile form of public transit” for short-distance travelers, according to the National League of Cities (NLC). The NLC survey of several bike share programs around the United States also concluded that they could save cities money by reducing wear and tear on roads, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and, with proper planning, could actually decrease deadly accidents.
In recent years, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page has turned sharply to the right, penning a series of questionable editorials supporting hardline conservative positions. Journal veteran and centrist Washington Post columnist David Ignatius called it “a newspaper distinguished by vitriolic right-wing attack editorials,” writing in 2007 that “for Journal alumni, the past decade has been like watching a car wreck in slow motion.”
(HT: James Fallows)