WMJI apologizes to cyclists

In early July, the free-wheeling humor on WMJI's "Lanigan & Malone" morning show caused a crash with the local cycling community. On-air personalities started a running joke about how bicyclists interfere with cars, and they echoed the complaints of insensitive motorists who wished to run cyclists off the road.

Local cycling activists, were outraged. Every year, cyclists in Ohio die because of aggressive or careless driving by motorists. We need better driver education about the rights of bicycles to share the road, not campaigns to inflame road rage.

Led by Lois Cowan of Century Cycles, cyclists protested by inundating the station with e-mails. This led to apologies by the station management, who also agreed to run public service announcements about safe cycling and donate $10,000 to support bike programs.

EcoCity Cleveland accepted this donation on behalf of the cycling community. We will work with bike activists and local planning agencies to develop projects that will make Northeast Ohio a great place for bikes.

Bikes in the Metroparks

One issue raised by the controversy was that many motorists still have the mistaken belief that bikes aren't allowed on roads in the Metroparksthat bikes should stay on the off-road trails "where they belong." This creates an ongoing problem of motorists harassing cyclists on the park roads.

The truth is that bicycles are vehicles and have every right to the road (assuming cyclists are riding no more than two abreast and are obeying traffic laws). Moreover, in the Metroparks it's often safer for experienced cyclist to ride on roads because the trails are crowded with pedestrians, children, baby strollers, dog walkers, etc.


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