They make a great point. People react differently to variations in language. Rather than call us cyclists, they recommend “people on bikes.” Pedestrians become “people walking” and drivers become “people driving.” Rather than saying the car hit someone say “the person driving the car” hit someone (person on a bike or person walking). A bicycle safety advocate becomes a “neighbor advocate.” Rather than refer to a cycling crash victim simply as a cyclist, they become “a husband, father of two, an employee of Publix and a neighbor.”
Supporters say this has begun to pay dividends in Seattle. Requests for bike lanes and infrastructure upgrades have been better received as needed neighborhood safety upgrades. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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