Earlier this week, streets.mn contributor Janne Flisrand wrote a popular post questioning why complete strangers sometimes freely offer their negative perceptions about people who ride bicycles on city streets. Most of the comment thread focused on a back and forth over the relative severity of the problem of people disobeying the law while riding bicycles or driving cars. I had a different reaction to the security guard in Janne’s story questioning the legitimacy of people riding bicycles on city streets:
This phenomenon is a lingering effect of the massive PR campaign to create the Other–anyone who’s not driving a car–that was necessary for motorists to gain access to public streets in the first place.
This short film produced by the American Automobile Association in 1954 is an example of a product of the PR campaign I wrote about in my comment.
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