Florida has for years now held the dubious distinction of having the highest rate and bicycle accidents and related deaths. Lee County has historically been one of the worst locations, ranking 10th in the state, with regular riders and tourists alike constantly at risk.
In 2014, there were a slew of incidents involving anti-cyclist rhetoric. There was the man who ran over a row of bicyclists on Fort Myers Beach before declaring to a doctor who rushed to their aid, “I should have hit them harder.” There was the Naples woman who allegedly spat on a bicyclist after plowing into him. And there was the Cape Coral cyclist who dodged a motorist’s bullets after shouting at him to slow down.
All of this prompted a novel approach by The Fort Myers News-Press: Advocacy in journalism. Though objectivity is a core tenant of journalism, the paper of record took an unabashed role of advocating for fewer bicycle accidents and deaths. Now, it looks like it may have actually worked, at least to some degree. Continue reading →