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Description of bicyclist’s course goes over the line

I found Martine Powers’s story on the concurrent increases in bike use and bike incidents both timely and well-written (“As more cyclists hit road, number of accidents rises,” Metro, Sept. 19). But I was irritated by the caption accompanying the image that ran with the story, which noted that a “bicyclist rode outside the lane reserved for riders . . . on Commonwealth Avenue.”

The photo depicted a bicyclist failing to wear a helmet. But why did you find it necessary to point out that the cycling was outside of the bike lane? Many people are unaware that Massachusetts law does not require cyclists to ride in bike lanes.

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By linking what some would mistakenly consider deviant or unlawful behavior by this cyclist with a story about the rise in bicycling incidents, you run the risk of suggesting that bikes and their riders are more to blame for the increase. While this may be the case in some, but certainly not all, instances, your caption leaves Boston cyclists, and your story, short.


Deshmukh Towery

Jamaica Plain

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