But first, KING offers viewers a lesson in transportation taxonomy. Specifically: Cars are “traffic”; transit is not.
“Here on Alaska, two traffic lanes have been taken away and turned into bus-only lanes,” reporter Natasha Ryan intones, gesturing—with no apparent irony—at the completely empty street behind her. (Screen shot above). “Residents say there already aren’t enough parking spots. … Now residents fear that once the RapidRide stops that are already in place here on Alaska actually start service it’s going to mean even less parking.”
Got that? Bus-only lanes “take away” lanes from the streets’ rightful users—single-occupant cars.
This is fine as far as it goes, but it got me thinking: it’s yet another TV report that assumes its viewers are drivers. I assume a majority of its viewers are drivers as a majority of the people in the region are drivers. But plenty of their viewers must take the bus, as the bus is regularly quite crowed.
A while ago, I wrote that I was always surprised when newspapers aren’t the biggest advocates of public transit. Since we’re getting to an era when TV news can be watched on the bus (but still not in the car, hopefully), I wonder if maybe the knee jerk anti-transit stuff will come to an end. But I won’t think it’ll come any time soon.