Not Just a ‘Cyclist’: The Importance of Language for Building Safer Streets
The people we share the road with are people first. As a society, we have created a lexicon of terms that we use to describe other road users that perpetuate the ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ mentality. If we really want to create safer streets, we need to first look at the language we use with decision-makers, the media, planners, engineers, the public, and each other to begin to break down some of the barriers and bust some of the stigmas associated with riding a bicycle.
This session will look at some of the issues associated with the typical language we use when talking about our streets, the stereotypes that are assigned to every kind of road user and the impact that has on our cultural attitudes, and how we can incorporate more person-centric language in our practice.