Monday’s Headlines: Journalism Drops the Ball Edition

Pedestrians cross a congestion Canal Street.
Happy Monday, sweet car sewer. Photo: Streetsblog

Another week, another tragic, preventable death treated like a foregone conclusion by reporters and editors working for the world’s most prominent journalistic institutions.

On Thursday, Greg Knapp, an assistant coach for the New York Jets, died of the injuries he sustained after being struck by a driver. Five days earlier, Knapp had been riding his bicycle in his hometown of Danville, Calif., when the driver hit him.

Reports of Knapp’s death celebrated his 26-year career — he was a well-respected coach who mentored quarterbacks including Peyton Manning, Steve Young, and Michael Vick — but completely glossed over the circumstances of his death.

The New York Times reported that Knapp was “struck by a car as he rode a bicycle” and failed to mention it again. The Daily News reported Knapp was “hit by a car while riding his bicycle”; that’s it. The Post called it a “‘horrific bike accident'” and noted that “police do not believe drugs or alcohol were a factor, and the driver was cooperating with the authorities.” Local outlets aren’t much better.

Only NBC News actually attempted to answer how and why Knapp was killed: “Knapp, 58, was an avid cyclist who was riding Saturday in San Ramon in Northern California when a motorist swerved into the bike lane and hit him, said his agent, Jeff Sperbeck.” Yet even their headline refers to Knapp’s death as a “bicycle crash.”

The San Ramon Police Department said in a statement that the 22-year-old driver was cooperating with the ongoing investigation. Streetsblog has reached out for more information.

America’s epidemic of traffic deaths disproportionately affects poor people, especially Black and Hispanic pedestrians and cyclists. Some of our best news organizations failed Greg Knapp, and they’re unquestionably failing the tens of thousands of people who die preventable deaths on the street every year.

In other news:

  • The Post reported that the 18-year-old son of a retired NYPD deputy inspector has been arrested for driving his BMW into a crowd of protesters and injuring a teenager on Wednesday night. Justin Burgos is charged with leaving the scene of a crash, reckless endangerment, obstructing governmental administration, and fleeing police.
  • Former Bloomberg deputy mayor Dan Doctoroff argued in the Times that the city should tear down the temporary restaurant sheds so that our streets can be permanently remade. “In their place, we should install a more flexible system that could meet our city’s changing needs — whether that’s upgraded dining sheds, freight zones, community gathering spaces or more we haven’t even dreamed up yet,” Doctoroff writes. Your move, Mayor Adams.
  • Five people died in a head-on automobile collision on a blind curve on the Montauk Highway over the weekend, and speeding was a factor, according to the Times.
  • A 42-year-old driver has been arrested for striking and killing a woman and her 10-year-old daughter in Queens on Saturday. Diana Granobles, 31, was killed along with her daughter, Isabella, after Tyrone Absolam drunkenly crashed into them, police said. The Daily News has more.

  • The Citizen App is now offering to pay users $25 an hour to livestream mayhem, according to the Post. Vice recently reported how Citizen is literally run on fear.
  • This deeply stupid Daily News op/ed against the current congestion pricing scheme contains this sentence: “With electric cars in increasingly wide adoption, environmental impact is not nearly the pressing concern it once was.”
  • Speaking of congestion, Revel has introduced 50 Teslas as part of an app-based ride-hail service, reports Clayton Guse of the News. The service begins on August 2nd, and is limited to trips below 42nd Street.