Mexico City motorists should take it upon themselves to rid the capital of cyclists by "flattening" those that get in their way, economic analyst Angel Verdugo, commentator for the Mexican radio program Reporte 98.5, said.

Mexico City's government, which has sponsored programs aimed at increasing bicycle use for the past four years, immediately fired back at Verdugo and termed his remarks "backward."

On Tuesday's edition of the radio program, Verdugo complained that two cyclists who were "arrogantly" disobeying traffic rules nearly crashed into his "modest Peugeot 206" last weekend.

These cyclists, especially those participating in the Ecobici bike-sharing program, which was launched last year, are "a plague," Verdugo said.

They think of themselves as "Europeans; they think they're French ... and that they're in Paris" but they forget "they're Mexicans with all that that implies," Verdugo said.

The commentator urged motorists to respond by "launching their vehicle immediately and not giving them any chance, to see if they'll understand."

"This new plague is going to cause major damage in the Federal District (Mexico City)" and therefore "I ask you, please, throw your vehicle at them and flatten them," Verdugo said.

Cyclists are savages and the rule of 'spare the rod spoil the child' must be applied," Verdugo said.

The station's Web site boasts that Verdugo offers well-grounded analysis "but in simple terms that allow (listeners) to understand economic issues."

Federal District Environment Secretary Martha Delgado responded in the name of the Mexico City government, saying that "bicycle use is a sign of societies' development."

She added that Verdugo's call to attack cyclists "is a backward remark that is an affront to the cyclist community and citizens of Mexico City."

About 10,000 people participate in the Ecobici bike-sharing program every day in the Mexican capital, whose city proper is home to roughly 8.84 million people, and that number will increase to 65,000 users next year, Delgado said.

 

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