This morning on the way to work I saw something that made me laugh although I was happy that neither sidewalk biker was injured. As usual I had barely got out of my building, looked both ways before entering the main sidewalk, and then started walking south to the corner of 16th and Q. I’d barely got 50 feet when a sidewalk biker sped by me from behind without a word of warning. What made me laugh was still to come. She got to the corner to cross Q and, because she was a little unsure of what to do next, slowed to get around and finally stopped behind a group of pedestrians waiting for the light to change so they could enter the crosswalk. Stopping behind was a bad idea because from the side came another sidewalk biker, in a suit and tie no less, on a racing bike came flying across the pedestrian crossing on 16th and almost hit the back of her bike. Considering the speed he was going this would have been a bad crash, but she saw him at the last minute and managed to push further into the crowd of pedestrians to avoid a crash that probably would have injured the poor standing targets, the pedestrians, as well. But this is the second time in as many months I’ve seen two bikers almost hit each other because of their reckless riding.
So much for my experience. I have no good news to tell you. I have finally written to the Mayor and enclosed a copy of my post about the bureaucratic swamp we find ourselves in when we dare to ask questions of DDOT and other agencies. Since the Mayor assigned someone last year to look into my questions, I hope she gets after them.
Finally, I tend to pick up free papers when I’m going to the gym. And last week the monthly Beacon was among them. The Beacon is a paper geared toward seniors. And there I found in the Letters to the Editor a letter from a woman who wished to remain anonymous but had a story to tell that was perfect for this blog:
Bicycles on sidewalks are a huge problem. If I had a dollar for each time I’ve come close to getting hit, I’d be rich. The D.C. Mayor’s office said they are allowed on sidewalks except in midtown D.C.
This must change. The bicyclists come on the sidewalk at the speed of light. One young man knocked my husband to the ground. No concern, no apology. All he said is, “Oh mister. Do you think my bike’s damaged?” I swear!
Why can’t a law be passed to make bicyclists stay in streets? Many pedestrians are at risk! Every day I walk along Wisconsin Avenue I have to look all around me every second. It’s a war zone, thanks to bicyclists.
All I can say is, I agree. I have written a letter to the Beacon responding to this letter and suggesting they might want to take up the cause. But until the law is changed so pedestrians can walk safely–Enjoy the rest of the summer as best you can and, remember, STAY ALERT! DON’T GET HURT!