Good Morning! I know it’s hot and humid and getting hotter. But so far it’s been a beautiful day in my Dupont Circle neighborhood and I just had to write about it. Why, you ask?
Well, because it was predicted to be really hot and humid later, I chose to do the errands I had at the post office and Rite Aid before heading to work, which meant I was out in time to see a lot of my friends from my old building on their way to work as well as to see the school crossing guard near my work still at his post and give him cards I had promised (more about him later).
My early start also meant I was also walking on the sidewalks when it was still rush hour,and only the commuter bicyclists were riding. While there were plenty of bicyclists, none was riding on the sidewalk. They were all in the street, using the Q and R bike lanes where provided, but also riding on streets like 16th, which has no bike lane. And everyone I saw today stopped at red lights as well. I remember from other times I have done this, that, except for occasionally running red lights, commuter bicyclists time is always like this. In fact, I made a note to myself to go out early more often because, amazingly, it’s safer on the sidewalk.
Last Friday, I was having a conversation with the friendly school crossing guard( see above) about the sidewalk bicycling issue, which he sees on a daily basis, when a person we were both acquainted with came by and joined the conversation. However, this person is a sidewalk bicyclist apologist, perhaps because he does it himself (for “convenience”, he says). When I mentioned the commuter bicyclists approvingly, he responded “Well, they’ve got it down to a science.” And I thought to myself: “Shouldn’t everyone?” Auto drivers have to have their driving down to a science, or they will get ticketed. The only difference between auto drivers and bicyclists, who are riding a vehicle as well is that the bicyclist who wants to evade all traffic laws has only to ride on the sidewalk, which is still legal, and he can go against the flow of traffic, drive the wrong way on a one way street, and speed along the sidewalk endangering pedestrians as he goes.
BTW I noticed something else that my fellow pedestrians might find interesting: One of those new Pedestrian Walk buttons and signal has been installed at Florida and 20th. That is certainly welcome. Don’t get put off by the informational sign, which gives way too much info for me (but then these signals aren’t new to me, having lived in and visited many other places where these have been installed for years.). BUT DO REMEMBER even when you push the button and wait for your signal to walk, be sure to look both ways to make certain that not only the auto traffic has stopped but bicycle traffic as well. STAY ALERT AND YOU’LL STAY SAFE.