Archive | April, 2014

DC Laws: Comparison with other Jurisdictions (Maryland)

11 Apr

I realized that I haven’t done any comparisons lately, and thought I’d look this time at neighboring jurisdictions. I was going to do Baltimore, but my google question only brought up the State of Maryland, no matter how much I refined the question. After reviewing and reading the materials I uncovered I’ll have to say that Maryland’s law is not as clear as I would like, but here is link(with a caveat: when I tried the link again, it did not co right to the laws, but to their Highway administration site. But if you put “bicycle laws” in their search box in the upper right hand corner, you will get a list. the pdf on the annotated code, third choice down, is what you want.):

The key section for our discussion of sidewalk bicycling is Subtitle 11 Miscellaneous Rules and section 21-1103 Driving on sidewalk. Basically it says a person may not drive a bicycle(which is defined as a vehicle) on the sidewalk except when permitted by local ordinance. But to find out where local ordinance permitted, I was able to get some idea through the WABA site, which is good for a lot of information on various laws in the area. There I found , under a description of a change in MD law on riding in crosswalks that most jurisdictions in MD (including most of Prince Georges County) do NOT permit bicycling on the sidewalk. However, sidewalk bicycling is legalized in most of Montgomery County, other than Gaithersburg. the link for that info is

Now if I did the links right you have a good idea of Maryland law. I’ll try to look at laws in VA, and maybe even by city, some time soon.

Meanwhile, this is the last weekend of the Cherry Blossom Festival and the weather’s supposed to be really good. SO STAY ESPECIALLY ALERT AND STAY SAFE.

And Happy Passover and Happy Easter to all!


If you’re a D, VOTE TODAY plus an anniversary

1 Apr

Good morning, and if you’re a Democrat, please vote today if you haven’t already. This is an especially important election for all of us in DC and Dems must pick the best possible candidate for Mayor so between now and November, we can have a real discussion of how to move DC to that next level of becoming a better city for everyone to live in.

But don’t forget the other races. Remember a Mayor without a responsible Council can do only so much. By now you know my gold standard is responsibility AND responsiveness. People who will be true public servants, not public officials.

There’s a lot to be done and not just on the issue of this blog. But last week the trial project to wean bicyclists off the sidewalk hit another bureaucratic snag. Looks like the ordinary citizens who started this and got everyone together will have to carry it across the finish line themselves. I hope to tell you more as they work beyond the DDOT roadblock to the goal.


Finally, I realized that yesterday was the first anniversary of this blog, something I would have never guessed I would be doing except that it wasn”t enough to be attending government hearings, writing letters and emails and helping the Dupont Circle businessmen get their letter to the Mayor, Council Chair and our Ward 2 council person ready and personally delivered to their offices. (Still no response!)

Writing this blog, like the ordinary citizen work on the trial project above, is not how representative democracy should work. When the citizens have to do everything themselves without compensation and mayors and councils get paid, have paid staffs and a whole bureaucracy to do their bidding, something’s wrong. IF YOU HAVE CONTACTED ANY ONE OF THE COUNCIL PERSONS RUNNING FOR MAYOR OR COUNCIL ON ANY ISSUE AND THAT PERSON HAS RESPONDED TO YOU, VOTE FOR THAT PERSON. We all will be grateful.

SO TO CELEBRATE THE BLOG, A DAY LATE: I’m writing this 50th post.

We’ll soldier on later this week, hopefully with good news. Meanwhile, as the weather gets better, STAY ESPECIALLY ALERT and STAY ALIVE.