Important Updates and Reflections on Last Week’s Bike Brouhaha

15 Jul

IMPORTANT UPDATES

DDOT has extended the period for completing the movedc survey to July 31.. If you haven’t taken the survey already, see my earlier post: Pedestrians: Let Your Voices be Heard for details and the link to both the plan and the survey. You can also e-mail and write by regular mail. But it’s really important that you let DDOT know your feelings about their plan and how it can be improved.

Logan Signs: The Northwest Current did an excellent article last week on the Logan sign project that you should read. It will show just how much work went into getting this pilot off the ground and why DDOT got involved. The link I have for this is

http://www.currentnewspapers.com/archive.php

You want the July 9, 2014 issue, so click first on Vol. 8, 2014, then on July 9, 2014. The article starts on page 1.

Reflections on Last Week’s Bike Brouhaha

Since I was really busy last week, I took the easy way out by giving you the link to Courtland Milloy’s column, inside of which was a way to click on John Kelly’s column of a day earlier, which concentrated on sidewalk bicycling in DC’s Central Business District. Like those Russian nesting dolls, Kelly’s column was thus hidden, even by me. For that I am sorry, because , for pedestrians trying to reclaim their right to safely walk on the sidewalk, Kelly’s column is more important.

While about 50 bike “victims” , including some WABA “bike ambassadors” pedaled to the Post to protest Millory’s words, which hurt them, with great media publicity, Kelly’s column and his questions to pedestrians and bicyclists elicited over 300 online comments and plenty of e-mails before the Milloy column and the biker backlash hit the fan. And many of these comments, outside of the usual snarky back and forths from people with way too much time on their hands, well illustrate the problem both pedestrians and law abiding bicyclists face. Below are a few of the most cogent, with my comment:

The honor of being first goes to a good bicyclist, rdraj34, who wrote:
As a cyclist, it is embarrassing to see the behavior mentioned in John Kelly’s column since it defames all cyclists. Unfortunately, from casual observation, it does appear the majority of cyclists disobey the laws, including traffic laws. (red lights, stop signs, etc.)
Cyclists cannot receive respect if they don’t respect the laws and extend simple courtesy to others.

My sentiments exactly. A quick illustration from me: Friday morning as I crossed with the light in the crosswalk at 17th and Q, I alertly looked for bicyclists even though all the cars were stopped. First I saw one. He was in the bike lane, but had stopped properly behind the crosswalk. Behind him more than a half block away I saw several more bicyclists coming up behind. I smiled at the stopped bicyclist and said “Thank You,” and continued to complete my crossing. But I couldn’t resist looking back to see what the rest would do since the light was still red and the ped crossing light still in the pedestrian favor. You guessed it, every one of 5 passed around him on both sides to run the light and scare another pedestrian still walking across.

Several commenters raised the issue of limiting law against sidewalk bicycling to the CBD, among them:

jhuenn, who said:It would make a lot of sense to expand the restriction to other areas that are just as congested as downtown.

YES!

scarlet_begonia, who commented about her being it about 10 years ago by a bike courier and then she said:
I get that roads are frequently unsafe for cyclists. But making the sidewalk unsafe for pedestrians isn’t the right response.

YES, Again!

bjm692 provided the most poignant comment:
Don’t you think it’s a bit strange to have to tell a child to “look both ways –a bike might be coming”–before the kid steps onto the sidewalk from his front walk??? This is a MUST in my neighborhood as several kids were nearly mowed down by speeding cyclists who think they have the right of way over a little kid, and who can’t seem to think of the safety needs of others. It really isn’t all about the cyclists, you know.

That’s all for now. I’m on the road again this weel. So I’ll post again when I get back. Meanwhile I’ll say again, for both pedestrians and bicyclists: STAY ALERT! DON’T GET HURT!

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