Tag Archives: Dr. Gridlock

Back in the Saddle

16 Jun

As my regular readers know, I had to put this blog on hiatus last October as I entered the hospital for a serious operation. I didn’t mention that if was for Endometrial Cancer Stage IVB because I didn’t want to bum everyone out.  And, having no prior experience in my whole family with any form o cancer, I foolishly thought I would be back to my old self earlier.  But it was not to be.  I have since learned that my cancer, which gives no early symptoms, is a a particularly virulent form that the late PBS anchor Gwen Ifill also had.

But, although I’m not in remission, I am on a “drug holiday” and have the strength to return to part-time work and writing this blog.  Before posting new insights on the dangers to pedestrians of sidewalk bicycling and other reckless behavior, I do want to thank regular readers Bob and Harriet for checking in on me during my absence.  And to welcome new regular reader, Emily, who joined us in May.

Retirement of a friend to all travelers

Unfortunately, one of the things that happened while I was laid up was that Robert Thomson, Dr. Gridlock of the Washington Post, retired in April from writing his regular column.  As you know if you read his column or this blog where he was often quoted, he always had sensible things to say.  And he printed letters that I wrote as well.  His wisdom will be missed.  So I will close this post with his closing words:    “My wish for the future is that people stop dividing themselves into categories based on how they get around and just look out for each other..  We’re all in this together.

Safe travels everyone.”

As readers of this blog know, I agree with that statement and ride a bike myself and drive a car as well.  And I have praised good bicyclists for their riding.  I am against sidewalk bicycling because it is dangerous both for pedestrians and bicyclists and for that reason is not allowed in most cities.  and so I’ll close this post as I usually do.

Especially in summer with many more people in town and not always following traffic rules or paying attention:  STAY ALERT! DON’T GET HURT!

 

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Dr. Gridlock: Right as Usual

2 May

Dr. Gridlock’s April 29 Column
I don’t know if you read Dr. Gridlock’s column in this past Sunday’s Washington Post Metro Section. But, like all his columns, it was intelligent and offered food for thought. In this column he printed letters from several citizens and in his intro concluded that, while the writers, including your blogger, “urge drivers, walkers and cyclists to behave better”, collectively the letters show “that no type of traveler is without sin.”

I agree, which is why I try to educate pedestrians as well as bicyclists in this blog. We’re all safer if we stay alert and follow the laws, including regulations, which, of course, have the force of law, no matter which mode of transportation we are using at the time. And a little additional common sense thrown into the mix never hurts. But since I have yet to hear of an accident on the sidewalk where a pedestrian ran down a bicyclist, I will continue to emphasize most often the increasing perils of sidewalk bicycling, most often hurting the pedestrians but not safe for the bicyclist either.

I will, however, in the near future, review here the basic law, rules and common sense behavior for both pedestrians and bicyclists.

Central Business District(CBD) Enforcement and Education

Frustrated by the lack of info I was getting through FOIA requests (see prior posts), my letter to Dr. Gridlock emphasized the growing danger for pedestrians of reckless bicyclists riding on the sidewalks even in the CBD, the one area of town where bicycling on sidewalks is forbidden. Dr. Gridlock’s answer:

“I hear frequently from pedestrians who have brushes with cyclists on downtown sidewalks. Cyclists should be aware that they are barred from the sidewalks within the boundaries of the Central Business District.
But the District needs a more aggressive education campaign to let cyclists know that. And it needs a few signs.

What steps is the District taking? More in my next post. Meanwhile, no rain this weekend. So STAY ALERT AND STAY SAFE as you enjoy the spring weather.