First, I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season. This post contains a few bits of info and even a movie review that I didn’t have time for this year.
But, first, be sure to read the comment to my last post (Holidays are coming…) from one of this blog’s faithful readers who tells a story that’s all to familiar to DC pedestrians. He’s walking with the pedestrian light in the crosswalk but has to do so really carefully because cyclists are running the red light. Not just the first one, whom he yelled at to watch the light, but five or six behind that guy!
Interestingly, after I got that comment and approved it I heard about a bicyclist in DC near the MD border who ran a red light and got hit by a car. A couple days later he died and the Post article confirmed that he had been running the red light. A sad way to go when it can be so easily avoided by just following the law.
New MPD Enforcement Initiative
And speaking of the law, I saw a piece two weeks ago on NBC4 News that the police are going to start enforcing the law against bikers riding in the street, forcing them to obey the same laws as other traffic–no running red lights, talking on your cell phone while riding, etc. And MPD should do this because cyclists in the street are traffic, whether they like it or not. Only problem I see is it will force more onto the sidewalks, where traffic laws don’t apply, only a few ambiguous rules and, of course, common courtesy, which the rogue bikers ignore.
City Paper’s Best Place to get hit while riding a Bike
Every spring the City Paper comes out with their “best” awards. And this one caught my attention because the winner was Connecticut Avenue NW, which runs through my neighborhood and where I used to do more shopping than I do now, in part because even on a lazy weekend you will find reckless cyclists riding on the narrow sidewalks hitting pedestrians who dare to stop to look at a shop window. The author of the City Paper piece notes that riding from Chevy Chase Circle to Farragut Square is a problem–no bike lanes, potholes, and MD drivers, etc. His solution, of course, is to ride on the sidewalk any place outside of the CBD. But he does add: Sidewalk riding is still a bad decision since even the sleepiest portions of Connecticut Avenue are filled with pedestrians, even more so around Dupont Circle and the National Zoo. Oh, pedestrians, we’re such pests, walking on the only place we’re allowed to walk, filling up the space so the bikes can’t speed by easily.
Best Movie of the Year for Readers of this Blog
Finally, earlier this year I saw a Noah Bambach film, “While We’re Young”. Good movie about a 40ish couple who meet a young couple in their twenties who seem to have a lot of the same likes and dislikes, and introduce them to experiences that have them reliving their youth. The whole film takes place in NYC so, when Ben Stiller, the 40ish guy, and Adam Driver, the millenial, are biking in Manhattan, amid much more serious auto traffic than MD drivers and world class potholes, they are biking in the street, of course, and I think not just because it’s against the law to bike on the sidewalks but because they’re real men, not these wimpy big kids we have here. But, about 2/3 of the way through the film came a line I didn’t expect, but definitely made my day. Ben and Adam are walking on the sidewalk in downtown Manhattan when a rogue biker speeds by them. And it’s Adam, the young guy, who yells at him: Ride in the street, Man!
With that, I say belated Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza and Happy New Year to all. But, remember, STAY ALERT! DON’T GET HURT! Because I want you back here reading and commenting in 2016.