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Sounds like an excellent, productive session. Thanks WABA.

This meeting was, of course, spurred by the death of Alice Swanson. What did the police say about their investigation of that incident that occurred more than three months ago?

I've heard the Swanson family hired a lawyer and is considering a lawsuit; thus I suspect MPD is keeping quiet on her case.

Among various other people in attendence (three police district commanders (1D, 2D and 3D); Commander Melvin Scott of the Police Service Bureau; Jim Sebastian and George Branyan from DDOT; Neha Bhatt and Daniel Conner from Councilmember Tommy Wells’ office; and Jonathon Kass from Councilmember Jim Graham’s office) was Chris Philbin, the Chief of Staff to Congressman James McGovern. Congressman McGovern represents the district in which the parents of Alice Swanson live and Alice once interned in his office. So I suspect there was some discussion of that - but I don't know what might have been discussed.

Commander Scott is himself a DC cyclist.

Another positive change - not from this meeting - is the proposed law requiring safer trucks (with better mirrors, cameras in back and protection for cyclists). Hopefully all of this will prevent future cyclists from what happened to Ms. Swanson.

I do not wish to blame the victim, but the single most important action cyclists can take to prevent what happened to Ms. Swanson from happening to yourself is to take your own safety into your hands. To wit: Whether you're in a bike lane or not, stop either in front of or directly behind large vehicles stopped at street corners; and remember that if you can't see the other vehicle's mirror, the driver can't see you.

This is tremendous news. I have to admit that I have been critical of WABA in the past for embracing "feel-good" advocacy, so I feel I owe it to them to give credit where credit is due. If the MPD is serious about everything they say here, I can see this being the greatest single thing to happen for cyclists in this city since they first paved the streets.

The police face the prospect of lawsuits with every action they take, yet they still provide the public with information all the time.

Other concerns are guiding their silence on Swanson, and the longer the police wait, the more quizzical it becomes.

Eric G., what did they say?

I'm with you, Rocky6. The public, particularly the bicycling community, should be made aware of these details after 3 months. Is that not enough time to provide details as to why they're not charging the man who struck the victim? So far we have only heard sketchy details.
An MOU between WABA and the MPD sounds great, but I thought we would have more concrete information on the actual investigation surrounding Swanson's tragic death.

Alice's case, while mentioned by us as a big part of why we we requested the meeting, was not discussed. The case is still open and the police were not going to discuss it. The lawyers for Alice's family also did not want to have any discussion of the case. The last I heard is that we should have information by the end of the year.

Very disappointing to hear that the case remains "open." I wonder what more they want?

In any case, Eric, thanks for the update, and for your excellent work with MPD.

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