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A speeding bike in the street on Conn. Ave. NW just missed hitting me by inches as that biker went through the redlight. Not seeing any cars in his way the biker forgot about pedestrians in the crosswalk and went flying through the redlight. It was good for him. I think bikes should have license plates and pedestrians can report them for running redlights and the biker can get a ticket for the offense. Stop quoting statistics from New York and other countries, let's deal with local issues.

According Andrew Hood of Velonews... Oman pulled out of the bidding...Richmond will host the 2015 World Championships. http://velonews.competitor.com/2011/09/news/oman-pulls-out-richmond-poised-to-host-2015-worlds_193034

A police officer will not issue a ticket for a traffic offense based on an eyewitness report. If they see an offense, they can pull over the cyclist and ticket them. I've had it happen to me, though I got only a written warning. Your license plate proposal--which has numerous technical flaws I won't go into--would change nothing.

And I say this without excusing the cyclist's recklessness.

Once upon a time, Arlington County issued a small license plate when you registered your bike with the Police Department. (I am not sure what they do now, but ten years ago it was a sticker.) I actually saw one on an old bike (with an elderly rider), a month or so ago.

registration is usually used for tax purposes and returning stolen bikes - and I think that's what Arlington was doing. Crikey7 hits the nail on the head about Bob's proposal.

Bob, I'm not sure why you don't think stats about NY aren't applicable to DC. Wouldn't one expect the numbers there to be similar to here?

Sure, Arlington was doing it for returning stolen bikes, but that does not mean it couldn't be used for other purposes. Each license plate had a unique number.

Of course, people would just ignore it and not bother to register their bikes. (Remember, until about five years ago, DC had a mandatory bike registration requirement and virtually everyone ignored it.)

Speaking of vulnerable, AAA just sponsored a story (I don't know how else to put it) in the Post about a "troubling" trend in hit-and-run accidents involving cars and pedestrians/cyclists. I note that story simply to say "good for them." The "war of drivers" / anti-bike lane nonsense that sometimes spurts from AAA-MA often makes me forget the good auto safety work that AAA as a whole does.

Of course, the Post commenters blamed pedestrians and "illegals" for the accidents, so you can't win them all.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/commuting/aaa-sees-troubling-trend-in-hit-and-run-accidents/2011/09/20/gIQAbuuaiK_story.html

Uggh.

The only way it can work is if it is universal. The police would have to ticket anyone without a license plate. How would that work for people coming in from outside DC, both the thousands of commuters and others riding in from all over the country. That's not even counting those who ride in for the day a couple of times a year, as tens of thousands of recreational riders do. How would they get their license plates--they come in from every point on the compass?

What about children? Stolen bikes? Think about how big the tags must be to be legible at a distance. How and where do you put them? Who pays for it (the car registration system costs over a hundred dollars a year per car to administer). What about little-used bikes, older bikes, borrowed bikes and Bikeshare? How do you combat fraud?

The technical problems are bad enough without even getting to the original point, that they are a solution in search of a problem.

License plates are of little value when dealing with *cars*. Do an experiment the next time you're out on the street. Find a passing car, and try to read and remember the plate number before the car leaves your line of sight. Then try to note a description of the driver.

It's not easy. I say this as someone who, about once a year, ends up on the phone with the police, calling in hit-and-runs or robbers escaping by car.

Why the drinking-biking hate? Being drunk on a bike is hazardous. I've had a few friends -- and one girlfriend -- go down that way. But drinking and biking make a great mix, and we need to encourage it more.

Why the drinking-biking hate?

It's not necessarily hate, but the issue is that not everyone does a good job of distinguishing between drinking and drunk. Have a drink and getting on one's bike is fine. The problem, as you note, is being drunk on your bike.

I bet CaBi is so drunk after last night.

Distribution effectiveness was way down this morning as compared to yesterday.  Just saying...


"A speeding bike in the street on Conn. Ave. NW just missed hitting me by inches as that biker went through the redlight. "

In Internet comments "just missed" seems to outnumber actual collisions about 1000-1. I wonder if the cyclist would relate the encounter the same way, or if he felt he was passing with a reasonable distance and the pedestrian was just caught by surprise.

Perhaps the real problem is that cyclists startle pedestrians, not endanger them.

In a similar vein, neither of the stories linked to on the pedestrian injury study link to the actual study, nor do any of the stories they linked to. I wrote to Peter Tuckel, one of the authors, the last time this study was bruited about, and this was his response:
"My colleague (William Milczarski, Dept. of Urban Planning)
and I have carried out observational research on the
riding behavior of cyclists in New York City. If you
like, we would be glad to furnish you with an electronic
copy of the paper detailing the results of this research.

We are now in the process of gathering data on the incidence
of crashes between cyclists and pedestrians. We have
examined data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) under the auspices of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. At this point, we have
some statistical results which have not been written
up yet for publication."

"Observational research" = watching. Everything else is vapor. I am very skeptical of the conclusions drawn from this study.


Bummer VeloCity has to move. It's great having them in Old Town. Best of luck to you guys. Is this part of the waterfront re-zoning???

@rhonda: possibly, but not certain. The building they're in was sold, which invoked the "you gotta go in 6 months" clause in their lease.

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