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Driving: don't pull up into crosswalks.


Walking: Don't cross midblock

Biking: Don't salmon.

They just do what they do for Checkpoint Strike Force or whatever their Delta Drunk Force Brigade is called.... run a bunch of radio ads saying area police are cracking down on reckless/distracted driving. And then actually do it. It will make it slightly safer for at least one week.

Of course they're never going to deal with salmoning or jaywalking. That's a pipe dream by the Mayor. Really that's incumbent upon us to say something or upon people to see the results of doing stupid things and maybe, just maybe, change their ways.

Interesting that in their campaign they say:

"Ride in a straight line to the right of traffic and at least a car door width away from parked cars."

And then they show a small image of a cyclist riding to the right of traffic heading straight into the door of a parked car.

The intent of this campaign is good--but the visuals are counterproductive. The message is this: biking is dangerous. Look, you might be run over. You are defenseless. Be afraid.

More cyclists on the road increases safety and general well being for all. Encourage--don't scare away--bikes. Show "non tired" faces. Show smiles. Show regularly dressed people on regular bikes on short trips.

And, as WashCycle suggests, use the campaign to inform/encourage practical safety tips.

Perhaps our concerned mayor could look at the U-turns on Penn and maybe decide that our lives maybe shouldn't be in the hands of a commission on fine arts? #flexposts

10-20% of drivers (the aggressive maniacs) will probably take pleasure in seeing those pictures. Not even kidding here. There's a significant minority of drivers who think they have a constitutional right to use their cars as instruments of intimidation on public roads.

At the intersection of New Hampshire, L St. and 23rd St. NW, westbound drivers from L St. make a left turn onto NH and then almost immediately another quick left onto 23rd St. Because of the double left, many drivers assume that every pedestrian in the 23rd St. crosswalk is jaywalking. I've walked in that crosswalk, waiting for the WALK signal and looking for car traffic before proceeding, and cars will just try to barrel over me. I even make eye contact with them and they still charge on and try to push me out of the way.

Every few days, I see similar incidents with other pedestrians too. They cross on the WALK signal but car drivers will speed through the double left and get annoyed by people in the crosswalk, even though the pedestrians have the WALK signal and the pedestrians were there first.

Even if the pedestrian did happen to be jaywalking, when is it acceptable to try to run down a pedestrian when the person is in the crosswalk 10 seconds before the car gets there?

DDOT has been informed about this dangerous situation but they still haven't done anything. They could add a YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS WHILE TURNING sign. They could also retime the lights so that pedestrians have more than 3 seconds to cross before the speeding drivers from L St. make their aggressive double turns.

This suggests that streetsmart will focus on reminding everybody what they already know, let people stay ignortant about what they don't know, and misinform them on things about which people are already mis-informed.

I love the classic line of misinformation directed at drivers:

"Yield to pedestrians and cyclists at intersections when you're turning"

In Maryland, the law requires one to ***stop** for pedestrians--whether your are turning or not!!

Whenever I suggest to a driver that being mere inches from me greatly increases the chance that they will hit me, they never seem to appreciate the knowledge I've imparted to them. On the other hand, I've learned some very creative expletives that way.

I think it would be meaningful if drivers were required to retake the knowledge test every so often - say every 3 years.

Based on compliance studies DDOT could choose the subjects to emphasize and passing would require a high score. No "gentleman's C".

And if you fail you have to retake both the knowledge and practical exam focusing on your areas of weakness.

I think one of the big differences between US drivers and those in Western Europe is that drivers there truly know and understand the law and their responsibilities. Not so here.

Back when DDOT implemented the Barnes Dance at 7 & H NW they temporarily staffed crossing guards to help educate the public. The guards also enforced the existing laws that drivers should have been adhering to all along.

But every cycle of the lights motorists failed to stop before the cross walk. Time and time again I would see the DDOT guard try to point that out to what was a completely clueless driver. Many retained a look of bafflement on their face even after a long explanation from the guard as to the purpose of a stop line and its importance to public safety.

Matt Johnson makes my point for the need to periodically re-educate drivers.

I meant to say 22nd St. NW in the previous post.

@JeffB:

every cycle of the lights motorists failed to stop before the cross walk. Time and time again I would see the DDOT guard try to point that out to what was a completely clueless driver. Many retained a look of bafflement on their face even after a long explanation from the guard as to the purpose of a stop line and its importance to public safety.

But surely you must know that the legal and proper behavior is whatever at least 85% of drivers do. This is a cornerstone of American Freedom.

Agree that those posters make it seem like walking/biking are dangerous. Maybe to be evenhanded they can show the dangers of driving by featuring a fat SUV driver finding out he has Type 2 diabetes. Caption: "Cars don't come with insulin."

Sadly, the Bikeyface picture you linked to as a potential poster is pretty close to the Street Smart theme from a couple of years ago. I blogged on the pointlessness and destructive imagery of the campaign then: http://willbikeforchange.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/a-giant-bicyclist-safety-campaign-problem/

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