I just don't even know where to start with this article from Courtland Milloy about....I'm not really sure, but it seems to be that the one consistent thing is that cyclists are bad people. The article reads like something written by someone who knows absolutely nothing about the subject matter, but spent a morning googling it and wants to vomit up as much as they can about it as quickly as possible. The original version of the article even called WABA "WAVA" (since corrected), a group he didn't even reach out to. It's such a jumbled mess.
Nonetheless, here we go.
They fight to have bike lanes routed throughout the city, some in front of churches where elderly parishioners used to park their cars.
Just one. And in that case, elderly parishioners still park their cars there.
They slow-pedal those three-wheel rickshaws through downtown during rush hour, laughing at motorists who want them to get out of the way.
That's a whole separate subgroup of cyclists, but nonetheless, I doubt they are actually laughing at motorists. And that motorists want them to "get out of the way" when they're legally allowed to be where they are seems more like the immediate problem.
Now, some of them are pushing to have a “bicycle escalator” installed on 15th Street NW
Actually no one is doing anything of the sort. One person on GGW wrote a post about how one place has such a thing and asked if it would be useful on 15th, and most of the comments on it were negative about the idea.
Forget about all those people who have to walk up and down that hill every day.
Is something no one said. GGW is not where you want to point your finger when accusing a site of being anti-pedestrian. That's POPville (I kid because I love).
They’re lucky that someone hasn’t put a broomstick through the spokes of their wheels.
I suppose? Being physically attacked would be unlucky. But it's an odd thing to say.
Actually, bike ninjas are much worse. ... If you demand that he show common courtesy and obey the rules of the road, a biker just might spit on your car.
But that's not what a bike ninja is. The word he's looking for is an A-hole. But try asking a driver to put down their phone and I doubt you'd get a hug or a "Thank you".
It’s a $500 fine for a motorist to hit a bicyclist in the District, but some behaviors are so egregious that some drivers might think it’s worth paying the fine.
Since some cyclists in the area have been the victims of intentional violence wherein the driver used their car to hit them, I'm going to guess that's true (but in the cases I know of, the cyclist wasn't even breaking the law). But what is missing from this part is the line "But those drivers would be wrong, because vigilante violence is never the solution." Perhaps it was implied, but I missed it. He seems more understanding of this than the cyclist who spits on one's car.
Bikers routinely worm their way to the front of a line of cars waiting at a red light. When the light turns green, they’ll poke along at a snail’s pace, holding up traffic while motorists wait for a chance to pass. Then they do the same thing at the next stop light.
Which is totally legal.
I recall in the not-so-distant past when the city’s bikers weren’t newly arrived, mostly white millennials but black juveniles whom D.C. police frequently stopped — at least in neighborhoods that were being gentrified. Stopped for riding on sidewalks. Stopped for riding in parking lots.
And that was wrong.
Now that kids like them are being moved to the outskirts of the city, if not out altogether, the District government is bending over backward to make Washington a more “biker-friendly” city.
And is that bad? Is it bad for DC to become more "biker-friendly"? Or should the wrong behavior of the past be continued for fairness sake? Also who is moving these kids to the outskirts of the city? He makes it sound like they're being loaded up onto cattle cars by the Gestapo or something. There are plenty of non-white, non-millennials out their riding their bikes - not that it matters that much.
So far, more than 72 miles of bike lanes have been carved out of city streets. There are virtually none in Ward 8, by the way, which has the lowest income and highest number of children of any ward in the city.
There's a bike lane on 25th street SE in Ward 8 and another on Naylor Road. So that's more than "none". I'm not sure what "virtually none" means. Is that like virtually pregnant? And there's another mile plus of bike lanes scheduled for this year. There's also four bike trails partially or completely within Ward 8. Is the point that the DDOT is racist? That Williams, Fenty, Gray and every other non-white, non-milliennial DC Mayor, along with their appointed DDOT Directors and the majority black DC Council are all conspiring against black people? Or could their be other explanations for the derth of bike lanes in Ward 8? Has Ward 8 asked for bike lanes?
Are bike lanes bad (because they take away church parking) or are they good? Or are bike lanes only bad in "white" neighborhoods?
In the end, the above quote shows us is that Milloy's research consisted of some quick googling and no follow-up.
On Wednesday, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s Bike Ambassadors will ride to the NoMa Summer Screen viewing of “The Muppets” “to hand out surprise goodies to people who biked.” There’ll be kids and bikes and Muppets, as if Kermit is supposed to make us forget about the biker terrorists out to rule the road.
The WABA Web site features a photograph of a cyclist holding a sign that reads:
“Dear D.C. drivers, thank you for sharing! Love, Cyclists.”
If only they meant it.
Sigh. Even the most genuine efforts at getting along are dismissed. Good to see that Milloy took the time to visit the WABA website. That's investigative journalism. Unlike contacting WABA. Or talking to David Alpert. Or to DDOT to find out why there are so few bike lanes in Ward 8.
There is a lot of racial innuendo here, without any actual claims. A lot of accusations, without any facts. There's a good dose of disconect (Cyclists break the law, and I'm annoyed when they do things that are legal), and also just some factual wrongness. Even for Milloy this is sub-par. I wouldn't expect to see something this bad on the worst yahoo message board. Despite this, the city's flagship newspaper ran this article. That's the part that's most frustrating.