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It has been my experience that MPD has a particularly problem following their own laws. I was almost t-boned while driving because one of their trucks blew full speed through a stop sign. They treat bike trails like roads, built simply for their enjoyment, actual legal users be damned. And if recall, they mistakenly tried to take out your front door, an address error which could have been verified by the Post Office. The idea that MPD would apply any diligence to people who bike or drivers who fail to stop, given that kind of track record, is utterly beyond their comprehension and capacity.

That idiot driver basically just ran her down, and yet she gets the citation. Just burns my biscuits. I can only hope they cited the driver as well.

I am so angry about Megan being ticketed. I hope that upon further review of the video someone higher up the food chain at MPD realizes what an error this was.

A bit of somewhat contrary experience to share though: I was doored earlier this month by a driver who was illegally stopped in the bike lane, next to an open parking spot I should add. She threw her door open as I passed, and I went flying. MPD officer who responded to the scene did very nearly all of the right things. Driver was ticketed for opening her door without due care (though she was not ticketed for being stopped in the bike lane, which is why I say 'nearly all the right things'). The police report notes that the driver was completely at fault. I was transported by ambulance to the ER for xrays and stitches, and while I was there I received several texts from the officer just checking in. He also got my bike to the MPD station for safe keeping (no small feat - I was on my Xtracycle Edgerunner, which is a very large bike and hard to transport).

I guess the point is that SOME MPD officers make stupid calls wrt cyclists, some do the right thing. The problem being, of course, you don't know what you're going to get when the moment comes.

BTW, both Megan and I had the same reaction to the offending drivers in our situations: our first thoughts and vocalizations to the drivers being along the lines of "YOU'D BETTER BE DAMNED GLAD THAT MY KIDS WEREN'T ON BOARD MY BIKE LIKE THEY OFTEN ARE, BECAUSE IF THEY WERE I'D BE GOING ALL MAMA-BEAR ON YOUR FACE RIGHT NOW!!!" Or, something like that.

This was based on security footage that reportedly showed she didn't turn her head.

but not the driver for apparently neither turning head (to the left) nor looking straight ahead....

though she was not ticketed for being stopped in the bike lane

AFAIK cars are allowed to stop in the bike lane to allow passengers to debark/alight. But the driver?

The time and attention charge seems SOP. If it sticks, it would prevent any sort of recovery in civil court because the cyclist was partially at fault. It is imperative that Megan contest the ticket in person at court, with legal arguments. it will probably be thrown out because the MPD officer didnt show, but its good to have your arguments ready. I am happy to rep her pro-bono (assuming my firm agrees), with the understanding that this is not my area of expertise.

She was on her bike, of course she ran the stop sign. She would have had to unclip otherwise or god forbid put her foot on the ground and you wouldn't want to lose any forward momentum obeying traffic laws.

Richard B, what a hateful comment. when the footage begins she is already underway from what could easily have been a full stop before the crosswalk. God forbid your eyes are good enough to see whether she has toe clips

Hi, this is Megan, the cyclist pictured above. Not interested in trying to litigate this whole scenario on the internet, but I wanted to point out that the stop sign is several feet behind the crosswalk. I had already stopped at the stop sign and started into motion again when the video begins. I ride a 65-lb Dutch cargo bike, so it takes me quite a bit of time to build up momentum when starting from a full stop.

Richard B. (may I call you "Dick"?) - what's your point? That a driver may be entitled to plow into a cyclist already in the intersection in the event the cyclist didn't come to a full, foot-down stop 25 feet earlier?

I think it's best to ignore such comments. I obey all traffic laws and find it makes little difference in how drivers behave around me.

I hope you're okay, Megan. It looked pretty alarming.

The argument that there is a lack of full time and attention because Megan did not turn her head is BS. If you are underway and proceeding straight, you should be looking straight and relying on your peripheral vision. If Megan had run into someone crossing while her head was turned, that might be a different story.

As for the person who was hit by MPD, get a lawyer and subpoena for dash-cam footage and operating policies. Do it ASAP.

Looking at the footage, I would almost guarantee that the driver was head down looking at a cell phone. Megan is directly in front of the vehicle, but it doesn't even start to slow down until after impact -- and a good full second after impact at that. There's simply no way that the driver was looking ahead.

I actually see this a lot. Driver takes a "quick glance" down at the phone while stopped, and then when it's their turn to go, driver comes off the brake and onto the gas, planning to move eyes up before they get too much speed. Scares the hell out of me every time I see it.

Alcova, the only other explanation I can see would be that it was intentional, so you are likely correct.

I'm curious to know if the driver was also ticketed?

Looking at the footage, I would almost guarantee that the driver was head down looking at a cell phone.

Or the driver could have been engaged in a hands-free phone conversation (or other distraction) and was mentally checked out from the task of driving.

Science continues to show and show again that doing anything behind the wheel other than driving increases the risks of a crash.

SJE, that's no longer true. DC got rid of contributory negligence for bike-car crashes.

Richard B, don't let your personal obsession over jaybiking turn you into an a-hole. By my count, the world doesn't need anymore of those.

+1 on distracted driving. As someone else said recently, we're all becoming crack addicts for our phones. And I don't think we're taking it seriously enough. When I was on the safety working group 2 years ago, I expected push back against the Idaho Stop, but I was a little surprised by how much people defended hands-free phone use while driving or use by drivers stopped at a light. It was a "climate change denial" situation where people were saying "I don't care what the science says, I don't want to believe it."

Wash: while DC got rid of contributory negligence, it takes a while for the system to respond. And the loss of contributory negligence doesnt change the fact that a biker who is ticketed is going to find it harder to win a lawsuit.

There is a total double standard. When two cars get into an accident like this, the cops don't write tickets unless they personally witnessed the incident and the insurance companies don't fight over the fact that the driver who was hit may or may not have come to a dead stop, or even more absurd claims like they didn't turn their head.

@Megan

- I am so sorry for what you have been subjected to.

Thank you Washcycle for bringing this to our attention. I have contacted my councilmember Mary Cheh to request she look at this video with her own eyes, and then request an explanation from MPD. While the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of 2016 is magnificent, if elements of MPD do not understand why it was passed, and are ignorant enough to so badly misapply law, then the statute is close to meaningless, and no cyclist in DC is safe (including me).

I don't think the changes in contributory negligence are effective yet.

Contrarian, you're right. December 8th is the projected law date (depending on Congress).

What is AFAIK? Stopping an unloading in bike lanes, by Uber esp., is illegal (and dangerous) as I understand the code..

"As far as I know"

GOOD!!!!


To many worthless cyclists on the road anyways. the road is for CARS!

@Roland

AFAIK = As Far As I Know cause I was too lazy to look up the reg for the umpteenth time.

However - I'm glad you challenged me as I just did look it up AND:

The governing regulation that I was aware of is:

18-2401 LOADING AND UNLOADING VEHICLES

2401.1 If no curb space is available within a reasonable distance, a passenger vehicle may stand parallel and as near as practicable to other parked vehicles, only long enough to take on passengers who are actually waiting at the curb or to leave off passengers.

But 18-2405 STOPPING, STANDING, OR PARKING PROHIBITED: NO SIGN REQUIRED looks to be new additional regs concerning bike infra and streetcars and such. It has an effective date of 10/30/2015 so maybe some or all of this wasn't applicable until recently.

2405.1 Notwithstanding any other parking regulations, no person shall stop, stand, or park a motor vehicle or trailer in any of the following places, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or at the direction of a police officer or traffic control device:

(g) In a bicycle lane;


Like many cyclists I am often annoyed by cars and taxis using the bike lanes for temporary parking. Under 18-2401 I've just grinned and bore it as an allowed disruption of bicycle priority.

But with 18-2405.1(g) my annoyance now has legal support!

@washcycle or anyone - where did Megan Odett's accident occur?

I believe she mentions 13th & Taylor in her Twitter stream.

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