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Shouldn't they also give the biker a ticket for not proceeding through an intersection when a bloody fire truck was coming with its sirens blazing. She clearly doesn't give a damn about the safety of the people whose house is on fire.

Give a ticket for not proceeding? What on earth are you talking about?

Sorry, but to me it seems like a minor incident. The driver should have been paying more attention, but the collision (if any) was about 1 sec and she rode off immediately afterwards. Cyclist stayed on the bike, no signs of injury or damage. Why is this newsworthy? or worth the time of the police?

I've gotten to be more of that mindset, SJE, after once making a big to-do about being bumped. There were like 4 cop cars, and they called an ambulance to check me out (which they're required to do). All I could think about was how I was keeping these hard-working professionals from helping someone who might actually need it a whole lot more than me.

@Crickey7 Sorry "for proceeding". Bicyclists are supposed to stop and pull over for emergency vehicles too. But following traffic laws arent something bikers are capable of doing.

Oh, I follow them just fine. I'm currently nursing a pretty big bruise from being clipped by an SUV on Water Street. They tried to go around me while I was stopped at a stop sign waiting for the traffic with priority to proceed. So I'm savoring the irony of being called a scofflaw here.

It was a shame about their mirror, though. It didn't survive the impact.

@Crickey7 from now on I will be clear in my comments that it is all bikers, with the lone exemption of Crickey7 that cannot follow traffic laws.

I think I would have shrugged off the incident as well. Been bumped a few times and the most I've done is swear at the driver and given them an evil eye.

More concerning is the cyclist passing the Court Furniture truck on the right while it had its right turn blinker on.

richardb, why are you only for enforcing the letter of the law on cyclists? The truck in front of the cyclist did not come to a complete stop as they should, and the bus turning right should have waited until the fire truck passed to make the turn.

Obviously drivers can't follow the traffic laws either.

@Joe F I think if the bicycle community wants to be treated with respect by the community at large, in particular our natural allies pedestrians, we need to stop being assholes and follow traffic rules. And even drivers can handle stopping for a fire truck en route to an emergency.

I'm not dismissive of the charge that we need to follow traffic laws generally, but your example here is misplaced. And as my story above illustrates, behaving lawfully guarantees nothing.

@richardb: what is this "respect" for "the bicycle community".
1. Treating cyclists as "a community" makes as much sense as treating all white people as a "community."
2. Cyclists most commonly complain about things like being hit by cars, abused by drivers, or treated unfairly by police. These are not some "extra" rights or privileges that have to be earned.
3. People are deserving of common decency whether or not some other person obeys the law. Its like saying that all poor people should be treated badly because there is crime in the ghetto. Or, closer to home, the fact that pedestrians are often engrossed in their phones doesn't change the fact that I, as a driver, have to stop at crosswalks and let them cross.

And the reason that cyclists are so defensive is because we are often hurt of killed by people who classify us as a community of other who are not deserving of common decency.

Feedng the troll only emboldens him.

I think if the bicycle community wants to be treated with respect by the community at large, in particular our natural allies pedestrians, we need to stop being assholes and follow traffic rules.

So, just like the way that pedestrians never jaywalk?

And even drivers can handle stopping for a fire truck en route to an emergency.

Not the driver of the Cort truck. Or of the Metro bus. Or the drivers of the two cars behind the bus. But yeah, other than that.

Look, we get it. You've taken the easy to defend position that some cyclists sometimes break the law. We're all willing to concede that.* But what you can't prove is that if that changed, people would suddenly begin to "treat us with respect," however you define that. If that's the standard, then no one should be treated with respect.

It's like you're stating that some Muslims cheat on their taxes. I'm sure that's true. But so do some people in every other group, which means that by itself, it's a meaningless claim. All you're saying is that Muslims (and cyclists) are pretty much like everyone else. The only difference is that richardb hates cyclists.

I was so happy and thankful for the MPD officer who pulled over and ticketed the driver documented in this video:


What seems to be missing here is that yes, she wasn't hurt through the driver's failure to signal or look before changing lanes, but she easily could have been, and others have been through this type of negligent action.

I believe she called the police after the accident. (In the video you can see she pedals on, and on the Washington Area Bike Forum I believe she says as much.) So it's not that likely they'll cite the driver since they can't know for certain who the driver was, but I'm still in favor of her calling them. Too often drivers change lanes without looking or signalling (I've been hit twice this way), and if the police even talk to the driver, it might make a little difference.

I am sorry, but not pulling over for an emergency vehicle as this bicyclist did pales in comparison. That fire truck at second 10 or so was headed to an emergency and it is imperative that everyone pull over to let the fire truck though, biker, car, pedestrian and anyone that does not is just plain sick in the head and heart.

I am sorry, but not pulling over for an emergency vehicle as this bicyclist did pales in comparison.

For once I agree with you. Not pulling over for a fire truck going the opposite direction and given that other traffic didn't do so as well is less remarkable then being struck by a 2000 lb automobile.

That is what you meant right? Or are your trolling powers in failure mode?

@Jeffb all of the vehicles in the video had stopped for the fire truck except the self absorbed biker. Plus it was at an intersection, vehicles including emergency ones turn at intersections meaning it doesn't matter if its coming in the opposite direction you stop. This derelict biker deserves zero sympathy.

It's a bit of a judgment call. The cyclist is most of the way across the intersection before the fire truck draws abreast, meaning it's not preventing a left turn. F Street is two lanes in each direction with the cyclist nearly on the right side line of the right lane, meaning they are around 20 feet away, plus the truck has a clear path in front. In terms of bad acts, I'd put this at about a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. I'm as big a stickler for compliance as there is, and I'm really not getting the outrage here.

Yeah, it doesn't look like the firetruck is impeded at all, either on the straight or for a hypothetical left turn.

But either way, that wouldn't change the facts of the crash that happens three whole minutes later.

I mean, I guess I could be wrong. Have there been some changes to the traffic code I'm not aware of? Like, being insufficiently punctilious about pulling over for emergency vehicles places a driver/rider in some kind of exo-legal Coventry where other road users are required to pretend they don't exist?

Perhaps richardb is suggesting that, as bicyclists are such notorious scofflaws*, bicyclists in general surrender their human rights when they step on the pedals, and motorists and pedestrians should feel free to negligently plow them down and/or hunt them for sport?

I think I must have missed the city council debates on both of those proposals!

But assuming I didn't, and that neither Carol in particular or bicyclists in general are invisible non-humans at the time of the incident, then the driver at 3:07 is pretty plainly in the wrong, and events 3 minutes earlier, as well as the behavior of other bicyclists at other times have literally zero bearing.

* I always have to laugh when people try to single out bicyclists as scofflaws, especially in DC of all places. I mean, has richardb seen how people drive in this town?

(A hypothetical left to go the wrong way down a one-way street, it should be mentioned.)

@jack lecou I can certainly see that most car driver stop for emergency vehicles in the city (vary seldom see bicyclists do that). Or stop for pedestrians crossing 1 street NE (bikers nearly always try to plow over the pedestrians). Never see drivers run through the middle of a solid red light (bikers almost always do).

Until the bike community makes it so that its a few bad apples, and not a big sack of rotten apples (and @Crikey7) we deserve every ticket the MPD gives us.

@Crikey7 not stopping for emergency vehicles is a 9/10. They need to have a static road situation and every variable thrown at the driver is precious time that they are wasting instead of helping someone in need.

@jack lecou I can certainly see that most car driver stop for emergency vehicles in the city

Stop, maybe (I'd say 50/50 - there were half a dozen that didn't in this very video).

Move out of the way? The record is rather poor.

(vary seldom see bicyclists do that).

Nor is it really necessary most of the time. Bicycles are typically pretty far out of the way already, and it makes little difference whether they technically stop, as is the case in this video. (Indeed, even if you are near an emergency vehicle, as a bicyclist, it may be important to maintain some forward way in order to have maneuverability if you need to adjust to get out of the way in a hurry.)

No doubt there is some incidence of cyclists doing things that are genuinely impeding an emergency vehicle (rather than the technicalities you seem to mostly be indicating) but I see no reason to believe this occurs any more often than it does with cars - of which I have personally witnessed a fair number of incidents.

Or stop for pedestrians crossing 1 street NE (bikers nearly always try to plow over the pedestrians). Never see drivers run through the middle of a solid red light (bikers almost always do).

Not sure which intersection you're talking about, but I pass through K and First NE twice a day and have never seen a problem.

Speaking of which, I ride daily up and down K and L between Trinidad and downtown. This gives me the opportunity to observe multiple drivers ignoring red lights at nearly every intersection west of North Capitol at literally every light change...

I obey traffic laws because it's the right thing to do, because it serves a multitude of important social goals and values and because it is generally in my interest in terms of safety to do so. I don't do it in order to accrue cosmic points to be redeemed to save me from some potential horrible traffic accident. I have my walrus penis bone amulet for that.

Yes, but that didnt help the walrus.

Until the bike community makes it so that its a few bad apples, and not a big sack of rotten apples (and @Crikey7) we deserve every ticket the MPD gives us.

I missed this before, but so much logic fail:

A. The exact same thing can be said -- with at least equal justice -- if we replace the words the words "bike community" with "motorist community". And...so what?

B. This difference you speak of, between "a few" vs. "a big sack", is completely unquantified. How are you measuring this, concretely? How will you know when we've crossed back above the threshold? What evidence do you have that we aren't already there? Anecdotal grumbling about stereotypical bike scofflaws simply doesn't cut it.

C. Even if literally every cyclist on the road was a habitual lawbreaker, that would not justify a single unfounded ticket (like, say, I run every red light on a street BUT the one I was ticketed for). Or a single bicyclist hit due to motorist negligence. The law -- at least traffic law -- is enforced in individual concrete instances with individual people, not applied to entire groups based on imagined patterns.

D. Even if the law did work that way, why should we hold bicyclists to a magical standard of purity not expected of other groups, like motorists, or left-handed Presbyterian dentists? The law is for real people, not paragons, and it is supposed to apply equally no matter what imaginary threshold of virtue other members of one's erstwhile "group" has attained.

E. How exactly does the "bike community" (not a monolithic thing, mind) "make it so"? I mean, it seems to me that individuals and organizations in the community already make every reasonable effort to ensure riders new and old have the resources to learn about safe riding practices. And everyone is prepared to call out genuinely bad behavior on the (fairly rare) occasions we see it (or at least give the perpetrator a dirty look). That's at least as much as the "motorist community" does for itself. What more do you want?

F. For the money: What in Odin's half-assed creation does any of that have to do with the OP? The video was a dead clear example of a driver making an obviously negligent move which could have (but thankfully didn't) hurt someone very badly.

Sure, you could probably find another time when a cyclist did something bad. Maybe even that cyclist. In fact, the cyclist who made that video could be the worst person in the world. She could have literally eaten a basket of live kittens for breakfast that morning, to better give her the energy she needs to bicycle to her job at Evil Corp., where she spends her days foreclosing on orphanages and free clinics and chocolate chip cookie bakeries, and it still wouldn't change the driver's degree of fault. The driver of that car still did a bad thing.

And so the troll gains power and influence well beyond his means...

richardb, the truck in front of they cyclist did not stop and the bus did not stop for the fire truck. The cars heading the same direction as the fire truck are also moving when the fire truck is passing them (along with the bus).

By claiming that only the cyclist broke the rules you are proving that you think only cyclists should follow rules and that drivers are above the law.

Respect is a two way street, claiming only one user group should follow the rules and not other user groups leads to all user groups disregarding the laws.

Washcycle, thanks for posting this, it shows that the police do listen to cyclists when they report accident. It also shows that the police look the other way for both drivers and cyclists by not ticketing the cyclist and all the drivers for not coming to a complete stop as the fire truck passed.

As many people are (regardless on if they are drivers, peds and cyclists)I am frustrated by how often I see drivers cyclists and peds blatantly braking the rules. I often thought the police do nothing. The I found this searchable data base of traffic violations. While there are clearly not enough police out there to catch every violation, this does prove that the Montgomery County police are indeed doing their job and issuing tickets to all user groups.


@jack lecou: " The driver of that car still did a bad [illegal] [dangerous] thing."

This, exactly...

Why is this newsworthy? or worth the time of the police?

If you came here looking for news, you came to the wrong place. But the police ticket all kinds of behavior that is illegal but doesn't result in any serious harm, this is no different (except that it actually DID result in a crash, unlike your garden variety speeding violation)

bikers nearly always try to plow over the pedestrians

You can't possibly expect anyone to take you seriously after such a hyperbolic statement.

I generally think that if you do sometimes do something illegal but avoid doing things that are dangerous or rude then you're batting at an All-Star worthy level. Like if you're driving around with a license that expired yesterday, but doing so safely, that's fine with me]. In this case the cyclist didn't endanger anyone or take anyone's ROW or do anything else rude, so that's pretty good cycling.

But, I mean really richard, all this drama over a non-event is kind of ridiculous.

"And so the troll gains power and influence well beyond his means..."

I dunno. People say to ignore trolls, and I get that, but when folks spout nonsense and blatantly misrepresent the statements of others and the truth, it's worth it to point it out so that anyone else reading the comments who might happen to be a bit credulous can have an alternative, realistic point of view.

This poster consistently misrepresents cyclists' statements and actions in a one-sided manner. He argues with a misrepresentation of what was stated or happened rather than the actual comment or event because he can't actually argue with reality. It's worth it to call him out on it lest someone comes along and actually believes that 100% of cyclists break all laws and feel that they should be entitled to do so and endanger others.

So when he makes a ridiculous assertion that cyclists are trying to plow over pedestrians, it is actually worthwhile to point out that this is complete BS. Because if it is allowed to stand, there are those who will believe it is true.

"If you came here looking for news, you came to the wrong place."

My point is that the situation in the video is so minor that I question the value of reporting it to the police.

But it easily could have been major. This is exactly how I was hit: a driver changed lanes on top of me without looking and with no signal. I barely clawed my way away from being dragged under the vehicle but was thrown to the ground. Was only scratched up and sore for a few days, but it could have been worse and *has* been worse for other people. If drivers do not signal and check to make sure they have the right-of-way before changing lanes, they should be ticketed because this is unsafe behavior.

richardb is a well documented troll. What is the policy for that, although naming and shaming feels good it actually feeds them.

If only cyclists could be law-abiding like drivers.


Crickets from richardb...

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