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This doesn't have ANYTHING to do with biking, except that it's sponsored by WABA. I don't think that any motorist stuck behind a car going the speed limit will blame CYCLISTS. [Unfortunately, all the negative comments about the Wash Post article seemed to be about how cyclists break laws, not about how drivers kill and maim people by going way over speed limits. Motorists are the real hypocrites.]

Some people seem to have this confused with a rolling roadblock, which is a completely different thing. Pace Cars aren't trying to block traffic, they are just pledging to drive the speed limit. Pace Cars don't go out on roads in armadas to block all traffic. They are just individuals driving like your grandma.

Backing this was a blunder by WABA. As Nancy notes, it has nothing to do with cycling. In every article I've read about it the author has completely missed the point of the program -- or deliberately mis-represented it. It's not about "rolling roadblocks," it's about making a conscious effort to set a good example, nothing more. And yes, I agree that this is just going to reinforce unfortunate misperceptions about cyclists, that they are holier-than-though and seek to impose their agendas on others.

BTW, Tom Sherwood had a bit on it in the NW Current this week. Like everyone else, he completely missed the point, and dismissed the program as a precipitator of road rage.

Again, WABA shouldn't have been a leading sponsor of this program, an auto insurance company or AAA should have.

OTOH, since this program was announced I have noted people on the BW Parkway seem to be paying more attention to the limit, especially north of Annapolis Rd where the limit is 55.

BTW, what is it with the black SUVs and station wagons (aka Crossovers)? They seem to be the most aggressive operators out there at least in my neck of the woods.

Also, I don't buy the line about a vehicle moving at the limit is more inclined to collect a rear end collision. Try motoring at the limit by choice--you will find you have a HUGE window for reaction that allows you to brake easily to any threat with the exception of someone legitimately trying to cause you to rear-end them. Your speed has no bearing in that type of assault.

Hold on - following the actual posted speed limit is vigilantism? That's ridiculous, especially when we're talking about residential areas. (In my neighborhood, cars are regularly going at least 10 over the speed limit, and it surprises me that more kids don't get killed.) I used to have respect for Marc Fisher.

I agree with most people here. I like the program, but I'm not sure about WABA being the lead on it.

I think the Pace Car Program is one of the most proactive initiatives WABA has taken on in quite some time.

To limit bicycle advocacy to a particular box of arguements- lanes vs. paths, helmets vs. not, etc. keeps all cyclists off to the side as wierdo second class roadway users. To say this has nothing to do with bicycling is just plain wrong. The second item on the Pace Car pledge is "I’ll treat people walking and bicycling with respect and will share the road safely with them." Which one of you who rides your bike doesn't want that? While I was also cheering for Rocky, as a cyclist I'd not like to stay in the underdog role forever. This is an amazing way to educate folks and have them commit to sharing the road with cyclists whether they ride a bike or not.

One thing that gets lost in the discussion is that this is for DC residential streets. No one is saying drive 25mph on 395, though in the morning that would probably be a swift pace. All DC council members and Advisory Neighborhood Commisions who have learned of the program LOVE it. Traffic in their neighborhoods is one of the major complaints they hear. The only folks complaining about Pace Cars I've heard in chats/blogs are from commuters who generally don't use neigbhorhood DC streets. As a DC resident, if they are indeed driving too fast or unsafely I'm appreciative of anyone who obeys the traffic laws being a buffer between me and them.

There is a compelling advocacy message that WABA has essentially ignored: cyclists reduce congestion. Professional traffic planners know this, that's why they try to encourage cycling, not because they have some loony leftist save-the-world bias. The reason that this message needs advocacy is that it's not obvious. You never see the congestion that is prevented or the parking space not taken because of a cyclist. What does stick in people's minds are the occasions when they're stuck behind a slower-moving cyclist.

What compounds the problem is that journalists, by nature of their jobs, spend a lot of time traveling around the city. In cars. It means they spend a lot of time stuck in traffic, and most of them develop views on driving at the road-rager end of the spectrum. This bias colors their reporting.

For instance, look at the coverage of last year's Bike-to-Work day. Every story I saw had some insinuation about cyclists clogging traffic, and they all missed the real story, how 7,000 cars staying home makes driving and parking easier for everyone else.

So WABA chooses this fools-errand of a campaign. Intended or not, the message that people are gettins is "cyclists think everyone else should slow down." Which immediately leads to the conclusion, "that's why they're always deliberately blocking traffic."

Thanks, WABA.

I do not think any one here has gone far enough. ALL CARS except for delivery , service , or handicapped should be banned from the original inside Florida Avenue extent of LenFant's "old city" area. Period.Just like was done in front of the White House.Instead of banning cycles from the sidewalks in downtown - BAN CARS from downtown.Pedestrians and cycles ONLY.....

I've got to say I find some of the arguments here simply bizarre.

I mean, "cyclists think everybody should slow down." When it's slowing down to the freakin' speed limit, what's the problem really? It's bad enough that motorists believe they have a God-given right to speed; now that message has apparently pervaded those who consider themselves cycling and pedestrian advocates.

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