« Latest East Falls Church Area Plan Draft is out | Main | Actually, I love both my bicycle and my feet »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Unfortunately, I am out of town at that time.

I would have loved to hear all the law-abiding automobilists describe how scofflaw cyclists make their commutes hell.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that what we want here is

  • Enforcement of driver crosswalk violations (dangerous and routine) which would be easy to enforce, and if the dragnet catches a few cyclists failing to yield as well, we don't care.

  • Enforcement of 3-foot passing buffer. But that might require a decoy bicycle cop as well as an officer in a squad car. So it might not be cost effective.

  • Enforcement of bike lane parking violations, which would be easy. But that is DDOT not police, right? Should we all be calling a phone number for faster towing?

  • Intelligent post-accident ticketing, as well as transparency on the reasoning

  • What else is realistic? Is it pipedreaming to give DDOT authority for a few traffic infractions?
  • I don't think we really care in this context about drivers complaining about some scofflaw cyclists. So what? They exist. This hearing is not about removing bikelanes because scofflaws exist. So why not just say we are against that too and support even-handed enforcement? What's the downside if the police ticket some wrong-way riders or sidewalk violators, as long as we see some focus on dangerous driving.

    Jim, I would agree with most of that. I think DDOT already has the authority to give tickets for traffic infractions, they just don't often.

    My only concern about complaints of scofflaw cyclists will result in targeted ticketing of cyclists who perform an Idaho stop, which I think is a waste or resources. I'd be fine with targeted enforcement of certain bad bike behavior, but it would have to be the right bad behavior.

    I would love to see some good, old-fashioned radar gun ticketing of speeding as well. Speeding is a big cause of crashes and fatalities and makes crashes that would have happened anyway worse.

    DDOT doesn't fall under this committee, so even if it's a good idea to have DDOT give certain tickets it's a somewhat different matter to make it so.

    An appropriate matter for this committee would be concerns about the impact of MPD's lax enforcement of, well, everything related to traffic and use of the public way. Another appropriate topic might be the lack of appropriate laws protecting bicycle facilities (such as the bike/bus lanes on 7th and 9th), or even suggestions to create an "Idaho Stop" law in DC.

    Having the DC laws correspond to cycling's theoretical best practices would go a long way to allowing many of us who are already responsible cyclists to also be legal cyclists.

    DaveS: Would your comment imply that there is no committee that can look at enforcement by DDOT and MPD in the same hearing? Might that tend to hinder good oversight?

    If this is just oversight about enforcement, I'd be careful about pushing changes in rules of the road. Isn't the way to do that a specific bill, which would then have its own hearing?


    sorry I was nit clearer. I used the term "scofflaw cyclist" in a sarcastic sense. Every cyclist is by definition a scofflaw because he or she encroaches on the rights of drivers. No matter what a cyclist does, it is by definition wrong.

    @Eric W:

    You've fallen into the classic fallacy of believing you can parody those whose beliefs are beyond parody.

    @oboe: So true!

    @Eric W. I viewed your original comment as irony. If it was sarcasm instead, sorry, I missed it.

    But either way, I am not following why you or oboe seem to view my comment as even directed at you. I thought you weren't even going to the hearing.

    Actually Jim, I'm skeptical that DDOT does anything other than parking enforcement for special situations - if even that much. Regular parking enforcement (zones and meters and the like) is done by DPW.

    It wouldn't surprise me if DPW thinks MPD does bike lane parking tickets and MPD thinks DPW does it.

    Also, I'm not sure anyone other than sworn law enforcement is going to become involved in traffic enforcement, and MPD doesn't have a dedicated traffic division anymore.

    All are good concerns to bring to the meeting - which will be mainly concerned with enforcement but also has room to talk about "disproportional enforcement" issues.


    Don't drag me into it. I was just taking the opportunity to drop a gratuitious mot juste...

    But to belabor the point, I assumed you were referring to Eric's comment when you wrote: "I don't think we really care in this context about drivers complaining about some scofflaw cyclists. So what? They exist. This hearing is not about removing bikelanes because scofflaws exist."

    I agree with both of you: on the one hand complaints about "scofflaw cyclists" are irrelevant to the issue at hand. On the other hand, as Eric implied, it's sometimes a cheap form of entertainment to listen to a bunch of entitled crybabies whine about "scofflaw cyclists."

    True, it's a *sad* form of entertainment, but what are you gonna do?

    [Just to be clear, there's some light irony--but little sarcasm--going on in the above comment.]


    @Oboe. Thanks for clarifying. I was responding to the main article by Washcycle, and just figured the irony could stand without comment.

    But while we are on tangential matters, if doing so does not explode a well-constructed anonymity, can you explain how you came to sign comments as oboe? I have been unconsciously assuming that you are the oboe player in a local orchestra...

    The comments to this entry are closed.

    Banner design by creativecouchdesigns.com

    City Paper's Best Local Bike Blog 2009


     Subscribe in a reader