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Good grief. This is getting ridiculous. What if we added more bollards in between each bollard, to double their frequency and make it even harder to squeeze through?

All the parking problems are concentrated on the stretch between McPherson Sq. and Mass. Ave. It works relatively well everywhere else. We need more signage, more enforcement, more education.

We need a concrete curb separating the cycle-track from the main lanes. It's what Montreal and many other cities do, and it's the only real way to keep this from happening. More bollards won't make a difference - these are 'safe hit' bollards that can be driven over without causing any damage to cars.

If a cop parks in a bike lane it is not illegal. That what they always tell me. Who are these guys? Nixon?

At least you can maneuver around a cop car. Down by Penn Ave, tour buses have been pulling into the cycletracks to drop off their passengers for the White House tour line. Given the width of a tour bus, the only way around is to go into the opposing traffic lane.

you can't do anything illegally when you are above the law.

I didn't know it is illegal to skate in the street. I can beat bikes on roller blades so what is the beef?

Don Heff, I'm not sure of the justification for the law, or that it's a good idea. I just know that's what the law says. If changed, I wouldn't complain.

Yesterday I followed a small red sports car that used the bike lane on Q St for a block and a half to bypass the line of cars backed up.

He only gave it up when it got too narrow and he was able to force his way back into the line of cars.

As the owner of a small red sports car, I think special dispensation should be given to small red sports cars. :P

I hope Chief Lanier will be calling the driver of the car to ask him why he is clearly breaking the law.

I think that's the same roller-blader with stroller who made a dangerous and illegal left turn against the light from 15th onto Penn Ave. while I was waiting in the cycle tracks.

I was that guy on the blades. I had no idea my skating was illegal, especially on a protected bike path. So this must also be the law for those who skate around Hain's point on their speed skates. Boy will they be mad.

I would say that WashCycle should have commented as to his opinion on the law, or be accused of being something of a NIMBY. Bikes = good; blades = bad. Both reduce car traffic. Kinda like being the tattle tale in the classroom (: I do agree with you most of the time.

As for the fella who witnessed my "dangerous and illegal" turn, I believe you ran a few lights along the Gabe Klein trail on PA Avenue. It seems ANYTHING I would do at all would be illegal. I promise not to post anything bad you've done.

@Steve: Washcycle did state his opinion.

I wonder what good laws might look like, especially regarding safety equipment. Reflective vests, blinky lights, and wrist mounted bell? :)

Steve, the amount of time I've spent on roller blades can be measured in minutes, so I don't really have an opinion. I do know people who blade around DC quite safely, and my inclination is that the law treats them as toys - not legitimate transportation. I could see them being the latter. But I don't have much of an opinion due to high levels of ignorance on the issue.

No swipe intended to WashCycle.

I more often use my blades to skate downtown with my boy than I do with my bike, mostly to be able to take Metro home after rolling downhill from Friendship Heights. Can't take a bike and trailer on the Metro. Uphill on the Capital Crescent with trailer is a bear after a Nationals game. Yes, my speed is more around 8 mph than 15 mph on a bike, but very doable for most tasks.

I'll admit, I'm probably one of the few who skates - I see very few on the bike paths, and none in the city. Although, I did meet my wife skating about 10 years ago! My bike trailer also has an internal drum brake, so a very viable and somewhat safe way to travel,even for downhills. My 2 year old loves it, whether taking him skating or convert the trailer to be used with my bike.

Skates are very hard to buy - most places have stopped carrying them, so its not as if someone can just stumble upon skates and say, "great idea, skates."

So we can call the pending rewrite of skate ban Steve's Law. Thanks for asking.

@Steve - Wasn't me running lights.

I don't think skating should be illegal on the streets. I think we're better served by making sure all modes of transport have a safe way to move around, all modes of transport are following traffic laws.

@Washcycle so everyone here is wrong - except the kid in the stroller


Are you sure?

I have reduced my skating 95% (while increasing my cycling) since my daughter was born, because I was not able to find a stroller designed to be pushed by a skater. At the time, I found many manufacturers explicitly stating that one should not skate with the trailer, as well as explanations for why that is so.

  • If memory serves, the initial problem was that only a few joggers have "dead-man" breaks, which engage when the adult lets go. But I think there may have been one.
  • The second problem was that the various trailers are designed for various speeds, and skaters travel at something approaching a bicycle speed--hence a bike trailer is more appropriate (except they never have dead-man breaks).
  • The third problem--which seemed the most dubious to me--was that skaters somehow follow a different motion than joggers so that a different type of fall is possible.
  • The fourth problem--which no one said in print but which I conjecture--is that there are too few skaters for a manufacturer to bother either designing or testing a toddler stroller for skating. So possibly they are relatively safe but no manufacturer will do the research to prove it--and possibly they are dangerous but no manufacturer will make the necessary modifications.
  • My daughter will be 4 tomorrow, and probably less vulnerable to the injuries. She likes--but is starting to get a bit tall for--the bike trailer. So I find myself wondering whether (for example) a 4 year-old in a jogger pushed at 10mph is safer than an 18-monther pushed by a jogging parent.

    Does the stroller in the photo represents the technological advance that I gave up on, or simply less parental risk aversion?

    By the way, while skating is illegal in most through streets of DC, it is legal on the streets of Maryland. But the "anti-clinging" law would probably make it illegal to push a stroller even in Maryland.

    Does anyone know of hand whether whether skates are legal in bike lanes, and whether the anti-clinging law would apply to trailers in DC?

    bike lanes are considered part of the roadway, so the law applies to them. I haven't ever heard of anyone being ticketed for this, but last year a guy was killed while riding a razor scooter and I'm pretty sure that he was found at fault because he was riding a razor scooter in the street. Doesn't matter what the driver did - scooters are not allowed. So if I were a skater, I'd probably push to have this law changed. I might start with the BAC or PAC to get a little support going, maybe approach T. Wells and make my case. But I'm not a skater, so for now know that if you're skating in the road and get hit, you're almost sure to be found at fault, regardless of the circumstances.

    @Steve So this must also be the law for those who skate around Hain's point on their speed skates. Boy will they be mad.

    Although I am 4 years out of date, the Washington Area Roadskaters rarely had a problem with the DC police. But Arlington was another matter--the police would always make us get back onto the sidewalks, many of which were trecherous. And sometimes they issued tickets.

    @Ron Alford. New Jersey and New York explicitly give skaters the rights and responsibilities of cyclists. Next time I am perusing those codes I'll check to see whether the question of equipment is implicitly addressed.

    There was a guy in Detroit who made these great mirrors that hook wrap to your wrists. He still has a bunch left, but getting him to mail them is difficult. I'd buy 10 if I could.

    It seems we're diverging healthily off-topic (remember folks, a cop car was parked in the bike lane illegally).

    But, I have no problem with skaters, and I believe they should be treated as transportation same as bikes. As long as skaters realize their stride sometimes makes their width pretty big, and in a cycletrack or trail, sometimes they need to hold up and/or glide for a second to let bikes pass. Other than being sensitive to that, skate away!

    @ Jim Titus. Great to hear your daughter is now 4 - not sure though it would make sense to buy a new stroller as she will soon not want to be strolled.

    To answer your questions, and put in a plug, check out Chariot Bike trailers, available at REI. By far, the best trailer/stroller on the market. I've got the one with the drums brake, specifically because I wanted it as an emergency measure while skating. I rarely use the brake to stop though - if I can't stop using my blade brake I either going to fast or was being inattentive.

    1. No deadman brake, but there's a tether linking my wrist to the stroller. If I fall (which I don't) the trailer stops as I do.

    2. This stroller is a bike trailer also, designed for very high speeds. Huge tires on each side (BMW size), and a fairly large tire in front.

    3. Yes, skaters move from side to side, but pushing the stroller is no big deal. probably easier than pushing while jogging where the pressure would vary as you step, step.

    4. Most definitively, Chariot states something in its manual like "never, ever even think about skating with this stroller." Let's face it, skating with a baby stroller is not something that ought to be encouraged for most people. It is and can be dangerous. Not only do you need to have a certain skill level, but as with cycling, you really need to anticipate what is about to happen to you - just as with cycling, anything that happens becomes your fault. So you'll never see a skating designed stroller. No lawyer on earth would let anyone sell it.

    Jim Titus,

    try an Xtracycle or similar longtail. They make easy work of navigating around improperly parked police cars while carrying one or two kids.

    so for now know that if you're skating in the road and get hit, you're almost sure to be found at fault, regardless of the circumstances.

    So it's basically the same as being a cyclist? ;)

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