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The guy stopped in front of the cyclists as well and then ran the stop sign. So add that in. Also, he's clearly tailgating.

Hope they find this person - purposely trying to injure people should not be allowed.

I think lots of states allow you to cross a double-yellow to pass a slower-moving vehicle, does DC not?

Hard to see, won't assume: was the struck cyclist on the illegal side of the double yellow line when hit?

DaveS, I don't know if he was, but the person on the bike with the cameras said it looked like the driver swerved to hit him.

MLD. Huh? I thought you were never allowed to cross a double yellow, so now I'm not sure. Perhaps you are?

Given the lack of police response so far in the case of the road rager who hit the guy on R St NW, I doubt very much the driver will be prosecuted.

Even with video evidence of an unsafe pass and reckless driving, they didn't give the driver in that case a ticket (because they didn't see it, supposedly). Although you could see it really well on the video...

And, of course, another case of "where are you going to go, anyway?" That's a short street section with two schools, a center for the disabled etc. and it goes nowhere, just connects between Franklin and Monroe. It's not a high-speed street at all and there's plenty of room to pass if you're a tiny bit patient.

This guy was just pulling a Milloy because he (or she) knew they would get away with it regardless.

It's hard to say who's at fault for the actual crash.

Unfortunately, with contributory negligence, statements like this leave little hope for the injured cyclist.

On the other hand, this was a hit and run, which the general public tends to have a lot less sympathy for compared to the standard "accident".

"cyclists are not allowed to ride two abreast if there is a car behind them."

I understand that law a little differently. The cycling handbook from WABA/DDOT/MPD says:

Is it legal for cyclists to ride two abreast?
Section 1201.7:
Persons riding upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or part of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane.

So IMHO cyclists riding together on the on-street MBT going around 15 MPH in a 15 MPH school zone (up to 25 MPH if outside of school hours) are not impeding the reasonable movement of traffic. Sure, cyclists can impede traffic on purpose and be annoying about it, but that isn't what is happening here.

washcycle: I was certainly taught (learned to drive in Maine) that it was OK to cross a double yellow when passing a bike, tractor, or other slow vehicle as long as you passed safely (gave enough space, could judge oncoming traffic, etc.) It would seem some states have this on the books - http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/472778-passing-bicycle-over-double-yellow-line.html

It makes sense from a physics standpoint - if the double yellow is to indicate places where it is unsafe to pass another car, there may be places where there is a double yellow but it is safe to pass a slower and narrower/shorter vehicle. That's because it takes less time to pass those vehicles and you don't have to go as far into the other lane to do so.

It also seems practical to have such an arrangement - it encourages drivers to pass with enough space rather than squeezing through in the same lane, and it allows for less frustration of being stuck behind a slower vehicle.

There was plenty of room for this driver to pass; it was unnecessary for them to pass too close and then brake-check the bicyclists later. More road rage gone wrong.

I live right there and ride this trail very often. I hope MPD does something about this

Looks like another biker got Milloy'd.

Yeah, riding two abreast has a lot of leeway, but it's so rarely enforced that I don't know how it is viewed by the police. I was trying to be as non-charitable to the cyclists and as charitable to the driver as I could, so as to balance out any bias. Perhaps I swung too far.

As far as the double yellow line, that's what my Dad told me when he was teaching me to drive. It wouldn't be the first time he lied to me ("Flying reindeer" my ass...)

When I play the two videos in close-to-sync (based on the pass) it kinda looks like the driver saw the cyclist passing on the left and started to move right, then saw the video cyclist passing on the right and moved left, but hadn't quite cleared the other and sideswiped him.

The driver was impatient, to be sure. And I can't explain why the car was stopped in the middle of the block, or why nobody stopped for that stop sign. It just looks like a combination of factors added up to this, and just about everybody made some excessively risky decisions along the way.

(Still, once the driver struck the cyclist he shouldn't have left. The video makes it clear the driver knew the cyclists were there, the driver's actions show reaction to their presence, and running the stop sign indicates awareness that there was a scene to flee. They gotta find the driver, they gotta take this seriously, but they might not be able to make anything stick.)

That almost happened to me on 9th. MD drier. Now I carry and watch out MFs

I think it's different in different jurisdictions, but I would like it to be legal for people to pass slow-moving vehicles like tractors and bicycles when there is a solid double line present. If we're trying to get 3-foot laws everywhere, and I think we should, it shouldn't be the case that drivers would have to stay behind bikes for miles on curvy country roads until they get a passing zone. If I remember, this objection was one given when the 3-foot law failed the year before it passed in Virginia.

One the other hand, for that to work, people have to have good judgement. And people clearly do not have good judgement.

This was a PA driver, BTW.

If you watch the bottom video on a full screen then you will see the car intentionally stops well before any traffic signal devices, waits for the approaching cyclist, and then speeds up and left to force the collision to it's rear. That can be charged as high as assault with a deadly weapon. Intent is clear given the honking and the action causing the collision itself is intentional.

But will MPD lift a finger? I'm doubtful.

For easier reference, take the bottom clip to second 17 or so and the top clip to second 35 or so.

In the bottom clip, you can see the vehicle stops far away from the stop sign and then advances rapidly appearing to veer left and then back right.

In the top clip, you can see that's also the same point where the cyclist is hit. Re-watching them in sync, I would actually contend it's two different charges. One likely as aggravated assault and the other as attempted assault.

PA plates, you say. Ah, I wish it was MD; then I could ask if that was you, Courtland.

@washcycle-- Driving laws vary state to state. This is true of the double yellow line rule.

I suggest you actually CHECK the law before asserting what you don't know and then arguing about it as though you do.

Just a thought.

What difference does that make, Joey? Intentionally hitting another vehicle to hurt someone and then fleeing the scene violates plenty of DC statutes.

Just to be clear about the law:

1) As Jeanne mentioned, cyclists may always ride two abreast in DC, as long as they're not in two separate lanes.

2) Cars may only cross a double yellow line to turn (not to pass). The Dept of Licensing driver guide (http://1.usa.gov/1AvyEnF) does not say anything about exceptions for slow-moving vehicles.

While I'd say it's inadvisable for two cyclists to pass a car on different sides at the same time, the cyclists did not break any laws, while the driver did. I'd say that makes it pretty clear who is at fault for the crash.

JoeyDC, who's arguing? Not me.

Yeah, I wish I had the time to look up every law every time I write about it, but I don't. [Ditto with proofreading] So sometimes my memory fails me. Luckily my readers are always there to help get the facts straight.

If someone has a cite for the double yellow rule IN DC that would probably clear it all up.

What HAS happened to the road rage incident a few months back, throwing the bike into the truck, etc?

Here's my take. Repeating Jeanne's reference - in DC:

All Emphasis mine.

Persons riding upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or part of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. Persons riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a lane roadway, shall ride within a single lane.

… the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and shall not increase the speed of his or her vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

So when the driver sounded his horn should the cyclists have given way to the right and formed a single file? Does the fact that they did not do so mean that at that point they were impeding traffic?

The exception though is if the road has a TCD entitling the cyclists to the full use of the lane. In that case I would say they are under no obligation to move to the right when being overtaken.

On any street where official traffic control devices have been erected giving notice that bicycles are entitled to the use of the full right-hand lane then available for moving traffic, the driver of a motor vehicle shall not drive within that right hand lane while overtaking or passing a bicycle being driven in that lane, and after overtaking or passing, shall not drive into that right-hand lane until safely clear of the overtaken bicycle.

By the way - I found find nothing in DC traffic regs that prohibits a driver from crossing the double yellow line in order to pass when it is safe. The applicable reg is:

No vehicle shall at any time be driven to the left side of the roadway under the following conditions; Provided, that these restrictions shall not apply to driving on a one-way roadway:

(a) When approaching the crest of a grade or upon a curve in the highway where the driver’s view is obstructed within such distance as to create a hazard if another vehicle approaches from the opposite direction;

(b) When approaching within one hundred feet (100 ft.) of or while traversing any intersection or railroad grade crossing;

(c) On the roadway of any bridge, viaduct, or tunnel; and

(d) On the approach roadway within one hundred feet (100 ft.) of any bridge, viaduct, or tunnel.

The driver is a jerk, but I don't think the cyclists were too unhappy with the encounter. From the look of the outboard cyclist after the car passed, it appeared he knew he would be a video star in the cycling advocacy world for years.

This video is pure gold. It's like Marlin Perkins "Wild Kingdom" when he finally got a closeup of the endangered snow leopard.

That two camera set-up finally paid off.

This part of the MBT is well marked with sharrows, meaning bicycles have full use of the lane and car must pass safely.

According to the DCMR a cyclist can split lanes.
Section 1201.3(b) states:
A person operating a bicycle may overtake and pass other vehicles on the left or right side, staying in the same lane as the overtaken vehicle, or changing to a different lane, or riding off the roadway, as necessary to pass with safety.
Paragraph (c) in this section states,
If a lane is partially occupied by vehicles that are stopped, standing, or parked in that lane, a person operating a bicycle may ride in that or in the next adjacent lane used by vehicles proceeding in the same direction.

This part of the MBT is well marked with sharrows, meaning bicycles have full use of the lane ..

I'm not sure. I think in the absence of an official TCD stating that cyclists may use the full lane sharrows just indicate where the cyclist should ride. So in the event of being overtaken they do not have move any further to the right then the sharrow marking.

Steve - do you have a reference that may clear this up?

Further comment on sharrows.
In the first video, the backward looking one, at 0:21 we see cyclist one (the one with camera) riding across the sharrow marking.

So cyclist 2 appears to be riding to the left of the sharrow markings. I do not think the sharrow marking by itself grants the cyclist the right to use the full lane*. Rather, they indicate to both the cyclist and driver the farthest to the right the cyclist has to ride.

* Which makes sense since sharrow markings are often placed variably on different streets. On some they are in the center. Others they are center right. Some they are wide right. If they were meant to indicate full use wouldn't they always be in the center of the lane?

jeffb This is from a ddot publication:

What does this mean for you?
• Ride over shared lane markings which should keep you a minimum of 3 to 4 feet from parked cars—what is often called the dooring zone.
• Slow drown, drive safely over shared lane marking if bicyclists are not present.
• Always expect bicyclists on the road and give at least three feet if you need to pass.


Given the location of the sharrows DDOT intends for cyclist ride in the middle of the lane. Further up 8th street they shift to far right where DDOT intends for cyclist to ride on the right where no parking is allowed in that section of road

Thanks for the DDOT link. I think it still means that the sharrow only delineates the furthest to the right that a cyclist can ride under the safe and practical guideline.

However I don't think it means that a cyclist can continue to ride to the left of the sharrows when being overtaken - per 2202.4 above.

I think, unless there is also a street sign posted giving cyclist full use of the lane, that cyclist 2 should have moved over when the driver sounded the horn.

This is no way excuses the driver behavior that follows.

Interestingly to Steve's point is this link.


By law, bicyclists are allowed full use of the lane. The placement of the “sharrow” on the road indicates a reasonable space for the cyclist to ride. This is Boston and lane conditions change at any moment. This is why sharrows are sometimes closer to the center of the lane or aren’t always consistently placed within a lane. Regardless of where sharrows are placed, by law cyclists are allowed full use of the lane.

I know I've seen official signs (TCD in the parlance of the authorities) that specially state cyclists may make use of the full lane. I honestly don't know if the sharrow marking is the same thing.

Okay - I'm officially on board with Steve's point.

I've seen this sign in some places -

In the Federal Highway Guide discussing the use of the sign (scroll down to Section 9B.06 Bicycles May Use Full Lane Sign (R4-11):


It says Section 9C.07 describes a Shared Lane Marking that may be used in addition to or instead of the Bicycles May Use Full Lane sign to inform road users that bicyclists might occupy the travel lane.

Section 9C.07 is our Shared Lane marking.

So cyclist 2 was under no obligation to move to the right per 2202.9 and the Driver was under the obligation TO ONLY PASS in another lane.

There seems to be a contest of will going on. At least two parties headstrong in defense of their ‘entitlement.’
Clearly the driver is an asshole who appears to have broken a number of laws. Not least of which was leaving the scene of an accident that they were involved in.
On the other hand before the accident the lead cyclist (based on his shadow) appears to be to the left of the driver riding, if not over, the double yellow line as they approached a stop sign. How much sense does that make?

I don’t want to parse every frame of the video but if that were me but I would have indicated to my partner that there was a car back, even if its obvious, so that he knows he can move to the right in front of me, and I would have moved over 3-4 feet after passing the black Camry. Now if the car hasn’t passed and I have to stop before running into the parked blue hatchback so be it, I’ll stop. The guy in the car is reckless and I would rather let him by then be nearby when he explodes.
I'm not advocating on behalf of the limited cognitive and emotional abilities displayed by the driver, but I am saying if you can safely make the 'situation' less of a situation then swallow your pride save your ass and ride safely. Even if it costs you the slightest convenience.

Willy, the driver stopped before the intersection as if to drop off or pickup a passenger. The apartment complex there has a lot of classes and activity in the evenings. So that would not be strange to see. Going around a car at a stop sign would be a different thing. But going around a car standing in the roadway ... Seems like a good idea.

Anytime I see parked or standing cars in the roadway I check the lane and safely pass if it is prudent. The "situation" occurred here when the driver swerved to hit the cyclist. I mean, think about how many standing, parked or driving vehicles you pass in a daily commute. You just don't expect them to attack.

This is an ugly assault and I hope MPD can track down the driver given the out of state tags.

The meaning of a double-yellow line is not standardized and varies from state to state. In some states it means passing is prohibited, in others it is forbidden to cross the double-yellow but you can pass if you can do it without crossing. In some states there is no statutory meaning to the double yellow, it is just a warning that sight lines are inadequate for passing at speed. DC is in that group.

In no state that I am aware of is there an exception to the passing rules for slow-moving vehicles and bicycles, I think that's more custom than law. It would be pro-bicycle to enshrine that custom in the law and teach drivers that the correct thing to do when you find yourself behind a cyclist is to wait until it's safe to pass, and then pull out into the other lane.

As an aside, double lines are usually used with dashed lines to demark no-passing/passing zones. I can't think of a road in DC with dashed yellow lines on it.

The cyclists passing the car is entirely irrelevant. Re-watch the film. You will see the car comes to an abrupt stop without reason. As soon as the cyclist begins to pass around it, the driver's reason is obvious as s/he floors it and veers left into the cyclist forcing the collision. The driver then veers right, either out of response to the collision or in an attempt to hit the second cyclist. The person then guns it through a stop sign.

The passing over a double yellow is a red herring to the bigger issue of the intentional hitting at an intersection.

(Last three words should have been "of a cyclist.")

Well said, T.

I'm not sure why the description above says "It's hard to say who's at fault for the actual crash" because when a driver floors it and veers left forcing a collision there really isn't much that is hard to say about causation.

Hard to watch, yes. Hard to imagine how anybody could do this to our fellow citizens, yes. Hard to imagine how MPD and USAO won't take this seriously, yes. Hard to imagine how this isn't assault, yes.

It is entirely relevant that the cyclist who wound up on the ground is on the left hand side of the car before the accident. Right or wrong in a contest between 250lbs of bicycle and 3000lbs of car the bicycle loses. Save your ass and worry about the law later.

Willy O Day: if you don't stand up for your rights, you lose them.

I think there needs to be a law specifically increasing the charges and penalties for intentionally hitting a cyclist or pedestrian. Too often drivers seem to just get slapped on the wrist for it, like cyclists should expect occasional collisions as the cost of being a cyclist.

In this case, it's not at all relevant, WOD. The driver clearly stops, waits for the cyclist, and then veers hard into them. Such malevolence would no doubt occur had they passed them on the right. The driver was intentionally waiting for the cyclists so that s/he could hit them.

The only thing they could have done to appease the driver was perhaps move off the road following the driver's honking. But if you casually every time a driver is annoyed then you will create more danger than annoying the rare aggressive driver.

*casually move off the road...

@JACK "I think there needs to be a law specifically increasing the charges and penalties for intentionally hitting a cyclist or pedestrian"

There are, they are called assault and battery. Intentionally striking another is battery under every state in the Union. In some states, the fear of such violence would justify lethal force in defense.

Re: the discussion of sharrows on that part of the MBT:

Sharrows are like the "Yield to pedestrians in crosswalk" signs you see sometimes. They provide a visual reminder of the law (as sharrows provide a visual reminder that drivers must share the lane, including riding patiently behind a cyclist who takes the lane until it is safe to pass).

However, the absence of signage does not change the law. Pedestrians ALWAYS have the legal right of way in a crosswalk, whether or not there is a sign reminding drivers to yield. Cyclists may ALWAYS legally take the lane (as long as it is the right-most lane on a multi-lane road), regardless of the presence of painted sharrows or one of those "Bikes may use full lane" signs.

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