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This is depressing: we have been talking about this for 5 years. Not only the issue of crime, but basic communication anywhere that is not a surface street. If you are in the Metro, or on a trail, the emergency services have problems.

That is depressing: one thing I don't understand is I thought most cellphones have at least the option to send GPS with 911 and I also thought the deadline for jurisdictions to be 911 GPS capable was a few years ago?

Metro was a spur to development, and the MBT could help develop further up NOMA, but not if you get mugged.

I'd like to some leadership from the business community and NOMA BID etc on tackling the crime issues.

Police won't do much until these communities start pushing hard.

Why aren't some of DC's finest riding the trail too? I've seen them before on side streets and in alleys on bicycle. It can't be that much to ask to have one guy ride up and down some of the area trails once a day that are in their districts. If anything, I would think they would want those assignments.

T: MPD has periodically ridden on the trail. But if dispatch doesnt know it exists, we still have a problem.

What impresses and depresses me the most about this incident is the apparently casual attitude of the robbers, who allowed themselves to be photographed and even seem to have conversed with the witness. It is, however, gratifying that someone was there to call the cops and take those disturbing photos.

This got even more depressing when I read how bad DC e911 functions- see this post article from last year...


@jeffb The NOMA BID just had a survey and a couple of workshops addressing this very issue.

The problem is on MPD's end. They simply do not know how to deal with this. They sent bike officers immediately after a incident about a month ago but all they did was sit on the benches at the Rhode Island Bridge and "fight cyber crime" on their phones. They have no view of the trail from that location. Sometimes, there is an officer at R St NE. After a week or two, they stop showing up. Even worse is when an MPD officer decides drive their car on the trail. This has been MPD's response and it smacks of complete confusion and incompetence.

I think it is on us, residents and trail users, to come up with a specific plan to push for even though we're not experts. Otherwise, pushing MPD to do something has not yielded anything because they don't know what to do.

I would be curious as to how many hours they spend actually patrolling the trail.

I think all we can do for now is ride or walk close to someone else and keep track of where we are, ever ready to shout between V and Rhode Island to the 911 dispatchers.

I did this on Sunday by following another cyclist and was glad I did because where MBT crosses R St, there was a large group of African American motorcyclists. They were just taking pictures of their bikes against one of the buildings but I was sure glad someone else was right in front of me.

It's really not the entire stretch of MBT. It's one area, like a mile or so long. That makes a fix manageable in scope.

With all due respect, I don't think large groups of African American motorcyclists pose much risk to anyone but, perhaps, themselves, depending on whether they're the stolid HD, or suicidal crotch rocket, type. Either way, guys in possession of tens of thousands of dollars worth of fetishistically curated, polished, and photographed, hardware usually have better things to do than low-level street crime, and might just as soon come to the aid of a victim. Please pardon me if I mistook the meaning of the post.

Eh, I'm like my dog and I don't feel comfortable around any motorcyclists, so just leaving the race thing out would have been fine, but you could leave out both the motorcycles and race, say "large group," and still get the point across. Each to his own I guess but it does leave one open for criticism.

@Smedley Burkhart @DE You are both right, they didn't pose much risk at all but neither of us could tell that from a distance and it was only when we got closer that we saw they were taking pictures of their motorcycles :)

@DE not trying to be judgmental but wanted to state the facts. Large group taking pictures does not get the same point across.

those motorcyclists were merely using the building as a backdrop for photos. i passed as well, & they were very vocal about bicyclists coming through & warning each other. granted, not a wise choice to host 10-20 people all standing around on the trail for a group photo, but i doubt very seriously those dudes would ride THOSE bikes up & down the mbt.

OUC didn't know what the MBT was, it wasn't a problem with markers. She "needed an address or intersection."

I'd also like to clarify the 'call back tomorrow' tweet. I never got the contact info from the responding officer, I gave him the picture and my card, he took the victim and went policing, I went to a meeting.

I later remembered I had video (only recently got a tail video camera) and wanted to get it to MPD, so I called 5D HQ. The guy that answered the phone was very nice, and was able to look up the incident without the CCN, but said that it hadn't been assigned to a detective yet, call back tomorrow and it should be assigned.

Turns out it had been assigned. I got a call from the detective about 1730 that day, and she came and picked the video up from me about 1900.

The issue here isn't mile markers, it's black criminality. You could put a marker on every inch of the MBT and it won't be any safer until we have an HONEST discussion about what's really making that trail so dangerous. Before you call me a racist, lie and say it doesn't terrify you when you see a couple of black teens (er, "youth") approaching you on the MBT. How many more muggings and beatings must we endure? How many people have given up on that trail because of this problem? They assault women? Where's the outrage?

People are clearly outraged about the crime. What's the solution? And how is "black criminality" different than just ordinary criminality?

"How is 'black criminality' different than just ordinary criminality" - don't be obtuse. Blacks commit a disproportional amount of violent crime in this city and this country. For example, blacks represent less than 14% of the population but committee 50% of all murders, 54% of all robberies, 35% of all agg. assault, 32% of all rape; in cities, those number are nearly 70% or higher (source: https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/43tabledatadecoverviewpdf). Those are statistical facts that can't be refuted, as evidenced by the way rational people behave every time they encounter some "youths" on the MBT.

Posts like these sound like a broken record. Remember this one? http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/bicyclist-attacked-on-dc-trail-by-up-to-15-youths-police-say/2013/06/12/2e9a9d80-d366-11e2-b05f-3ea3f0e7bb5a_story.html No? How about this one? http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/man-is-attacked-walking-along-metropolitan-branch-trail-in-northeast-washington/2013/11/01/962c1564-4346-11e3-a751-f032898f2dbc_story.html Or this one (another assault on a young woman) http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/assault-on-biker-is-latest-crime-on-popular-metropolitan-branch-trail/2014/11/07/9c5a7ef4-669e-11e4-bb14-4cfea1e742d5_story.html Those came up with a cursory search for "attack on the MBT." Notice a pattern? How many more people need to be robbed and beaten by "youths" on the MBT before we take action? Since the police are disinterested in enforcing the law and only show up long after the crime has been committed, it may be time to organize citizen patrols of the MBT. Or, we can remain passive and beg our elected officials to pay attention to us - we might even get some mile markers!

I don't see the point of bringing race into it. How does the race issue help in any solution you have, including your call to what sounds similar to vigilantism?

If it were an area with another race predominating, it would be that race mostly involved in the violent crime, yet bringing up that they were Chinese, Polish, Italian, Irish, or whatever--how would that help? Bringing up race merely muddies the issue and polarizes people, even turning away those who might otherwise agree with you.

"If it were an area with another race predominating, it would be that race mostly involved in the violent crime"

Is that so? Because quantifiable reality says otherwise. There are plenty of white, Asian, and Latino-dominated populations in our area and the country that don't exhibit anywhere near the same propensity for violence and criminality as evidenced in those stats you conveniently ignored.

I know cognitive dissonance is a powerful and sometimes painful thing to confront, but until we do, nothing will change. Until we stop making excuses and say "STOP" to those members of our community who seem to want to visit violence upon the rest of us, then we'll just keep getting victimized. But maybe that's the way you want? For users of the MBT to continue to be victimized? For regular, hardworking folks who just want to commute to work on their bikes to be targeted?

You are mixing up two different arguments there, answering the argument that the predominate population of an area perpetrates the majority of violence in that area with statistics about the population as a whole. The stat may be true, but it is irrelevant.

If you can show stats that show the the majority of crime in, say, a predominately Irish Catholic area is committed by African Americans, go ahead and do so. I don't really care. It's not useful. It does absolutely nothing to remedy the problem of violence. You can get nothing from that argument but profiling and targeting innocent people for the misdeeds of others just because of the color of their skin.

And yes, John, that is exactly what I want, for hardworking folks to be targeted. Those are the only choices and that is exactly what I said. FFS.

"You are mixing up two different arguments there, answering the argument that the predominate population of an area perpetrates the majority of violence in that area with statistics about the population as a whole. The stat may be true, but it is irrelevant."

Come again? I'm not mixing anything up - the stats I posted are COMPLETELY relevant. They show a population with a particular propensity for crime as compared to the general population as a whole. That general, national propensity is repeated in the crimes being perpetrated against cyclists on the MBT. The pattern is clear: white cyclists, walkers, and joggers assaulted by black "youth." I challenge you to find ONE instance of assault on the MBT that is a deviation from that pattern.

"If you can show stats that show the the majority of crime in, say, a predominately Irish Catholic area is committed by African Americans, go ahead and do so."

Why would I need to do that? My hypothesis is already proven by the data I provided. For some reason, you keep pretending that those FBI data don't exist. Why is that? If you have stats that suggest otherwise, provide them.


Yes, I know you're frustrated by an argument you can't win. You're frustrated because your world view is at odds with reality. Maybe instead of cursing at me while performing futile mental gymnastics you should take this opportunity to re-examine your dogma.

You will disagree with me up and until you yourself are punched in the face and robbed while another scared, impotent commuter looks on, doing nothing but holding up a phone (or simply does nothing, as was the case in the murder of Kevin Sutherland).


"If you can show stats that show the the majority of crime in, say, a predominately Irish Catholic area is committed by African Americans, go ahead and do so."

It's not relevant, but since you asked for it, here you go:


New York City is 44% white. Blacks are 25% of the NYC population. They commit 60% of all murders, 50% of all rapes, 70% of all robberies, 55% of all assaults, etc. If you argue that sample size is too great, and that I should focus on perpetrators of crime in "predominately" white neighborhoods, I can go digging for stats on that, too, but do you really think whites commit the vast majority of crime in, say, the UWS or UES? And remember, DC is no longer a "predominately" black city - it's probably around 45-47% black.

Misrepresenting others' arguments, getting overly personal and angry for no reason, using one statistic to disprove something on another subject line. Yes, you've ticked many of the important boxes of someone with a serious axe to grind and chip on his shoulder.

I have been attacked before, by people of different races. In mostly white areas it was people who were white; in mostly African American areas, it sometimes was them. I don't think my personal experience has much relevance though.

"You will disagree with me up and until..."

No, I will always disagree with you. As long as you base your arguments solely on your view of race, I will disagree with you.

You still haven't managed to state a single way in which your racial profiling is useful. I'll have to wait until Monday though for the attempted indoctrination.

How have I "misrepresented" your arguments? Where did I get "overly personal? "Using one statistic to disprove something on another subject line?" I don't even know what that means.

"I will always disagree with you. As long as you base your arguments solely on your view of race, I will disagree with you." I'm not basing it on race, I'm basing it on DATA - cold, hard, verifiable, quantified and studied data. I'm sorry that the data doesn't comport with your subjective world view, but to deny its very existence? Clearly you have no intention of engaging in an honest debate. Your rebuttals have amounted to nothing more than frustration, baseless accusations, and anecdotes. As it is impossible to have a discussion with someone who refuses to acknowledge objective reality, I leave you to tend to your cognitive dissonance.

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