« Eyes on the Prizes: Car Free Day 2016 | Main | Ghost bike cold spot »


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

Even though I don't (usually) run red lights, I actually might be regularly triggering one of those cameras. They mention a red light camera Eastbound at 27th and K. I think that's right where Water Street comes up and joins with the Whitehurst Freeway to become K Street. Going east from Water Street, there is a long cycle where Eastbound traffic off the Whitehurst proceeds and left turns off K Street Westbound are not allowed. I'll often scooch over from Water to the median strip on K, across the red, since I know there is no chance anyone can cross my path and I can simply wait out of the path of legal traffic.

Yeah, and while the camera may pick that up, it really doesn't even seem like "running" the light. Crossing against it, perhaps. But certainly not the same as ignoring it or blowing through it.

It's interesting that drivers really only have two choices when it comes to red lights - wait, or proceed. Cyclists' options, and behaviors, are more varied, but will be characterized using the more limited language that applies to cars.

While the article says the fine for a vehicle running a red light is $150, the fine for bicycles is $25. "Disobeying traffic control device [DCMR 18 ยง 1201.15] $25" http://www.dcregs.dc.gov/Gateway/RuleHome.aspx?RuleNumber=18-1201

So even if police decided to enforce red light violations, I would be surprised if they even used the correct citation because most officers do not know the rules for cyclists, let alone the tickets which apply to them.

The second example with guy weaving through traffic is pretty unsafe. And I would have a hard time defending him. But the others all seem quite benign.
At 44 mark I like how he points to the biker "rolling through the cross walk" but doesn't mention the two cars blocking the cross walk. Which seem much more unsafe.

I think the 2nd one looks unsafe because we can't see what he sees. But it seems clear that he knows there is a bus and a car going to his right and then a large gap, and then another car going to his left and a gap.

I probably wouldn't take it that way, but it's not as bad as it looks.

How many of the cyclists triggering the rad light cameras might be a result of moving at a lower speed and not being able to clear the intersection as fast as cars can?

I know of some lights in my neighborhood (without cameras) that are so short it turns yellow before I even get halfway across. And that is with a jack rabbit start.

Screw nbc for taking the time on this story. maybe they should get a cyclist opinion on it (other then Greg) about reasons to do it. For me, most of the reason why is to get ahead of the cars to get as much separation as possible. And the portion about this being a safety hazard to motorists is crazy. I've never heard of a documented case of a car/bike collision resulting in a motorist being injured. They're in a 2000 pound steel cage.

Right. The safety "expert" they rely on is with MPD. The police are not safety experts. They're enforcement experts. Might was well ask the Vision Zero lead about how to reduce Meth use.

Well I went out for a ride today at noon. Within the first 2 blocks I saw so much motorist craziness that I considered turning around and heading back for the relative safety of the indoors.

Something about a nice day on a Friday leading into a holiday weekend I suppose.

How many of the cyclists triggering the rad light cameras might be a result of moving at a lower speed and not being able to clear the intersection as fast as cars can?

Right. My understanding of the way the cameras work is that a picture is taken of the intersection when the light turns red, and then a vehicle in the intersection after the light turns triggers a second photo. In order to get ticketed the pictures have to show that you entered the intersection after the light changed (e.g. at the time the light changed you hadn't yet entered the intersection). So just because you trigger the camera doesn't mean you've committed an infraction, which means comparing the 1500 cyclist triggers with the 60,000 motor vehicle violations is an apples-and-oranges comparison. How many motor vehicle triggers didn't result in violations? I would think that cyclists would be more likely to cause non-violation triggers, because their typical speed is lower.

Might was well ask the Vision Zero lead about how to reduce Meth use.

Or how to reduce pedestrian deaths, for that matter.

There would be an earth shattering driver freak out if cyclists decided to ride by the letter of the law at these intersections: take the lane, foot-down stops, wait for reds, stay in line. Because the automobile through-put at these intersections would be dramatically reduced. But hey, rules are rules.

I seem to remember they tried that in San Francisco after a crackdown (ride to the rule of the law and see where it gets drivers). Could be a nice form of protest locally if enforcement ever got ridiculous, but really, seems like the best thing around here is to argue the case (via WABA, etc.) and let the latest storm blow over. I can't respect anyone who foments discontent like this journalist, but drivers are going to be mad around here anyway. You can see it in any comments section of an article that even mentions a bike.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Banner design by creativecouchdesigns.com

City Paper's Best Local Bike Blog 2009


 Subscribe in a reader