Dear PoP – Cyclist Hit at 14th and V Streets, NW

“Dear PoP,

I was wondering if you had any information about an accident that occurred at about 8:15 this morning just off U St. I commute by bike from Park View down to Farragut every day, and as I was turning from V south onto 14th St., I passed by a cyclist who had been hit by an SUV. There was already a crowd of people there helping her, so I didn’t stick around very long, but she was lying on the ground not moving, and I’ve been worrying all morning that she was seriously hurt. If you know anything about the accident, would you mind posting? It would be a good opportunity to remind cyclists to stay safe as it gets warmer and more of us are out in traffic in the mornings.”

Anyone witness this accident and know what happened? Please stay safe out there.

72 Comment

  • It would be an even better opportunity to remind drivers to stay alert and check their side-view mirrors for cyclists when turning/swirving.

  • One more reason why cities need more bike lanes.

  • sorry but the bike commuters in this town have gotten completely insane in the past few years. ok sure cars should be looking out for you but during my commute down rhode island avenue from 2nd to connecticut on a daily basis there are bikes trying to pass between two moving cars in the middle lane, assuming people are going to yield to them on logan circle, riding at low speed in the middle of the right lane, etc. there is a bike lane on R street! wtf!?

  • Yikes. I bike by that intersection everyday. 14th and U area is a particularly bad spot for cyclists as cars seem to be going much faster and change lanes frequently to avoid the 14th st bus.

  • I was the one who emailed this in. To Brandon – there IS a bike lane on 14th, but it only runs between U St. and Thomas Circle. Sadly, the accident occurred half a block north of where the bike lane starts. 14th is a major artery for both cars and bikes, and I think the bike lane should be extended through Columbia Heights to at least Park St., and below Thomas Circle to at least New York Ave.

    At least for the next several years, while we’re stuck with the driving/biking culture we have now (drivers not seeing/expecting to see bikes on the road, lack of training/licensing for cyclists, etc.), I definitely want to see more bike lanes. And you’re right, Eric, it’s up to us to actually use them. Unfortunately, the bike lanes don’t always connect to each other – I was going through that intersection to transfer between the bike lanes on V and 14th. So, let’s lobby for bike lanes that actually connect to one another, for a USEFUL network of dedicated lanes.

  • I agree with eric in ledroit…some cyclists ride in the middle of the right lane holding up powerful automobiles, and they have the nerve to look at the drivers with a disgusted look on thier faces.

  • even if the bicyclists are correct legally, ethically, morally, whatever else, they are fucking crazy and have death wishes. idealism about living in a bicycling paradise needs to be balanced against the reality of commuters. you really want to bike everywhere, move to amsterdam (or continue lobbying so we can get more bike lanes, which have been slowly but surely coming here)

  • Sorry, maybe it’s just me, but this story was about a biker who got hit by a car – anyone have some sympathy??

  • Here’s to closing down one lane of Sherman and turning it over to bikers!!

  • This is a good opportunity to also remind pedestrians to look out as well. I cross the street at 13th and V every morning, and there is a bike lane along V street, and I’ve witnessed many bikers who fail to stop at red lights (they start to coast, look to see if cars are coming on 13th, and, if none, continue through that intersection). As a pedestrian, I’ve almost been hit a few times crossing the street where I think the biker will stop, but they are not looking for pedestrians and just whether or not cars are coming. So just an FYI to pedestrians to be mindful of cars and bikes even if you have the green walk signal.

  • I saw the accident. I did NOT see an SUV hit the cyclist. Instead, it looked like something snagged her front tire, and she and the bike both somersaulted forward several times and she landed really hard. (I’m a cyclist and I know how easily this can happen.) I was driving right behind her in the left lane. The woman immediately behind her in the right lane stopped, as did I, we placed our cars so that she was out of danger from passing traffic, and several people called 911. She was scraped up and in a lot of pain but conscious and with no deep wounds, so I’m hoping there’s nothing more seriously wrong than what will turn into some serious bruises. I honestly saw no SUV anywhere in the area, and I really don’t think she got hit by anything. Just one of those freaky accidents.

    I will say this, however — she was not wearing a helmet. Anyone who saw this happen can’t help but realize how easy it is to get badly hurt in that kind of an accident — she could have landed head-first — so PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE could all cyclists set a great example by wearing helmets and cycling responsibly? I wanted to leave her a note asking her please to wear a helmet for the sake of the people who love her. This could so easily have ended horribly; thank goodness it looks like it didn’t, but I for one sure took a lesson from it.

  • again dog walker i’m not saying it’s right, i’m just saying the bicyclists in this city are suicidal.

    so yeah i have some sympathy for the person who was hit, but bicycling in rush hour on main arteries outside of bike lanes is a really bad plan. even if technically you’re allowed to do so. technically you’re allowed to wander around my neighborhood at 3AM with your ipod on carrying a laptop bag, and i will have some measure of sympathy for you when you get mugged, but really, you need to be realistic.

  • Now don’t all of you saying “drivers are the devils” kind of feel like idiots?

  • oh yikes, just read elaine’s post. no helmet?! *sigh*

  • Queue the moronic “helmets are stupid” comments in 3, 2…

  • Not surprised that the original email blamed an SUV. Sigh.

  • Biking sans helmet in city like DC, where the average rush-hour car commuter has zero regard for cyclists, is tantamount to suicide. I’d wear 2 helmets if I could.

  • @eric in ledroit (and everyone else): I have to agree with you on two points: many cyclists I see along 14th Street every day either have no clue or have decided consciously not to follow the rules of the road, and many choose not to wear helmets. I personally think both choices are totally nuts: splitting your head open like a ripe cantaloupe just once can ruin your whole day. But I do really want to see more cycling and fewer cars, so how do we go about educating cyclists here that riding safely isn’t dorky and that even one cowboy/cowgirl hurts the cause for all of us?

  • A cowboy (with hat) once told me that my helmet looked ridiculous. True story.

  • You should have told that cowboy it looks better than a wheelchair.

  • Eric, stop referring to bicyclists as suicidal. Perhaps a couple cyclists will die when trucks or cars behave badly and turn into them, as was the case with Allice Swanson. She wasn’t suicidal, she was in a legal lane and she was killed. Riding in a bike lane is just as legal, as it happens, as someone riding in the center of the right lane. If a motorists kills such a person it is on them. Being killed by someone else is certainly not a suicide. It is insulting to talk about this issue by taking glee in bikers getting hurt now or in the future and I wish you’d stop it. If you feel inconvenienced by the law, then work to change it. Bikers have a right to the road. They pay for it as well, and deserve fair access to its use.

    Try biking one of these day, you might like it. No need to pay big parking fees, it’s faster for many commutes, you start your day energized and don’t need to spend the 45 minutes in the gym later.

  • I third, fourth, fifth and sixth the helmet comment. I was door’ed recently and would have definitely ended up with at the very least a concussion without the helmet. Instead I limped away and swore never to bike without my helmet again!
    Please cyclists wear your helmets!

  • I don’t ride a bike around DC much, but when i do, i feel MUCH better about doing so at night time rather than during daylight hours. Why? I don’t trust that cars will look out for me at any time of the day, and by nightfall, you can see a car coming from a hundred yards away. During the daytime, not so much. I agree though, DC drivers are jerks and bikers are, for lack of a better word, “ballsy”. Awful combo.

  • @j… what about all those cars driving around the hood without their lights on? Red light/stop sign running also seem to go up exponentially at night. And just because you see them doesn’t mean that they see you.

  • @ Eric in Ledroit:

    Assuming you don’t drive for a living and can get around relatively easily, I will ask:

    Wait, you live in 2nd and commute to connecticuit ave? wtf are you doing not biking to work already? Cyclists give drivers bad looks because so many people in cars don’t need to be in them. you could so easily be part of the solution; I, for one, would trade my 22 mile daily bike ride for yours in a second (actually, I probably wouldn’t, but that’s because I love to bike, but many would).

    If you (the ‘royal’ you, not eric in ledroit) live within 10 miles of your office, don’t need to drive to make a living (delivery truck, for ex), and are reasonably mobile, I have virtually no sympathy for you when a cyclist ‘blocks your lane.’ You have what cyclists affectionally call “entitled driver syndrome”

    that said, I seventh the helmet comment.

  • Thank you zt. I am moving to Columbia Heights soon, between 14th and 13th. I work downtown between 12th and 14th. How am I supposed to get to work other than bike on 13th/14th? Why do I have to stay off of “your road” so you can get to work on time without having to wait for us pesky cyclists? Why can’t we just respect one another?

    Yes wear your helmets, yes follow the rules of the road, yes lobby for bike lanes that connect and are actually helpful. But in the meantime, I can’t afford a car, and taking the metro/bus to work takes twice as long as biking. I’m not suicidal, I just want to get to work on time just like you. I want to spend more time at home and not on the road. If I’m in the middle of the right lane trying to avoid potholes and being doored, and you pass me with a beep and/or a finger and/or cut me off, you are going to get a dirty look from me. Or we can just accept each other and move on. Why is this so hard??

  • @huh?

    I was wondering the same thing. Drive from 2nd to Connecticut? Seems like it would take less time to ride a bike.

    Less gas at least.

  • @zt and @huh – what I am doing is sitting in my wife’s car carpooling to work. She works in Rosslyn. but thanks for your condescension which is SO par for the course from the same jackass bicyclists who think that just because they can ride in the middle lane of RI Ave during rush hour, well dammit they’re going to.

    even if I was driving a car, it’s not being part of the solution to get killed driving on a road with zero provision for bicycles! that’s not being part of a solution, that’s being a victim. Get me some Amsterdam bike lanes and I’m on it.

    again – what i’m saying is not that bicycles SHOULDN”T be able to share the road, just that they’re CRAZY to do so on major arterials during rush hour. The example of wandering around my neighborhood late at night with your ipod on is the best analogy I can give you. You’re not wrong to do it, and you should be allowed to, but honestly, you’re begging to get mugged. That’s just how it is. When they put in amsterdam style bike lanes here I will bike to work.

  • Speaking as a pedestrian, it seems that cyclists can often be just as aggressive and oblivious to pedestrians as the auto drivers they love to complain about are to them.

    How about cyclists practicing what they preach with regards to safety?

    For instance, I’d love to go a couple of days in a row without being chased down the sidewalk like Chuck Heston in the Planet of the Apes by some douche riding a $2000 bike made out of lightweight jackassium alloy.

    Do we have to get the city to ban you from the sidewalks like they did in San Franscisco or can you manage to act like adults?

    Thanks in advance.

  • I’d support a city wide ban of biking on the sidewalks. Easily the most annoying part of my day. More annoying than cars not yielding to traffic inside the traffic circle @Washington Circle.

    I feel like we’ve had this conversation before. I think it was started by scooters being parked on the sidewalk and kicked over a month or so ago. Anyway, I’m under the impression that, for the most part, we’re all going to go on hating which ever group we currently hate. Just try to keep your hate from killing anyone… including yourself.

  • This is clearly just an issue of not seeing eye to eye. As someone who bikes in the city sometimes, I see why cyclists are afraid/annoyed by drivers. They aren’t wearing any armor (aside from helmets). If something happens, it’s not a scrape on a bumper, it’s their legs or their arms or their back.

    On the other hand, as a driver, there’s nothing more frustrating to me than being on a small road behind a cyclist going 5 miles per hour when I’m not able to pass. I know that it’s a cyclist’s right to be there, and they pay for the road too, I totally get that, but I would get annoyed if it was a tractor going 5 mph, a rollerblader going 5 mph, a “wide load” truck going 5 mph, whatever. It’s an inconvenience to us average joes/jills driving out there. That’s not to say that they don’t deserve to be there, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong to call it annoying.

    It’s going to take a long time to iron out these differences between cyclists and drivers. Let’s all just try to be patient (myself included!) and try putting ourselves in the other person’s shoes.

  • no, eric in ledroit, I’m not being condescending; you (and your wife) should both get out of your cars.

    As for RIA being a major arterial, that is your baseless opinion. You won’t see any cyclists on 295/395, but the fact of the matter is that RIA cuts through residential neighborhoods and is adjacent to schools. Kids cross at uncontrolled crosswalks on a daily basis. drivers routinely break DC crosswalk laws and speed along that street. It is a residential street transformed into an arterial by, you guessed it, drivers with EDS. If anything, cyclists make that road safer by slowing you people down. Eric, you have EDS, get out of your car for a few weeks and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  • I hate all of the groups involved. All are self-absorbed and think they have the right of way in every circumstance. That’s DC – I understand. The thing that kills me about the cyclists is that they seem unbelievably self-righteous. Not all of us have the luxury of bicycling to work. Please understand this.

    Pet Peeve #214: I can’t tell you how much it infuriates me when I pass a bicyclist on 14th (downtown in the area where there is no bike line), only to have them pass me while I stop at a red light because they squeeze through the middle of the stopped cars. Then they run the red light, and now I am behind them again while they take up the whole lane going 15 mph. I realize a lot of this poor urban planning and lack of a bike lane downtown, but damn it slows down traffic on 14th.

  • @huh?

    Cars exist. Not just here in DC, but everywhere. And people drive in them in order to get places. Get over it.

    Educate people in a kind way and they’re more apt to listen.

  • @ huh?:

    there’s more to think about when choosing modes of commute than distance. Stop judging other people based on the paltry information about their lives posted here.

    Actually just about everyone who has posted here needs to stop hatin’ and judgin’. Someone was hurt, sounds like not too bad, and it serves as a good reminder that we all need to be more careful.

  • It’s not that Eric in Ledroit SHOULDN’T live in a neighborhood where he’s likely to be mugged walking around at night, it’s that he’s CRAZY to do so.

  • @okienoodler: Your pet peeve is exactly what I am referring to when I talk about cyclists either not knowing or choosing not to follow the rules of the road. They ruin the road experience for both drivers AND other cyclists, and it makes me crazy.

    I’m all for bike lanes and cyclist “boxes” at the front of the right lane at intersections (so all cyclists can congregate in front and no one gets cut off trying to cross the intersection while a car is trying to turn right — currently being done in European cities) and any kind of other tool to accommodate both bikes and cars, but drivers and cyclists still have to know how to respect their counterparts. How can we make that happen?

  • Get with it, Deep Thought- Ledroit is awesome.

  • @huh RIA is a main commuter route in from PG County.

    but whatever thanks for completely reinforcing the stereotype of bicycle zealots as condescending, judgemental assholes. carpooling to our offices (I don’t work at RI and Connecticut, by the way, I was just referring to the fact that that is the stretch of the road that has the most insane bikers on it – I work in Georgetown which among other things is also not served by metro) is a perfectly reasonable choice, but leave it up to a bike zealot to tell me I “shouldn’t” be carpooling. of course carpooling wouldn’t be “good” enough for a bike zealot.

    i wasn’t judging bicyclists and in fact i would love to be able to ride my bike, but the fact is that there is not a safe option for me to do so. until there is a safe option i value my life enough to not go proving a point by getting killed driving in traffic moving 35 mph. obviously you would prefer to see people sacrificed to make this point. i guess we’re unlikely to agree.

  • @deep thought – you are correct, however the thrill of living here enlivens my days. probably like the thrill of being moments away from flattened between two cars enlivens bicycle commuters’ days.

  • @okienoodler and @Elaine.


    Section 1201.3 of the DC Vehicle code states:

    (b) 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.

    (c) If a lane is partially occupied by vehicles that are stopped, standing, or parked in the lane, a person operating a bicycle may ride in that or in the next adjacent lane used by vehicles proceeding in the same direction.

    Getting to the front of a line of traffic at a red light is legal and the only sure way that a car will see you and not right hook you.

    It’s not about you. It’s about hugging my son when I get home. If a bike’s in front of you on 14th Street, don’t get peeved, change lanes. There are two.

  • Re: RI Ave, yeah, I can see how bikes may be frustrating. I especially get how annoying it must be to see bikes, which usually do 10-25 mph get places faster since they can (legally) split lanes when cars are stopped.

    Frankly, as a biker, i may be one of these crazy rogues. I occasionally look both ways a couple times and if it is safe I’ll cross. It’s basically jaywalking. I am not quite sure why it creates so much more anger than if pedestrians do it. It would seem to me that it would raise fewer issues since cars don’t need to slow down. We ought to have something akin to the Idaho stop law because this behavior is totally reasonable and safe, except that it is illegal. It shouldn’t be. Check out this video that delves into the issue. It’s short and a good piece.

    Lots of big cities are taking it under advisement and will likely pass a version soon.

    Sure I’d prefer more bike lanes, especially on 14th street between U and DCUSA but I am not going to wait for them. Very few people get injured biking in a given year, so no, Eric, we aren’t zealots and we aren’t crazy. I appreciate your stopping using suicide in your comments, thanks for that.

  • Like Elaine, I also witnessed the accident this morning. The biker hit something and went end over end. I bike down 14th St regularly – it could’ve been me to hit the pothole, road debris or whatever happened to flip the bike.

    Not that this should be newsworthy, but a number of people stopped to help and the paramedics responded quickly. I hope she’s ok.

  • I’m not the one telling people to kill themselves. EDS.

  • I bike regularly and I even give arm turn signals….I just don’t think drivers know what they mean. I really do hate it when I see the Tour de France wannabes blatenly running stop signs, though. They give all us good bikers a bad name.

  • hilarious how completely you zealots miss my point. but hey i expect nothing less. i do however apologize for using the term “suicidal” as this is offensive. more like “incredibly, pointlessly risky when R street runs nearly parallel and has a bike lane.” which is really what I have been trying to say.

  • @Crin

    Thanks for pointing that out. I honestly did not know that moving around vehicles that are “partially” (whatever that means) in a lane was totally legit. In regards to changing lanes, the hyper aggressive Maryland Taxi Cabs usually speed up and block me in so I can’t switch lanes.

    I did also read the rest of the DC Vehicle Code and it pretty seems like bikes can do whatever they want as long as it is “safe,” they wear a helmet, do not transport explosive materials, and register their bikes. I realize that this statement is somewhat hyperbole, but you can even get around running red lights as long as you do it in a crosswalk and yield to pedestrians.

    All that said, I really wish these conversations could be had in a less accusatory, smug, and derogative tone. I mean take this instance today, all of the bikers assumed the SUV caused the accident and all of the motorists assumed the biker was to blame.

    Why can’t we all band together against Maryland Taxis – that’s something we can agree on, right? I mean I understand buses getting to take left turns when other cars can’t during rush hour, but why do taxis get this privilege?

    I also would like to say that I hope the person in the bike accident is ok.

  • hurrah for okinoodler! Although would like to expand bashing to MD license plate holders, but this is ok with me too ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I can turn my derision to Maryland Taxis. Sure why not.

  • @Eric, not to ruin the rapprochement crafted by Okienoodler, but Swanson was in the R Street bike lane when that garbage truck right hooked her and killed her last summer. So don’t hold it against me if I don’t trust that little white line to protect me.

  • As a person who walks to work everyday, I wish bikes would stay on the streets.

    Also, bikers who use 13th Street, please take 11th street starting at Spring Road. Its only one block over and has a bike lane. Please do not use 13th street and block traffic.

  • Hey yatrakarna… I’ll legally bike on any street I damn well please.

    You have to understand, when I bike, I am mainly concerned about not getting run over by a 4000 pound SUV. I am less concerned about slowing down said SUV and his brethren.

    Thanks for understanding.

  • FWIW, riding on the sidewalk is only illegal in the central business district, which is basically Mass ave south to the mall. This is not to say that anyone doing so knows this, or that they’re yielding and generally being good citizens, but they’re not breaking a law just by being on the sidewalk unless they’re in this area.

    Candidly, the cops are never going to enforce sidewalk riding rules because most of the offenders are either women who are afraid to ride in traffic or Latino males who in the cops’ eyes have some chance of being undocumented. No cop wants to tell a woman to go ride a bike in traffic, and shaking down a Salvadoran and then having to haul the guy in or not write a ticket at all because he had no ID is about the biggest waste of time a DC cop can imagine. I’m sure someone will cry stereotype about my perception of who sidewalk riders are, but I commute by bike daily and ride several thousand miles a year and can honestly say that white women and latino males are about 90% of the sidewalk riders downtown. The other 10% are the Meiwah delivery guys.

  • Best way to get 50+ comments on a blog post in D.C.: make it about bike v. cars. I know that wasn’t the intent of the post, but it’s always hilarious to watch it devolve into rants.

  • re bike vs car in amsterdam.
    1) the cars are not behemoths
    2) bike lanes are well marked if not actually separated by a curb
    3) bike lanes often have their own signal lights
    4) moving vehicles rarely have to thread their way through parked cars on both sides

    here in DC, we’re just busting out our seams accommodating all the big fat cars that have to be parked and driven everywhere on streets that were originally designed for horse & buggy or Model-Ts. to add bicycles to the mix requires engineering, planning, education, and enforcement. what we have now is everyone wanting what THEY personally want and heaven help the city administrator/car driver/bicyclist who gets in their way.

    we need to see images of good biking cities like amsterdam or copenhagen so we can figure out unique DC solutions for making it all work. why doesn’t PoP ask National Geographic if they could produce a great article or DVD on bicycles vs cars in amsterdam, copenhagen, portland, montreal, etc.?

  • To Elaine at 3:03: thanks for the correction. To Anonymous at 3:12: I made an incorrect assumption – she happened to be lying in front of the bumper of an SUV (presumably one of the cars that stopped to block traffic), and since I didn’t actually witness the accident, as I said in the original post, I assumed she had been hit by a car. Please refer to Elaine’s account from now on, as she was actually there. Thanks.

  • Eric: Just read all this and have to comment on one thing from the beginning RE: “yield to them on Logan circle.” Yes, cars have to yield to a bike just like they have to yield to a car that’s in the circle. Drivers coming up RI trying to take the circle at 45 MPH are the problem at Logan. The bikes are the ones doing the speed limit in that circle, and so should everyone else. I’ve been very polite thus far to people shouting at me to “get off the fuc*ing road” in Logan, but if you’re one of the people who has shouted at me in the past, you should know that the next person to come up brakes squealing, shouting, swerving, and endangering my life so they can go 45 MPH around Logan is losing their rear windshield, minimum. Share the road! Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • @ Anonymous 0958: YES. WIN.

    RIA is a residential street treated like a highway by people who think they are entitled to drive as fast as they want. Stop trying to run people over in your cars; this is a neighborhood with a street that, for too long, has been treated like a personal autobahn.

  • To Quigley at 7:48: I totally agree! I use arm signals for EVERY turn or lane change I make, just as I would use a turn signal when I drive a car. But no one seems to have any idea what they mean (or, they just choose to ignore me)!

    The most annoying example of this is at the intersection of 11th and Florida, where the bike lane ends. I always turn on Florida and then ride down 12th St. (a safe, quiet residential street) to the bike lane on V. However, because Florida is undergoing construction, on some days it’s down to one lane, and a guy stands there with a Stop/Slow sign to allow traffic through. I signal a right turn and wait for the cars to pass so I can safely turn, but this guy always thinks I’m waving/saying hi to him (despite me throwing up a right turn signal and yelling “I’m going to turn right”) and NEVER lets me in, forcing me onto 11th between Florida and V, which is a highly unsafe stretch for bikes. I hate mornings when that guy is working!!

    What’s the deal? I grew up outside the DC region and in my state, we were tested on hand signals when we got our driver’s licenses. Does DC not do that?

  • you bikers are such paranoids. i would hazard a bet that there is no one on PoP who is the type of person who would yell at a biker or get frustrated and swerve around them on the circle. as i’ve said probably a half dozen times on here, all i’m saying is that it doesn’t seem very prudent to ride your bike down RIA during the morning rush hour even if it is legal. it’s just a bad idea – for YOUR sake.

  • Paranoid? Bike commute for one week. We get yelled at and intentially threatened by aggressive driving while we’re following traffic law. ALL THE TIME. I have been yelled at and force out of my lane in Logan twice since the weather turned nice. You’re assuming quite alot with that comment.

  • Eric, I sincerely appreciate your concern. I really do (and hopefully this isn’t coming off as sarcastic). The way we see it, the city has not made a commitment to cyclists in the form of adequate biking alternatives on major arterials. With the exception of 14th street, major biking corridors, including RIA, remain unsafe for bikers (I am thinking about 14th through Columbia heights, U street to Admo, 18th Street, connecticuit avenue, around Dupont, M street in Georgetown). These are streets that everyone relies on, including cyclists. Many of us see bike lanes on side streets as a cop out: Why should I, a professional and a DC homeowner, not have equal access to the streets? Why should Warderite be shuttling his/her badself through all these back streets when s/he’s just trying to go west, like everyone else.

    Make no mistake about it, biking is the future of urban transporation. This is a guarantee. The debate lies in how quickly this future is ushered in. I’d like to see it happen while I am reasonably healthy and capable, so I ride on RIA, which slows down traffic to a ‘crawl’ (speed limit). Others see a cyclist on RIA, they decide it isn’t so bad themselves. you do this enough, and eventually you have a biking city. The Amsterdam of 30 years ago looked like the DC of today. We can look like Amsterdam in 10. Provided, that is, people get out of their cars when they are able.

  • Alright, time to throw my own two cents in. First off, I’m a born and raised Philadelphian driver where we only had to deal with the idiot jersey drivers, who drove OVER the speed limit, and when they cut you off they were at least out of sight within a minute. Nothing like the terrible MD/VA drivers around here (and yes, some DC drivers) who cut you off then go 10 mph under the speed limit. So, I hate drivers.

    I recently bought a bike, and having not ridden a bike in 10+ years, I’m extremely shaky and still can’t make a turn safely. Hence I’m going to go extremely slow and stop at all intersections (most times on the sidewalk, NORTH of mass ave). This makes me a bad cyclist. Recently dislocated my knee so now I can’t ride at all. Anyway.

    I absolute hate other drivers when I’m driving a car, other bikers when I’m driving a car, other drivers when I’m riding a bike, and other bikers when I was biking. There’s no situation that is good.

    [Disclaimer: I have to drive to work because there isn’t a metro within miles, and it’d take me over an hour to bike there…] So “huh?” with your EDS statements, get a life. Just because you ride a bike everywhere doesn’t mean you’re a better person than anyone. I walk everywhere that I can. There, I’m better than you with your “EBS”**. And EVERYONE. Seriously. The one thing I’ve noticed about the DC metro area is that everyone thinks they are entitled to whatever their little heart desires. Each person’s needs are greater than their neighbors, and everyone thinks that their problems are bigger and more of an issue than the next person. Get over yourselves. There are bigger (non-personal) things to worry about.

    **sarcasm since no one can ever tell on comment boards

  • LNic – it’s called sarcasm, moron.

  • I absolute hate other drivers when I

  • For those of you interested in cycling in the city, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association offers a series of courses on how to do so safely! I plan on commuting to work via Rock Creek Parkway but would definitely feel more comfortable with a better understanding on DC biking law and safety measures:

  • @anon 2:48 – yes yes it’s definitely a symptom of being a Philly driver… but at least it makes me see other viewpoints, which is the point I was trying to convey! I’m so ashamed when I drive in Philly now with my DC plate! I’m totally a Philly driver but I’m probably giving a bad name to DC drivers up there just because I’m “out of state”!

    We should all get segways and laugh at each other. Or make odd streets for bikes only and even for cars. I should totally be a city planner ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Why is everyone picking on eric in ledroit? I think he makes a good point, and I didn’t find it particularly demeaning at all. Everyone please stop being so easily offended. To those who like to use the term Entitled Driver Syndrome – I’ve witnessed some pretty arrogant cyclists on my 4 mile walk to and from work and I’ve had problems with both drivers (mostly taxi’s) and cyclists.

  • Eric is talking sense – but to some people the idea of entitlement is more important than the idea of practicality.

    Yes, you should be able to walk around at night with your ipod anywhere in the city and not get mugged. Yes, you should be able to leave stuff in the backseat of your car and not have it broken into. Yes, you should be able to bike anywhere safely. But the reality is simple: some routes are not safe for bicycles, much like some places/times are not safe to walk alone at night carrying valuables. If you do any of those things on a regular basis, you will probably pay the price at some point.

    Although this is rare, I saw a biker on 16th Street during morning rush hour yesterday. Insane. Alternatives: Rock Creek Park, 14th Street.

    Even Beach Drive I think is pretty stupid to bike on during rush hour because there are many blind turns, no shoulder, and tons of traffic. When I lived in Mount Pleasant, I would sometimes bike to silver spring using Ridge Road and Oregon Avenue instead – which is exactly the same distance, but slightly hillier. But has virtually no traffic. Yet the bikers, apparently unwilling to ride a couple hills to avoid being passed around blind corners for five miles during rush hour, all flock to Beach Drive. I think that’s just stupid when an excellent alternative exists that is much safer.

    You can be righteous and right and bike anywhere and anytime you want. Or you can be smart and choose a safer route that might be a little longer.

    As for the Swanson death, this makes no point for the bikers. She was in a bike lane, and it very well may have technically been the trucks fault, although this was never determined. But even if she was entirely in the right, anyone who uses bike lanes in the city knows that you need to assume that the people driving next to you are idiots. When I come to an intersection where there’s no stop sign for me, and there’s a car to my left, I assume that he will turn into me. The “defensive” move is to either make eye contact with the car next to you at the intersection until you are sure he isn’t turning, or to get OUT of the bike lane and behind the car so you won’t be hit if they do turn.

    I am not blaming Swanson, but based on my reading of the accident, she got clocked by a turning car, and I would never have put myself in that position. It’s entirely possible that the truck driver simply couldn’t see her if she was in a blind spot. It was a terrible accident, but the unfortunate reality is, cycling in the city is dangerous, and you need to assume that everyone else on the road is an idiot if you want to be be as safe as you can be.

    There’s being right, and then there’s being dead. I’d rather make a few concessions that I don’t technically have to make, but remain alive.

  • Unless you were an eyewitness or have read the police report [that includes multiple witness statements] of the Swanson death just about everything you think you know or have read about that incident is incorrect.

  • my last word

    someone wroted “Eric, I sincerely appreciate your concern. I really do (and hopefully this isn

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