Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user JRoseC

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

90 Comment

  • How about the fact that there were DC Water trucks out last night at 1st & Thomas street even though it was not supposed to rain much at all. They have been out during every rain storm for the past few months, sitting in trucks, doing nothing.

    • It was supposed to rain enough that there were flash flood warnings posted regionally. I appreciate that DC Water was on the scene before problems started, rather than waiting until the flooding had begun. I see nothing wrong with being a little proactive.

  • Rant: The ride home yesterday evening was miserable. It was manageable when I left work and just got progressively crappier as I got closer to home. I was half frozen and completely soaked through.

    Revel: The ride in today was quite nice and there were a bunch of cyclists out to socialize with.

    Rant: The two women in a row operating motor vehicles that think they can safely do that AND text/talk on cell phones. Why do YOU think the law doesn’t apply to you? Why do YOU think you have some magical multi-tasking ability that doesn’t actually exist? http://documents.nytimes.com/documents-from-the-u-s-department-of-transportation-s-national-highway-traffic-safety-administration

    • If you’re a cyclist and you run through red lights, why do you think the law doesn’t apply to you?

      Not saying I agree with using cell phones while driving (I don’t.).

      • And every single stop sign…

      • 1) Squaredeal said nothing about running lights, so you’re jumping to conclusions.
        2) Even if Squaredeal does run red lights, that’s far less likely to result in someone else’s death than texting while driving.
        3) Do you jaywalk? All laws are not equal.

        • His/her original question was asking why he thought someone should think they’re above the law. I was asking the same thing.

          • But why not ask if jaywalkers are above the law? Or drivers going 4 miles above the speed limit? Or people who claim more deductions on their taxes than they really should?

            The constant harping on cyclists running through stop signs even when it is not germane to the conversation is so tired.

        • I’m so tired of people defending law breaking by cyclists because it’s “not as dangerous” as whatever a driver might be doing. You’re right – it’s not as dangerous, or serious, as some activities by drivers.

          And that’s why the penalty isn’t as severe.

          But blowing through stop signs, and many of the other violations repeated by a certain portion of DC’s cyclists does cause accidents, does cause drivers to avoid them (potentially causing accidents), and does make drivers angry – and sometimes more aggressive as a result.

          It’s not very productive to tell drivers to obey each and every rule, while suggesting that cyclists don’t. These rules are in place to maintain some order in a densely packed commute. All commuters have a responsibility to be cautious, reasonable and mindful of others.

          • The original poster never suggested cyclists should be able to break the law. A cyclist complaining about a few specific drivers breaking the law doesn’t have to turn into sweeping generalizations about all cyclists.

          • right. Which is why my response was to KenyonDweller’s comment: “2) Even if Squaredeal does run red lights, that’s far less likely to result in someone else’s death than texting while driving.”

      • Can we PLEASE just declare a moratorium on the idea that every cyclist blows through every stop sign and stoplight?

        I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but it is simply not every single cyclist out there.

        • I have witnessed cyclists obeying the laws and signage. But it’s not just me being paranoid when I have to cross a street with a bicycle lane to look for bicyclists prior to me walking when I have the signal. I can’t count the number of times I’ve nearly gotten bowled over on 15th.

          But no, not every cyclist does this.

        • Emmaleigh504

          Yes please! Some cyclists go through reds, some drivers text while driving, some pedestrians jaywalk. We know!

          • Meg, I’ll answer..and it will likely confirm everything you think about cyclist.
            I’ll rephrase your question first. Do you sometimes fudge the rules set up for the sole benefit of the automobile while you’re riding? Yes, yes I do. I do it b/c sometimes those rules meant for auto’s, don’t make sense for cyclists or actively put my safety in danger. I’ve never “run” or “blown through” a light or stop sign, and hearing stuff like that from others makes me laugh first and then makes me sad, b/c I just don’t see it happen (outside of messengers really). That said, I think if you followed me, and frankly most cyclists in this city, you’d recognize pretty quickly that we’re quite respectful of peoples safety and space. Speaking for only me, I’m very much aware of my second-class status vs. cars and how driver inattention or carelessness, even for a moment, can have serious consequences for me and my family. I’m also acutely aware of the danger I can present to pedestrians and I ride accordingly. I’d wager that I, and other cyclists, are more aware of the traffic code than non-cyclists, and probably tend to drive in a more respectful manner as well. I used to drive REALLY fast, all the time, but that’s changed as I’ve learned more about transportation in urban areas.
            Finally, to piggyback on another comment. Dangerous behavior on a bike is orders of magnitude less dangerous than the same behavior in a car/truck. I’ll refer you to Newton’s Laws of Motion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_laws_of_motion) as to why that’s true.

          • Thank you for the explanation, and thank you for following the rules of the road. I apologize for the generalization.

        • Seriously. It’s a ridiculous assumption because very few cyclists even do it. I bike to work, so it’s very noticeable to me when I’m stopped at a light or slowing down at a stop sign and someone else whizzes by. I’ve only seen it happen a couple of times.

        • Not all XXX do XXX. Simple enough.

          With that said, if you want to see alot of cyclists ignore stop signs and stop lights, just go stand on New Hampshire Avenue at T, 17th or S Streets on any weekday morning.

          Cyclists comes down NH from U St, slow down at T street then proceed through the intersection without ever stopping.

          They then come upon the light at 17th St, and again, slow down. If cars are coming, they will either a) stop and wait til the car has passed, and then proceed through the intersection against the light, or b) slowly pedal up 17th passed the car, cross the street, and then turn right on NH again.

          Then the cyclists gets to S St., and again slows down, then proceeds through the intersection without stopping.

          I watch it happen every morning. If the cops were out ticketing, they could make quite a good deal of money at these 3 intersections alone. 2 mornings ago, I counted 15 cyclists go through the light at 17th in less than 5 minutes.

          The cyclists always then says items like “rules that weren’t set up for them” or they have to ignore the laws for their “safety”. It seems impossible for so many cyclists to just follow the god damn laws.

          When I see cyclists that stop – I actually go a block out of my way to thank them for stopping at the light – or I holler thanks for stopping from where I am walking (and get a few thumbs up in return). Usually, these are 35-50’s age wise (guesitmation based upon appearance).

          And on a related rant: if the police would ticket pedetrians at 14th/K and 15th/K intersections who illegally cross when the cars have a left turn arrow – that would make the city quite a bit of money every day as well.

          And I am fully in favor of the cops ticketing both groups, every time. If they won’t stop their behavior, make them pay for their lawlessness.

      • The reason cyclists so often complain about drivers texting is that cycling give you the vantage point to see how frequent it is. You sit up high, passing cars in the bike lane, and can see that there iis an epidemic of this reckless, selfish behavior. You also notice the extent of the distractedness. You’d not notice that perspective if driving or walking.

        • Actually I think it’s very noticeable when walking or driving too, but yeah, you don’t always get the up-close-and-personal view you might get from a bicycle.

        • I think the real issue with bicyclists running reds/stop signs, pedestrians jaywalking and other similar infractions is that it puts drivers at risk. By bicyclists and pedestrians breaking the law, it puts drivers in a situation that could cause them to hit a bicyclist or pedestrian. Yes, the driver might come away with less injury, but certainly not less guilt.

          • No anon, it really doesn’t put drivers at risk, mostly b/c you’re surrounded by glass and metal and we’re not. You get a dent, we get dead. It’s why the vast majority of us don’t “run” anything.
            As I said, I think most of us are very sensitive to the safety of other road users, mainly b/c we recognize our own vulnerability. That may also explain why we defend ourselves so vigorously when people say we’re all reckless scofflaws, endangering the public with our mere presence.

          • @squaredeal – if you’d read what I said, I was referring to the bicyclists that DO run red lights, and the pedestrians that jaywalk, not those bicyclists that follow the law. And it DOES put drivers at risk when those people act irresponsibly. There have been a number of occasions when I’ve come close to hitting a pedestrian or bicyclist because they blew past me at a stop sign or impatiently stepped into the street to jaywalk. It’s dangerous. It puts everyone at risk. And those pedestrians and cyclists should be held just as responsible for acting dangerously as the drivers that do. No one wins if someone gets hurt or killed.

          • Anon-I read that as “at PHYSICAL risk” which again….no. I won’t discount the mental anguish it would cause a normal human being to hit another.

  • Emmaleigh504

    RIP Francesca Fiore. You were a mean old cat, but you made my sister and her family happy. You’ll be missed. I’ll think of you every time I see the scar on my should you gave me for daring to walk into your house.

  • MsNesbitt

    Rave: I got a new job!! Meeting with my boss in an hour to hand in my official notice. I could not be more excited. Looking forward to starting a position that will actually help me build a career, not just pay the rent.

    Rants: None right now 🙂

  • Rant: In order to test our building’s shelter in place procedures they just told us that the national weather service spotted a tornado in the Union Station area. A lie so obviously a lie they had a speculating as to why they were lying to us and what the announcement could possibly be code for. (For context, this is a building with a lot of government offices and armed FPS guards)

    • Wow. That could have turned pretty ugly. I wonder who the genius that made that decision was. We all need to keep in mind that if there really was some major threat to Washington D.C. they would very likely give us disinformation in order to evacuate the higher ups first.

    • That is an interesting appraoch – I wonder how people here would have racted? I work just off the Mall and there’s been helicopters all over all morning, so I would have believed some security-issue story for the drill.

  • Rant: I feel like a broken record, but seriously DC…your surplus from all those speed cameras was HOW MUCH and the potholes in the roads are the worst I’ve ever seen, ever.

  • homerule

    Revel: The response I got re: my rant on Monday (dog not allowed on the Circulator, despite the website stating otherwise). The other PoP-ers were supportive, and the Circulator answered my email– they’re addressing this with their team, and sending me a free bus pass. It’s only $1, but hey! The customer service thought is nice 🙂

    Rant: Spring cannot come quick enough!

  • Rave: First crocus has bloomed in my yard!

  • Rant: Had to have my awesome little cat put to sleep yesterday.

    Rave: She lived a long and happy life and was healthy up until her final illness.

  • Rant: It’s been nine months since the “official” “near certainty” and we still don’t know if we’re getting a Trader Joe at 14th and U. Press Release, please!
    Rave: Spring is coming, more time in the yard and at playgrounds.

  • Rant: The Federal budget. Congress is dysfunctional and completely counterproductive to getting anything done for the people they serve.

    Rant: News media needs to stop reporting on the budget, gas prices, and Pistorius. They make gas prices rise, they make politicians think they are riteous crusaders… They also make villains celebrities. This is totally making daily news into an overblown reality show. What’s the purpose of 24 hour news if it’s all stuff that makes things worse, or if they only report on tabloid stories that none of us should really care/hear about?

    Rave: Really enjoying getting back into Drum&Bass music, and into making music again.

    Rave: My new luxurious leather couch set is only 2 weeks away!

  • Rant: Congresses ability to make a deal on squestration. How am I supposed to keep up this yuppie lifestyle if I have to be furloughed. This will trickle down people will be going out less. The bubble will burst in the DMV. For all you non profits out there that government grant money is about to go out the door.

    • I suppose you’re trying to be ironic, or flip, or something, but there are a lot of people facing furloughs who don’t make a lot of money and who will truly suffer if their income is cut 20%. This isn’t a matter of inconvenience to them or a putting a crimp in their yuppie lifestyle.

      • Good point. It seems to me there is a much better way to do these things than the current approach. Rudy Giuliani (remember him), actually had a decent idea when he was running for president. Why not identify redundancies and positions that should be eliminated in the government and allow them to phase out gradually when people retire or shift posts, those jobs are just eliminated. He had some estimates that you could shrink the overall size of the government pretty substantially by going this route.

        • It’s not government employment that is the issue. It is at an all-time low (just look at the NYT article today for that info). It isn’t even government spending on equipment and the like (which has gone down in the last couple years). No, unfortunately it is due to medicare and other mandatory expenditures. More serious reform is needed to “fix” our financial issues, not across the board cuts.

      • I think he was poking fun at his lifestyle and saying that sequestration is going to do some serious damage to many people out there beyond those of us in government.

        (In other words, he’s fully aware of what you’re saying)

      • I think you miss the point. I mentioned the local economy. I mentioned others people jobs at stake based on federal dollars. This is going to hurt everyone. I have to worry about budgeting my money better not eating out or going out means the entire economy suffers. Means less taxes for DC, less money for everyone. So I really don’t get your point in attacking my comment where I hit on the points you just mentioned.

        • My worry is that the DC government has become accustomed to ever increasing tax revenues and larger budgets. They will have difficulty adjusting, if net revenues decreases. Which will most likely be the situation for the next few years, if a wide array of deep federal cuts go into effect.

          That’s why I support either socking away the surplus into a rainy day fund or focusing it solely on infrastructure investment that generates local jobs. I originally believed that it should go into schools, but as others (rightly) pointed out, we get very little return on that investment in DC.

          • I agree with you. The schools are a lost cause. You can’t throw money at things when the problem is deeper and bigger than just better teachers and facilities. I don’t care if there is a computer at every kids desk and the teacher of the year is tutoring you. It’s hard to be a good student when you come and your Mom is smoking crack on the couch. DC is gong to have to cut back on services. Anything DC can do to create jobs is a good thing.

          • True, but the schools are a critical piece of the “jobs” element, as well. I would love to see some of the surplus go toward infrastructure projects that create jobs, IF the District also improved local hire incentives as well as short-term job-training programs that could help unemployed DC residents access those jobs. So often, what happens in cities is that those infrastructure jobs go to the existing pool of suburban/exurban construction laborers–not that that’s a terrible thing and not that they don’t cycle some of their wages back into DC’s economy by spending at local establishments, but the infrastructure projects then tend to have very little impact on a city’s unemployment problem. Where the schools come in, is that generally (and I don’t know the stats on DC but I’ve observed this phenomenon in other cities), even when some well-intentioned training programs DO exist, many residents whose need for a decent job is so dire can’t qualify because they lack the level of math/reading proficiency that those jobs require. (For example, a nonprofit training provider that I work with in another city told me that even among HS graduates–actual diploma holders, not dropouts who later got a GED–they’re finding that roughly half don’t have the math proficiency to qualify for this nonprofit’s machinist-training program.)

            I’m not arguing that the current school investments are working–seems like they’re not–just that DC does need to do SOMETHING about the schools, since if we wash our hands of them, the problems in the District will just get worse (and I wish I knew what that “something” is, but unfortunately, workforce development is my field, whereas public education is not.)

        • I wonder if it’s going to hurt the local economy as much as everyone says it will. Instead of being stuck at work on Fridays, people who still have some disposable income left will probably use the day to meet friends for brunch, shop for clothes, and go to yoga classes.

  • Rave: my Nutella stuffed challah is delicious.

    Peachykeen and anonymous who wanted some yesterday- if you help me catch my package thief I’ll bake each of you a loaf.

    Rant: this week is stressballs.

  • Rave: Cards Against Humanity – the cool friends don’t hurt either!

  • Rant: When people on the bus decide to start getting up from their seat before the bus stops for their stop. It just causes the person sitting next to them to have to stand up in an awkward place to let you out when there is really no place to move and it makes it more dangerous for everyone. I understand that people want to make sure they can get off at their stop before the bus moves, but I have only rarely seen that ever happen and usually it results in yelling to the bus driver, and then the driver stops.

    Revel: Getting a hair cut today!

    • Rant: when people wait until the bus is at their stop to get up and make their move towards the door. We’re trying to get somewhere!

      • So let’s say were on the 16th street line at Euclid street and you want to get off at Harvard street. Do you decide to wait until the doors close at Euclid and the bus starts moving, then start to stand up when the bus is moving and force the person sitting in the aisle seat to stand up so you can get out. But wait, there is no where to go because it is rush hour, so you end up forcing both of you to stand half in the seat and half in the aisle. And then everyone in the aisle is squished because you decided to stand up. Standing up got you no closer to the door, and just made everyone more safe.

        Even if you somehow moved closer to the door, you are forcing people who are standing to move out of your way, which is unsafe because the bus is moving. And I assure you that most likely someone in front of you also wants to get off at Harvard so you really got no where, if not perhaps two feet closer to the door.

  • Revel: One of the drivers who operates the 42 in the evening. Although the bus stopped a few cars back from the light, he opened the door for us anyways. When we got on, he greeted us and said he figured we would not want to wait in the cold and rain. He greeted every single person who got on the bus, and was really polite about telling people to move to the back so that everyone would fit. There are always so many (completely justifiable) rants against metro, I thought I’d share a bright spot!

    Rant: Wanted to bike to work, but I need a new work appropriate messenger bag. Suggestions?

  • Revel: New development in Park View (Georgia & Otis)

    Rant: Assault and robbery at Georgia & Quincy

  • Would you all judge me if I have PinkBerry and Vege Lo Mein for lunch?

  • Revel – The guy who hands out Metro Express at my stop. He is always friendly and courteous. And yesterday I overheard him offering help to a blind man who was facing the broken escalators.

    • Emmaleigh504

      The guy at my metro stop, Leon, is really nice too. He always lets us know when the elevators are broken so we can use the elevator instead. He also helps tourists find stuff (Dude, tourists, you are on vacation, sleep in!).

  • Revel: I am going to grad school in London! I found out this weekend and have had difficulty keeping it a secret! Hello higher education!!

    Rant: Figuring out how to pay for said education. Who thought I’d get in!

    Revel: I’m going to school! And the Firefly Festival again this year. Hello 3-days of music and fun.

    • Congrats!! I have a friend who recently moved to GB to get her PhD. Cant for the life of me remember what Uni though.

  • mtpgal

    Rant: Ever since I married MtP Guy it has been one thing after another. Now it’s termites, y’all. So we’ve had plague and pestilence and I’m expecting war and/or famine any day now. At least we still have each other, hon.

  • Blithe

    Rant: The Barnes and Nobles at Union Station has a sign up saying that the store will be closing on March 1st! They have one of the best selections of magazines around! I’ll miss being able to pick up my foreign fashion magazines on the way to the train. Bummer.

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