Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user NCinDC

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.

161 Comment

  • Rave: Friday
    Revel: unexpected pay raise!
    Rave: Seeing college friends for dinner tonight
    Rant: Driving through rush hour traffic on I-95 to see said friends
    Rave: My weekend is filled with lots of adventures with my girlfriends.

  • Rave: Friday the 13th
    Rave: This weather
    Rave: Small Press Expo
    Rave: Going to bike a million miles through this weather this weekend

  • Rant: Coming home from a hospital stay and finding out who your friends are and aren’t. Finding out there are more in the aren’t category. Hard pill to swallow but better to know than not.

    Rant: Having to call SPCA to pick up my pup today. Can’t physically take care of him after this surgery and breaks my heart. Tried to find a home directly for him but not much luck on short notice. Its gonna be a hell of a weekend.

    Rave: Try to find a rave…… if I can get through all of this, there should be better things to come with more pain free days.

    • Tell me more about your dog? What kind of dog? How old? Other deets? Maybe I could cross post and try to find a good place for him – putting an animal in a shelter breaks my heart!!! Where will he be if someone could go and pick him up?

      • +1- please share more info and we can try to help. are you able to keep your dog if someone can help with walks? what breed/temperament? have you tried a breed-specific rescue? is your inability to care for him temporary? i’m trying to find info for you on a program i just saw that provides temporary homes for animals in similar situations.

    • Could you have a good friend care for your pup during your recovery? I’m sure having his return as a motivator will help your recovery. Hope you get well soon.

    • Seriously – post some more info here about your dog-care needs. I think plenty of people – myself included – would be willing to help out – walks as needed, even take in your dog until you are better & able to resume care. You shouldn’t be without your buddy. Honestly, I could come pick him up right now (if he is o.k. with another dog and a couple of cats.)

      • I’m with Victoria, many people can help if you are willing. I’m happy to help with walks or get groceries if we can make this a temporary issue for you.

      • count me in too – if we can make a tough situation a little less sad, we are happy to pitch in.

      • My caregiver just left so I am on my own for the rest of the recovery. It will be a month or more before I can walk him and do pick up poop duty.The few people I know have offered to walk him hit and miss but that won’t cut it, he has to have bowel movements every day. I tried rescues and they said they are full,

        He is a min pin boy neutered, sweet, cuddle bug. I don’t know how he would do with other dogs. We live in Bloomingdale. I don’t think he would be good with cats, he likes to chase things.

        nosferatau at hotmail

        • just emailed you!

        • I’m very sorry that you are going through such a tough time. I’d like to help out if I can. Please contact PoP for my email if you’d like to discuss offline.

        • have you tried www dot fosteradcpet dot com?

        • Do you have a yard you can let him out in to do his business? It’s not ideal, but if it’s only for a month or two you can just skip the walks and do it that way. Or hire a dogwalker if you can spare the $10 a day.

        • Kim, the owner of Field to City in Bloomingdale, also does dog daycare. He might be able to pick up and drop off the dog at your place and watch him during the day.

          Another option in Bloomingdale is a dogwalker named Mimi who seems to be get great reviews: http://bloomingdaleneighborhood.blogspot.com/2010/09/seeking-mimi.html

        • Maybe try TaskRabbit? Or post a request on the neighborhood listserv? You could probably get someone to walk him for less than a pro would charge.

        • My dog is too much a momma’s boy for me to do any hands on help, but I could sponsor a week’s worth of dog walker visits. And I would second the recommendation for Mimi.

          • I would be totally heartbroken if I had to give up my dog in this situation and my receovery would be impacted because of it. I’m also totally willing to sponsor dog walker visits. I wish I could help out more but I’m not sure my dog would do so well with yours, she is not always nice to dogs her own size (small dog syndrome….). I do hope you figure some way to keep your boy!!!

          • This breaks my heart. I too will pitch in to pay for a week of dogwalking service – so that’s two weeks covered. Seriously. PoP can give you my email to figure out logistics.

        • I am free to walk your dog tomorrow to give you more time to find a solution. I would also like to pay for a week of dog walking if you think that is a good option for you. Good luck with your recovery!

      • has anyone who has contacted the OP heard back any specifics? i don’t want to nag, but also don’t want his dog to end up in the shelter, and it sounded like that was going to happen today…

    • I am so sorry. I had surgery 6 weeks ago and had the same issue with my friends. I even called a few people asking specifically for help or even visits and everybody was too busy. It really sucks.

      I hope you find someone to help take care of your dog. That is just so sad.

      • not to be snarky, but they are friends, not servants…do people really expect friends to be reliably available for help? i had surgery a few years back, and went in with the attitude that i would have to arrange all of my own care, and when a few friends showed up with take out or offers of help, i was pleasantly surprised. but if others weren’t available, i wasn’t disappointed at all — i still consider them my friends, and not any less than those who offered to pitch in to help.

        • Yes, I do expect my friends to help out in times of need, and I hold myself similarly accountable. The trouble comes when you don’t want to be pushy (“maybe she wants her rest”), and they don’t want to ask (“I’m sure she’s busy…”). Communication is key.

        • I had my own care for when I really needed it. But I do expect my friends to be able to visit when I’m home bound for three weeks. Or one friend who asked if I needed help and I said I did for one specific thing and then scheduled an appointment around her having said she could help. Then she didn’t show up. I’m not talking changing diapers or cleaning my apartment. I’m talking coming over to watch a movie or hang out because I was home bound. Or bringing milk when I don’t need enough groceries to justify a Peapod delivery. But, really, it was mostly about the visits.

        • What in the world are friends for if not to be “reliably available for help???” Of course, some friends will be working/parents etc. who may not be available for daily tasks – but if they are real friends, they will help sort out other avenues of help. Sometimes it comes down to you actually asking. People don’t always know what to do or offer – but most people really do like the opportunity to help out and just need direction or a clear request.

          And any friend should be able to front you $50.00 bucks to pay a dogwalker if they can’t actually walk the mutt. Really –

    • OP, how old is your dog? Is he up to date on shots?
      I see you have a listing on Craigslist (http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/pet/4041126929.html) — you might want to add that information to the listing, and also mention that information here.

    • I don’t know if these offers and suggestions will meet the OP’s needs, but I find it really touching how many strangers are rallying around to try and help if they can. Way to go, PoPvillagers!

  • Rave: Apple picking this weekend!
    Rant: Sunday’s looking hotter than they originally predicted. 80 degrees is not what I imagine as ideal apple-picking weather, but we have a wedding to go to on Saturday and there’s too much going on the following weekends.

  • msmaryedith

    Rant: The jerk driver of the Parking Enforcement van who kept cutting off cars headed south on 8th St NE at 6:50 am (at 8th and Mass, and then at 8th and East Capitol). I’m reporting it to 311. You have no need/right to pass cars on the right (there are NOT two lanes there) when we are lined up at a light, and then cut them off to speed ahead of us as the lights changed. Those are short lights as it is, and you caused others to miss the light. Just in case parking enforcement officers don’t have enough of a reputation for being assholes, this driver certainly made it worse by causing others to have to sit through another light.
    Revel: Summer cold is getting better
    Revel: Nats game tonight!

  • Rave: Small Press Expo 2013 this weekend! Yeah indie comics!
    Rave: Friday the 13th is my favorite.

  • Rave: Appreciative of my friend for treating me to a nice dinner at Bobby Van’s last night.

    Rave: It is Friday!

    Rave: Looking forward to watching the fight tomorrow. Who you got?

    Rave: I get to watch the fight at home and I’m not paying for it.

  • Heh. That view reminds me of the time me and my girlfriend and a guy we’d been hanging out with that was almost but not quite a good friend chewed up a bunch of blotter acid and headed off into the night. The party was pretty horrible for me because of an unfortunate intestinal thing that last for eleventy-hundred hours while they were having a good time. All I remember that was fun was when the hooker jumped off the back of a pickup truck and tried to crash the party, in hopes of luring a few drunken frat boys into the upstairs bedrooms at $50 per or whatever.
    Anyway, about 3AM I started to feel better and we took it into our heads to go see the then-new lightning rod atop the Heurich Mansion — the coiled dragon — (I know this sounds like something PoP would do but I promise I am not he), which was cool and then we wandered back to the condo for a few beers and decided to expand our bronze-zoology expedition to the lions on the bridge.
    We spent a few minutes throwing rocks off (not onto the traffic or bike path) trying to calculate how high the bridge was by timing how long it took the rocks to fall but of course, we were way to f–, I mean messed up, to do that, so we retired to our beers, deciding that James Dean should definitely be painted on the wall opposite Marylin, and stupidly/fearlessly sitting on the rail to watch the sun rise.

    We saw the cop far away and scramble to set the beers on the ledge away from the street so as to dodge the public drinking rap and crossed our fingers as he drove padt, thinking for a moment that we’d dodged a bullet. And then, at the end of the bridge, which seemed impossibly far away, he shot a Uand began slow-motion approach and we steeled ourselves for interrogation, arrest, brutal beatings and whatever.

    The cop rolled up, a big white boy with a bit of Smokey and the Bandit accent and leaned out of his window and drawled: “Folks, do me a favor. Don’t sit on that ledge, because somebody’s gonna see you, think you’re about to jump, and call me, and I’m gonna have to come talk you down and take you in for observation.”
    The he shot us a wide and possibly conspiratorial grin and drove off, we got our beers and watched the sun reflecting off the crescent moon on the Islamic Center and we rolled to Trios for breakfast.

    The guy became a great friend, the girl stuck around for decades, and the bridge — that view — became a favorite, secret memory for the stupidest and most important reasons.


  • Rant: I never had any strong feelings about bicycle riding in DC until that post madness yesterday. Like, I considered it a totally neutral thing I did sometimes to get around more efficiently/cheaply, without any meaning or agenda or identity attached to it. I really genuinely do not care about it very much. I try to follow the rules, because I try to be a decent human in general, because that is a nice thing to be.

    Now I feel like being an asshole bike rider just to spite the haters, since apparently they will hate me no matter what I do. So, really, why even try?

    Revel: I am mostly kidding. But damn.

    • Do what I do, and skip the PoP bicycle discussions. They’re all the same anyway.

    • The personal is political my friend. And it’s not just your choice in transport. We’re going to need to know about your taste in music and your sex life. Prepare to be judged harshly.

    • Cycling used to be something that we did for fun, a recreational hobby. Then, about 5-10 years ago, certain people got really into biking in the U.S. and it became a “lifestyle” and identity. So when people criticize biker behavior – rightly or wrongly – many bikers feel like their identity and character is being attacked. What was once a hobby became personal.

      It’s all about finding meaning in things we consume and what these objects signify to others. Identity politics, “in” groups, and whatnot. Meh.

      • +1
        I hate that everyone has to be divided neatly into categories (biker, driver, non-driver, etc) and you’re supposed to stand up for your own. Puts someone like me, a car-owner who walks most of the time, takes public transit occasionally, and bikes and drives rarely, in an awkward position.

        • Yeah, this is how I am, too (the OP). I usually take the bus or walk, sometimes metro, sometimes bike if it’s quicker or more efficient, and occasionally use Car2Go. I don’t own a car because it doesn’t make financial sense for me right now, not because I hate cars. If I had more money or lived elsewhere, I’d drive more.

          It’s funny, because I actually am one to place a lot of political meaning onto minor things, from bikini waxes to TV commercials to Miley Cyrus at the VMAs. Like, I am pretty annoying in general. πŸ™‚ But weirdly, transportation choice is not something I really think or care about much.

      • I bike to Metro, and I like to go on long rides for fun and exercise. But I don’t consider it to be a lifestyle – just something that I really enjoy. I’m also a cyclist who rides a hybrid, doesn’t own a pair of bike shorts and stops at all stop signs and red lights.

    • Many people have already made that choice, but the problem is that you can’t really tell who the haters are so you just end up being an asshole to everyone. And that’s how you end up with discussion like the one yesterday.

    • I think, being totally fair and honest, as a driver, I want bicyclists to follow the rules of the road because I don’t want to hit them. I don’t want to hurt another person, so when I see them acting all crazy on the road, it makes me anxious and angry. As a pedestrian, I get more angry at bicyclists who nearly run me over every.single.day on 15th street because they’re choosing to move against the light, and I’m at a lit cross walk.

      The fact of the matter is, I know that to many cyclists, the rules of the road make riding harder and slower. But is there something to be said about following the rules simply to spread good relations among drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists? Following the rules and being predictable might garner respect. That goes for everyone.

      Hopefully this doesn’t spawn a 200+ comment R&R thread. Sorry.

    • Yup, you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t as a cyclist in the US of A. People that don’t ever ride on street have no freakin’ clue what it’s like. Do what keeps you safe and alive.

    • pablo .raw

      The day will come when PoPville will have a discussion about biking and race (1000+ comments). That day I’ll know for sure that all the crazy preachers were damn right, and the end of the world is near!! Repent!!!

  • Revel: May move in with boyfriend in a few months!!!

    Rant: This would mean, at least for a while, leaving Columbia Heights for Cathedral Heights. I do like me some Two Amys and cathedral views. But…man. I will go through a bit of a mourning period, I think. That is a big change in terms of neighborhood coolness.

    • Sounds like a blessing in absolutely no disguise

    • It’s such a pretty area! I just wish it didn’t take forever and a day to get out there! Hopefully you work somewhere close by so it’s not a total pain.

      • Luckily there are several direct bus routes. And I suppose I can learn to bike uphill? Mass Ave is a beast.

        But I am excited by the idea of a view of the cathedral/trees/the sky instead of my current view of a shady alley (although sometimes pretty interesting things take place in shady alley).

  • binpetworth

    Rave: 22 years after hitting adulthood, I finally got my first jury duty summons. I am looking forward to doing my civic duty.
    Rant: I’m such a nerd that this is the most exciting thing to happen this week.
    Rave: Nats are picking up again. Hopefully they won’t blow this series against the Phillies. [crosses fingers]

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: Staticky clothes.
    Rave: Sleeping late tomorrow!

  • Rant-ish – Ikea gives you a one-page wordless cartoon drawing to put together a nuclear reactor, but they write 2 full paragraphs on how to wash and use a plastic travel coffee mug.

    Rave – old friend visiting after too many years. Had a great spontaneous garden lunch yesterday – sauteed trombetta squash with balsamic vinegar, ripe cherry tomatoes, Brown bread with butter and radishes, arugula salad.

  • Rave: Coffee place gave me a large even though I ordered a medium and paid for a medium!

    Rave: Girls night tomorrow night! Painting some pottery at All Fired Up followed by dessert at Chocolate Bar!

    Rave: Drama going on that, while it involves people I love, does NOT involve ME! For once!

    Rave: Two job openings at an organization I would KILL to work for–one in Bethesda and the other in Boston.

  • Rant: Anyone else get stuck in the rain coming home from work yesterday? I was about halfway home when it started pouring. Decided it would be a while before it stopped, so I continued on for the half mile and got completely soaked.
    Rave: It was kinda fun.

    • Good attitude! When we have a good heavy rain on a warm day, provided there’s no lightning, I take my kids to the playground. Water slides! People look at us funny, though.

      • You sound like an awesome parent. πŸ™‚ How fun!

      • +1 I hate how scared people are of a little rain! If you’re headed out somewhere it’s annoying to have your hair ruined and have to sit around in wet clothes for a couple hours, but in most cases you can just grab an umbrella and stay relatively dry. And if you’re heading home, who cares? You can change into something dry then.

    • Rave: I got SOAKED on my ride home, and made a total rookie mistake and didn’t bring my rain pants/jacket with me. it was actually sort of nice, though because it was raining so hard that there were no pedestrians out, and all the cars were driving super slowly.
      Rave: donuts at work this morning!
      Rave: great weather to be outside this weekend, and another trip coming up next weekend!
      Rant: ate and drank way too much this week and am feeling super out of shape

    • pablo .raw

      I love rain, but still I decided to use technology to make my way home without getting completely soaked.

    • Absolutely! I tried waiting it out, but I had plans after work and only had so much time to kill. So after a few minutes, I decided to just brave the monsoon. I had a huge umbrella with me (that wound up being leaky) and was wearing shoes I didn’t mind getting wet, so I just slogged through it. It was kind of fun.

  • pablo .raw

    Rave: I was welcomed to the office this morning by 3 boxes of donuts.
    Rave: Lunch was also on the office today, just had some lasagna.

  • Rave: the weekend! and beautiful weather. I plan to be out and about, hitting up the new flea market on U St and then the Shaw open house day events
    Rant: new middle manager at work who needs to be copied on EVERYTHING, and who still hasn’t demonstrated any added value
    Neutral: I’ve decided to stop trying to figure out how I feel about the guy I’ve been seeing and how he feels about me, and just enjoy it for what it is, at least for the time being.

  • Rant: I’m in the middle of my very least favorite job task. I only have to do it 3-4 times/year, but it’s awful every time.

    Rant: My boss likes to micromanage this task, I need to talk with him, and he’s not in his office. He’s also a pompous jackass, but that’s more a constant, low-level irritant than an actual rant.

    Rant: I’ve had a cold now for 11 days, and it shows no signs of going away. I may never be well again.

    Rave: Weekend is coming, and my daughter’s 6:45 am field hockey practice for tomorrow morning got canceled.

  • Rant: we have a huge offsite meeting next week, so today is the most stressful of the stressful prep days. I can’t seem to bring myself down from that on edge feeling.
    Rave: it’s Friday and I have almost no plans this weekend.
    Rant: this home buying thing is confusing. So much shopping around, pricing, lender choosing, etc.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    Jeez, even Tom Hanks gets called for jury duty! I get called like clockwork.

  • Rave: I saw A Few Good Men at the Keegan Theater last night and it was awesome! Really solid cast and clever staging.
    Rave: One of my best friends is making a last minute trip to DC this weekend.
    Rant: The coffee is not working this morning. It is not going to be a productive day at work.

  • Rave: Getting ready to renovate my bathroom – this morning I chose the tile, countertop, fixtures….it was surprisingly easy to know what I liked. Now I want it to be finished!
    Anticipatory rant: The process of renovation and being without the upstairs bathroom for a few weeks.

    • pablo .raw

      that must be a huge bathroom if it’s going to take weeks to renovate! πŸ˜€

      • I’m guessing it’s a DIY project that gets worked on whenever the OP has time outside of work and other stuff.

      • It’s actually small – the renovation will make it bigger (but still won’t be huge)! If all goes well and there are no surprises, I expect it will be 3-4 weeks.

        • gotryit

          That’s what I thought for my first DIY bathroom renovation, and it ended up being 3 months.

          Is this something you’ve done before? Or are you contracting it out to a pro?

          • Contracting! Everything will go out – existing floor, tiles, bathtub/toilet/sink and two walls. New everything, including additional plumbing for separate shower. And new, in a different place, walls.

        • pablo .raw

          There is always a surprise :), that’s what makes construction interesting! (and reality shows)

  • Rant: I had to let my dog Murphy go yesterday. It was as hard as I expected. And he really did not like the first shot that was supposed to calm him down. He yelped and cried and jumped around the room for a minute or so (which is amazing for a dog who has barely been able to walk for months). It did make the vet and I laugh a little though, he’s always been prone to the dramatic, so I guess there was no other way for him to go. Then he just calmed down and they laid him in my lap for the final two shots. Thankfully, those were peaceful. Now he’s in a better place where he is out of pain and he’s happy.

    Rave?: I really love my vet. She sat with me for a little bit and reminisced about Murphy. She made it as easy as it could have been. And I know she and her staff loved him.

    Rant/rave: Work is a S@#$-storm today. At least that is keeping my mind off things.

    • HUG. thanks for loving your murphy and giving him a good life.
      on a related note, do you mind sharing the name of your vet? i’m looking for a new one.

      • I go to (I guess went to) Dr. McLean at VCA Old Town in Alexandria. When I got Murphy I lived in Alexandria and when I moved in to DC both he and I loved her so much I kept hauling him back out there when he needed to go to the vet. And the staff is terrific. Not terribly convenient to anything in DC though.

    • Hugs, and condolences. Bless you for doing what was right for Murphy, as hard as it is for you.

    • so sorry you lost your friend, but you did the right thing by recognizing when it was time for him to go. i hope you’ll find another murphy someday.

  • I have a honest question that I need an answer to so I am clear. If a driver is making a right turn (no stop sign), have my right blink on and am in the process of making the turn and a biker comes zooming past (in a bike lane) said driver on the right side, who is in the wrong? Is the biker wrong for not yielding to the turning car that was already there/in the process of turning or is the car wrong for not yielding to the biker coming from behind in the bike lane?

    I seriously don’t know the answer to the question. I would assume the biker should yield out of common sense since the car was there first and turning or does the bike lane trump that?

    • Pretty sure the biker should yield.

    • gotryit

      Slight nuance to it – as the driver, you should first merge into the bike lane (where the solid line turns dashed near the intersection). Use the same courtesy that you would when merging right with a car. So don’t cut off a bike. That puts you squarely in front of the bike when you’re making your right turn, and there shouldn’t be space for them to move around you to your right.

      When I’m on my bike and someone does do this right, it makes it clear what they’re doing (predictable) and I can either pass them on their left, or wait behind them until they turn.

      • thanks for your explanation but you really didn’t answer the question. And wouldn’t going around the car on the left if the car is in the bike lane put you into the traffic lane which would dangerous as other cars may not know you are going to do that?

        Do all of the streets have the same dotted lines? I want to say that they don’t but I don’t know.

        • gotryit

          Sorry – I don’t think there’s a simple answer to your question.
          You shouldn’t be turning across the bike lane in the first place. You should merge first, then turn. So you’re in the wrong in that regard.
          As a bicyclist (biker?) I get that only 5% of drivers actually understand that and 95% just turn across the lane, so I wouldn’t blow past someone on the right when they have a right turn signal on. It’s just stupid.

          I would only move into the general traffic lane if it was safe to do so. And I would signal first. It is legal for me to bike in a general purpose lane, and someone making a right turn is a good reason to do so (again, safely).

          From my observations, the bike lanes are dashed in those areas before the intersection.

          • gotryit

            I re-read the question. There is a simple answer: you’re in the wrong and the biker is stupid.

          • “From my observations, the bike lanes are dashed in those areas before the intersection.”

            Really? I’ve never seen a bike lane (at least not the ones on my commute that I’m really paying attention to) with dashed lines.

          • They are dashed. Everyone I’ve seen at least. A number of them are also painted green to indicate that it is an area where bikes and cars will be merging.

          • No dashed lines or green here in SE.

          • gotryit

            Try looking at gogle street view. Since you mentioned SE, look at 25th St SE where it crosses Park Pl SE. Dashed lines where you merge into the bike lane before turning.

          • Well, SE is a huge area and I haven’t explored every single bike path yet. But I haven’t come across any dashed lines on the bikes paths I’ve ridden. I’m just saying it’s not as standard as you want to argue.

          • gotryit

            I wouldn’t expect it on a bike path, but I would on a bike lane next to a general traffic lane. Can you give me an example of an intersection that you ride by that doesn’t have it?

    • I would think that if you were already there and had your signal on, the bicyclist is supposed to yield to you.
      I’m not sure whether/how the bike lane would affect things.
      In practice, when I’m driving and preparing to make a right turn and there’s a cyclist behind me — bike lane or not — I usually try to either speed up slightly so that I can get to the turn and not risk hitting the bicyclist if he/she continues going straight, or slow down so that he/she can pass me and I can then turn.
      I think this is one of those situations where even if you have the right of way, you have to account for other people who might not yield to you like they’re supposed to.
      If I were the bicylist in this situation, I would be slowing the hell down.

      • wrong. as a cyclist, i have the right of way, so should not have to “slow the hell down”. in practicality, no one ever yields to cyclists, so i generally take a head’s up approach, or merge out of the bike lane and enter the laneo f traffic to prevent the dreaded right hook.

        • I didn’t say you should HAVE to slow the hell down. Just that it’s what I would do, because I would not want to assume that the driver saw me.
          As a driver, I try to make allowances like that for other drivers. Some people don’t pay attention, don’t care, etc.; I’d rather forgo my right of way and avoid an accident than do what I’m legally allowed to do and have the headache of an accident.

        • So you have the right away even if you are behind me and I am in the bike lane to make my turn?

          • gotryit

            Gah, no – please see my comment below about the small number of a-holes that will give you crap even if you do it the right way.

    • Thanks for asking this question — i think it’s very common that drivers do not understand the regulations in this situation, and puts a lot of cyclists at risk for getting right hooked. A bike lane is considered a legal lane of traffic — therefore, the cyclist has the right of way and the driver should treat that lane as if it were a regular lane. In fact, the proper thing to do is for the driver to merge into the bike lane and then turn from there, which would: (1) alert the cyclist to the fact that the driver is intending to turn beyond just the turn signal, and (2) prevent the cyclist from zooming past, since the lane will be blocked. Because the bike lane is considered a legal lane of traffic, if the car is turning from the “car” lane, and did not merge into the bike lane for the right turn, it is akin to the driver turning right from the left or middle lane of a regular multiple lane street across a lane of traffic — in this instance, you would never expect the cars on the right-most lane to yield to a car in the lane on the left turning across a lane of traffic — it’s incumbent on the driver to ensure the roadway is clear before turning across a lane. I think the common misconception is that bike lanes do not really count as traffic lanes, which is probably why cars park in them and turn across them all the time. Of course i can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen a car actually do this correctly, and legally — i think i’m the only person who does this when i happen to be driving.

      More info can be found here:

      • How about drivers just don’t make any right turns at all? Three lefts make a right!

      • That link is very helpful — thanks.
        I think the reason that cars turn across bicycle lanes is that most drivers think “That’s a bicycle lane. I am specifically NOT supposed to be in that lane.”

        • Exactly. I think I’d rather NOT have cars merging into the bike lane while I’m biking on it!

        • And it’s a solid line, which we as drivers have all been programmed to not cross.

          • Plus a car is (obviously) too big to completely fit in the bicycle lane, so it doesn’t occur to drivers that they should merge so that they’re occupying part of the traffic lane and all of the bicycle lane.

        • ‘most drivers think β€œThat’s a bicycle lane. I am specifically NOT supposed to be in that lane.” ‘
          “And it’s a solid line, which we as drivers have all been programmed to not cross.”

          HA!!! tell that to all the drivers who park in the bike lane! I swerved around at least 4 on my commute this morning! πŸ˜› Those cars didn’t seem to have any problem getting into the bike lane when it was convenient for them. And special thanks to the driver who laid on his horn this morning when i swerved out of the bike lane to avoid a parked car, and then slowed down next to me, rolled his window down, and cursed me out. perhaps next time, reserve some of that aggro for the car that was blocking my lane!

          in all seriousness, though i do get that drivers don’t really understand what the heck to do with bike lanes. yes, they are narrower, so their first thought might not be “man, i should really merge into this bike lane in order to turn right” but it is the law, and it’s the driver’s responsibility to know the law. There are these funny colored lights all over intersections that change color, and not knowing that red means stop isn’t an excuse for blowing through a light. if you want to operate a two ton piece of metal, i think drivers should take it upon themselves to actually learn the rules and regulations of operating said vehicle.

          • Not trying to start a war or anything but do you practice what you preach and stop and every stop sign, stop at every red light, wait in line at said red lights? Or do you go through stop signs and red lights without stopping because you deem the coast to be clear and go past stopped cars in line to get ahead in line when there is no bike lane?

            Not trying to be an ass but your “funny colored lights” comment made me curious.

          • Thanks for the constructive addition to the argument, Kam. No “bicycle rider” on PoP has ever been accused of not stopping at stop signs before and its extremely helpful to our understanding of the issue!

          • ^^^Not quite sure how to take your comment. Anyway, I simply brought it up based on her comment about lights and laws and the tone of it.

          • Kam, my comment about the “funny colored lights” was meant to be facetious — there are some rules that are more well known than others, but that doesn’t mean we get to use ignorance as a defense, or pick and choose the rules we follow.

            But to answer your question, yes, I do actually stop at every light except one — there is a light on my commute to work for the firehouse that is NOT at in intersection. It is in the middle of the street, and sometimes it’s red. If there is no fire truck coming out of the fire house, I will full admit to running the light (more like an idaho stop, because I usually at least slow down significantly to make sure there is no fire truck). other than that, I do stop at every stop sign and traffic light. I ride a fixie, so generally will track stand to a full stop at intersections, so i don’t have to bother putting my foot down but it is a full, legal stop.

            in regards to going past stopped cars in a line when there is no bike lane, yes i do this, and yes it’s another common misconception that this is illegal. it is actually perfectly legal in the district. You may or may not agree as to how safe this is, but there is NO ambiguity as to is legality:

            Section 1201.3(b) of DCMR states: β€œA 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…”

            “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 is true whether there is or is no bike lane. There is no law mandating that cyclists use bike lanes, we are afforded the same rights as cars (and are thus obligated to follow the same rules) and are allowed to use ANY legal lane of traffic. The bike lanes are create to acknowledge that cyclists are vulnerable roadway users, but we are not legally limited to them.

          • Jersey Girl,

            Thanks for the composed and informative response. I just learned something. I was under the impression that bikes had to follow the same rules as cars, I did not know that it was legal for them to pass all the cars up in line to get ahead. It is still highly annoying though ; )

            The Idaho stop is a new one for me, I have heard of a jersey roll but not a Idaho stop.

            And thank you on behalf of all drivers for following the rules of the road as well as the level headed exchange.

            Peace and be safe out there.

          • well, the idaho stop is illegal in the district, so it’s probably a good thing that you’re not familiar with it! πŸ™‚

            i do get a secret chuckle out of passing lines of cars idling at a stop light when i’m on my bike, especially downtown during rush hour, i can frequently make it home much faster on my bike because i’m allowed to split lanes. i don’t do it all the time, though because sometimes it’s just not safe.

      • I understand that but isn’t always the case or real world. In theory that works but often times there is ample space be it a bus stop or whatever before the intersection that the biker can use to go around even if you are in the bike lane. Plus the bike lane doesn’t extend through the intersection right? Like I said, the car was in the process of staring to turn already which puts them in the intersection beyond the bike lane and the biker comes from behind through the open area of the intersection/ perpendicular street and goes to the right of the car. The biker doesn’t stop because s/he presumes they have the right of way but the car was already there. This is why I am confused.

        • gotryit

          Why do you say that bike lanes don’t extend through the intersection? Don’t car lanes extend through the intersection even though there isn’t paint in the intersection?

          • Touche’, fair enough. To me those are areas where the process is taking place and what is going to happen should already be established. If I am in the intersection making a left turn, a car should not come from behind and then get in front of me to make a left turn…so if I am in the intersection making a right turn, I would think a bike should not come on the side of me to go past me. I would think they should or would slow down until my turn is made, not try and blow by me in the intersection.

        • if the car was in the process of turning, but wasn’t in the right-most lane it doesn’t matter how far into the intersection you were. the rule is “TURN FROM THE CURB” — this rule holds no matter if you are 5 feet in front of the intersection, or 5 feet into the intersection. you must be as close as possible to the curb when making a turn (unless you are in a dedicated turning lane, and there are two next to each other).

          If you were already in the intersection and had NOT merged into the bike lane, you have already created an illegal and dangerous (albeit, very common) situation. legally, you should never be in a position where you are already in the intersection, and not as close to the curb as possible.

          i agree that awareness of this rule is extremely low (see comments and incorrect answers to your question above — half the people chiming in don’t know the rule) and that practically speaking when i ride, i ride with the expectation that drivers are going to violate this rule. in response to your comment about bus stops — they are often the most dangerous place for a cyclist to be, because WMATA bus drivers are awful, and seem to have no qualms about taking a cyclist out. plus, there are frequently pedestrians/bus riders milling around at bus stops who may (very) often enter the roadway.

        • If you merged into the bike lane to start your turn without cutting off the biker, you were in the right and the biker was in the wrong (and stupid). Bike lanes do continue through the intersection, just like car lanes do, even though they are not striped.

    • gotryit

      After all this, I should also mention that if you do start doing things the correct way (merge first, then turn), you’ll still get about 5% of bikers (the real a-holes) that give you crap for it. Please ignore those a-holes, as the correct way is safer for us and the right legal thing to do.

      • Duly noted my friend.

        Have a good weekend and be safe out there.

        • Ditto.
          I didn’t know until now that I was supposed to merge into the bike lane before turning. Most of the streets I drive on don’t have bike lanes, but I’ll aim to do this on the ones that do.
          Jerseygirl, I don’t know if it makes you feel any better, but I would NEVER, EVER park in a bike lane. And I have a feeling that the drivers who do that are being jerks to other drivers too, not just to bicyclists — changing lanes without signaling, speeding well above the posted limit, weaving back and forth, double-parking and blocking people in, etc., etc. (Not that being an equal-opportunity jerk makes being a jerk OK.)
          I try to be super-careful around bicyclists, especially in a situation where I’m preparing to make a right turn and a bicyclist is behind me. I don’t want them or anyone else to get hurt.

          • Thanks! I appreciate that there are conscientious drivers out there. I just get very frustrated at drivers who yell honk or curse me out when I exit a bike lane because another car is in the way. I drive as well and am familiar with the fact the assholes come with any number of wheels, from zero, two, or four.

          • Wow – this was about 45 inches to scroll down to skip!

  • Rant: I feel like my boss is gas lighting me. What can I do? I sound like a crazy person when I talk about it, which is the maddening thing about gas lighting!

  • rave: helping my brother out by selling his delicious homemade macaroons tomorrow at the District Flea (if they last till the morning in my fridge!!)
    rant: can’t sleep in tomorrow — set up starts super early πŸ™

  • I never thought falling out of love with someone could be so painful.

Comments are closed.