ATVs Spotted at North Capitol and New York Ave, NW


“Dear PoPville,

Yesterday when I was at the intersection of North Capitol and New York Ave NW I saw 2 ATV’s driving down the sidewalk. Are these legal in DC??”

I don’t believe they are legal (unless registered with a motorcycle license maybe?) but def. not uncommon either – we last heard about them on H Street, NE in February. Though normally they’re on the streets and not the sidewalks.

66 Comment

  • 12 O’Clock Boys don’t care.
    12 O’Clock Boys don’t give a s**t!!

  • The answer is right on the DMV website

    • I don’t know about ATVs, but it is definitely illegal for boys to wear white tank tops and their mama’s pantyhose on their head. Seriously, what year is it, 1995??

  • GTFO. Seriously, dudes, you’re one of the reasons we can’t have nice things.

  • deff not legal
    regardless of licensing they dont have the proper safety stuff (turn/head/ tail lights… etc.) to be streret legal
    best thing to do as a biker, driver, or pedestrian is be as predictable as possible as they are passing you in order to avoid a crash

  • brookland_rez

    Summertime in DC. Kids on ATV’s and dirtbikes. No they’re not legal. Police aren’t supposed to chase. Sometimes they do. Spend some time in NE or SE, you’ll see them on Suitland Parkway, etc.

    • pretty much
      and there isnt much that can be done realistically

    • +1. They’d have to either clothesline or shoot these kids to stop them, and they’re not going to do this until one of them kills somebody with an ATV.

    • I saw a few of them getting chased by a few cops south on 13th last week. Going pretty fast, they split and went both ways around Logan Circle. If I hadn’t stopped (had a green light) I would have gotten clocked on my bike at Q.

  • they see me rollin’
    they hatin’
    patrollin’ they tryin’ to catch me riding dirty

  • Gotta a 1/4 tank of gas
    In my new ES class
    But that’s alright
    ‘Cause I’m gonna ride [down the sidewalk]

  • I saw one speeding down 13th St followed by a bunch of cops probably two or three nights ago. He was also riding in the wrong lane to try to get away from the cops. Super safe!

    • This is why I seriously just want to start a neighborhood watch, drunken vigilante posse. We could easily stop crimes like these. Crime will go down instead of random doorknob beatings.

      • lol
        so exact6ly how you and a group of your neighbors stop a band of teens on their dirtbikes and atv’s (without doing things that would have all of you arrrested of course)?

        you have my attention…

        • Could do it the same way the hoodlums on Monroe st steal bikes from unsuspecting riders down that block: Put up chest-high wire to knock them off their rides.

          • The only problem is that if it’s thin enough to avoid being seen, you run the risk of decapitating them.

        • brookland_rez

          In other cities, they’ve gotten them when they’re stopped getting gas, etc. They do have to go home back to SE and PG county sometime…. Of course there might be some jurisdiction issues, DC police can’t go to PG and arrest them I don’t think.

  • Two little fu*kers rode dirt bikes up the sidewalk on Lincoln Road yesterday at about 7:00 pm. They were probably going 30-40 miles an hour, past the Harry Thomas Rec Center, ON THE SIDEWALK. This is ridiculous and the police need to figure out a way to address the problem.

  • That’s always such a fun intersection.

  • Don’t these people ever work?

      • the clowns pictured illegally riding their atv’s down a busy city street/sidewalk… dont be so clueless Justin.

        • justinbc

          Based on the photo provided I’m not sure how you would draw the assumption that those specific “clowns” do not work. It would require a lot more knowledge about the person(s) in question.

          • +1. If the person said, “I took this photo at 2 p.m.,” one could conclude that the people pictured didn’t have daytime jobs, and perhaps speculate as to whether they were employed at all. But we don’t even know what time the photo was taken.

          • I took the photo. It was 5:30pm and they looked like high school students to me

        • What? That’s a really stupid thing to say, considering you know absolutely nothing about “these people” aside from the write-up and picture above.

        • Do they work for metro? Nursing student? Security guard? I know what you meant, but sadly…you were wrong.

      • Really Justin?

    • “Don’t you people have homes?” – Judge Smails

  • These brats are going to kill someone some day, at which point there will be much outrage and the city will finally put a stop to it. To those who say that you can’t stop a bunch of kids on ATVs, I call BS. I’ve lived in a lot of cities where this does not happen, and it’s not because the youth there are better behaved.

    • justinbc

      “at which point there will be much outrage and the city will finally put a stop to it”
      I envy your optimism, but I don’t think you live in the same city I do.

    • See my comment, above, about the jury I was on.

    • Believe me, John Q Public, there is nothing that every red blooded MPD officer would love to do than chase these kids until they ran out of gas. Seriously. However, here’s what happens. I and some of my colleagues chase this youth on his ATV down Rhode Island. In order to evade our excellent skills, he takes his four wheeled death machine onto the sidewalk, and runs over 2 women pushing strollers with newborns and a group of nuns visiting from Michigan before wiping out. He’s in a coma, and we’ve got a dead nun and grieving mother. And they sue the city for 180 million dollars, including the kid’s parents who lost their “angel” .

      Can I lock in your contribution right now to offset that legal settlement, which will be a lot of money?

      • Hey MPD, first, I wish it was easier for you guys. I have to ask though, why not use helicopters? That’s what the LAPD have been using for car chases for a long time. Even the dumbest DC kid knows that he can’t outrun one.

        • riiiiiiiiight.

          Maybe instead of contributing to that legal settlement fund, you would like to contribute to the purchase, maintenance, staff, and fuel for some multi-million-dollar helicopters. Make sure to get one equipped with those cool ropes that army men can slide down just in time to save the day.

        • 1st attempt at nay-saying helicopters was moderator-killed. I’ll say it more simply: helicopters are expensive.

      • Oh right, so instead of doing anything whatsoever about this problem, you guys pull over and ticket professional commuters on 20-lb bicycles, for rolling through stop signs in the bike lane. Keep up the good work!

  • I personally don’t mind it. The sight of it is wild but I stay at a cautious distance. Justin Bieber is doing the exact same shit, just at another socioeconomic level and he gets away with it. This is part of the definition of summer fun around here. It’s been going on forever and probably will. It’s kids being kids.

    • Actually he’s been arrested multiple times.

    • Actually, you’re wrong. Just “kids” don’t act like that. Kids who’s mothers are kids, and who’s grandmothers were kids when they had them act like that.

  • While not popular, some things are a part of inner-city culture. In DC we have always rode dirtbikes and ATVs. Always. Now I agree that the sidewalk is a bit much, and given the increased population the city is facing…things should be altered. But how about an organized league (X-games-esque)? Perhaps some educational outreach about the safety issues/risks?

    • We should form and X-games for kids who illegally ride their ATV on the street because they have always done it?Amazing logic.

    • brookland_rez

      If the city builds skateparks and dog parks, why not build a place for them to ride? Of course, I’m sure a lot of them like the thrill of open rebellion. There’s plenty of space over in SE to build something.

      • A moto-X park in DC would be fantastic — I would use it and I’m probably 20 years older than these guys. That being said, it is highly unlikely to ever happen.

      • Building a dog park or a skate park is not rewarding illegal behavior.

        How do you think that most people who currently illegally ride in DC would get to this “place to ride”? Ride illegally through the streets? Do you think any of them have a trailer?

        • Yeah, there are vans/trailers we use to take the ATV’s to the tracks in MD/VA from time to time. So if there were a park in DC….kids would just go there. ZipVan has been useful for the kids/families near me.

        • brookland_rez

          It’s not rewarding illegal behavior. It’s giving people a proper outlet to enjoy their hobby. Similar to how DPR builds skateparks to encourage kids to not (illegally) grind the ledges of the courthouse and public buildings.

  • I have seen a HUGE posse of these idiots driving down one way streets (the wrong way), down 14th st taking up both lanes, U st, etc. They really need to be arrested and their dirt bikes impounded and crushed (Philly did this a couple years ago for drag races).

    Where do they even store these things!?! Regardless — I need to procure some road spikes — its all fun and games until you slide on the sidewalk with you tank top and shorts.

  • justinbc

    You forgot to shout “THANKS OBAMA!”

  • these are very different than cars
    yes they shouldnt do it for numerous reasons but they do and its a very hard thing to effectively stop without putting EVERYONE in more danger
    where do they store them??? lol what type of question is that?
    im sure at their homes or homes of friends etc…

  • I saw a sizable group of ATVs and dirt bikes around 9th and U NW not too long ago, and they were riding in the middle of the street. They smiled and waved and popped wheelies. Like people in a parade, except no street closure and no permits. Traffic in the area was light. It was around 9:30 pm on a weeknight. No police seemingly around. I found it odd and a little surreal, but I knew about these rides in and around DC. Is there not a safe place somewhat nearby for these young guys to have fun and avoid potential trouble with cars and pedestrians?

    • Nearest place is 1.5-2 hours away in either WV, southern MD or PA and cost about $50 a day to use and requires all proper safety equipment (boots, helmets, riding pants and gloves, and long sleeves), so I doubt they’re heading there any time soon. I also don’t see how it’s much fun to ride ATVs/dirtbikes down the street — if you’re going to go illegal, might as well rip it through a good size park…lots of trails in RCP.

  • Ive seen a train of 7-10 of these lately on both 11th and 14th during the daytime doing wheelies, speeding, and generally trying really hard to look cool. Dunno where they come from, but I keep my iPhone ready just waiting for one fall off the back like an idiot.

  • MPD won’t do anything about this until they kill a few bystanders. Best thing for a DC resident to do is to buy a Katana (my wife’s biased towards a Louisville slugger) and stand your ground.

  • I saw a large group of them a few weeks ago near the Convention Center. They blew through a red light turning onto 7th street. One of the kids poppped a wheelie and nearly dumped his passenger head-first on the pavement behind them. I hope they’ve since invested in helmets, but I doubt it.

  • This isn’t anything new and there’s very little the cops can do about it (aside from, as previously mentioned, chase them until they run out of gas) because they can just ride on the sidewalk to get away. Just wait til one of these morons gets hit by a car or something worse happens. Until then, just get out of their way. I know that’s not the perfect-world response you want, but it’s reality.

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