Cyclists being ticketed for going wrong way on One Way Street the past couple mornings

Photo by PoPville flickr user nevermindtheend

A reader reports:

“Just wanted to pass along a heads up that for the last two mornings, cops have been ticketing bikers heading westbound on M Street NW between 9th and 10th (the block next to the Convention Center). A portion of the block – between the corner of 9th and M and Blagden Alley – is one-way heading eastbound only, so they are ticking westbound bikers right by the Alley, coming down the street against traffic. They seem to only be ticketing bikers on the street, not on the sidewalk.”

141 Comment

  • I’ve almost been hit by bikers going the wrong way. I’m not going to look for bikers the other way on a one way (except I st, etc where it is clearly 2 way for bikes). I’m all for it.

  • This happens on 15th ST NE every morning. I wondered what would happen if a cyclist was riding in the lanes in the right direction with someone coming up the wrong direction and a full side street of morning (and school) traffic filling the street.

  • Good. As a biker, this drives me nuts when other bikers go the wrong way down one-way streets or the bike lane.

  • ohhh so THAT’s why there were a few bike cops. Also saw a cop on a motorcycle pull a guy in a car over, and he turned UP 10th St at M so he was the wrong way on the one way street. very odd.

  • Also, it’s ALWAYS smart to look both ways before you cross a street – you never know what could be coming. Basic street smarts – it takes you one second and could save a life

    • This is so true! I live near two one way streets and often (at least monthly) see someone driving the wrong way down one of the streets.

      • That seems excess. Maybe they should put up more signs esp. those wrong way signs you see on the highway.

      • Only in DC. I never see this idiocy anywhere else on such a regular basis.

      • I can’t tell you the number of cars I’ve seen turn right off Lanier to go up on Harvard, which is most definitely one way in the other direction. So f***ing dangerous.

        • I like when they go backwards up Harvard from the split near 18th. My car is facing the right direction so how can it be wrong???

          • I saw a driver do that on Rock Creek Church Road (just east of GA). He turned east so the car was facing the right direction, shifted into reverse and gunned the engine.

    • So the onus is on me the ped crossing the one way street not the biker or car to follow the traffic laws? Sounds like victim blaming to me.

      • You say victim blaming, I say do everything you can to avoid a trip to the hospital. People drive like morons in the DMV. It’s not worth “being in the right” if I’m pinned under a truck.

        • I think it would be relatively easy to hear a car coming the opposite way. It’s much harder to hear a bike. I’ve never seen a car go down a one way though I’m sure it happens.

          • happens ALL THE TIME. I see it pretty regularly on 17th street in the mornings, when it’s one way southbound. Always some idiot fails to read the sign and turns to go north. Although my personal favorite was when I was driving on 6th street SE on Capitol Hill, which is a one lane one way street at all times. Some idiot was driving the wrong way and had the nerve to honk and scream at me for blocking his way. Um, okay buddy.

          • 14th and N NW. All the time.

          • Unless it’s a Prius…

          • Or unless you have poor hearing. Or are wearing headphones. Or are distracted by something like children or a dog.

      • Wouldn’t call it victim blaming just basic parenting. You were never told to look both ways before you cross a street? It still amazes when I see pedestrians walking (head down, headphones on, basically lollygagging across the street) against the light at major intersections. Pedestrians do not trump cars or bikes, but they are the ones most damaged if hit by either, basic self defense is turning your head both ways prior to stepping off the curb.

        • I’ve been hit by a car on the sidewalk no less and walked away with basically no injuries, so I can assure you my self-defense skills are well above par (had I been lollygagging, I’d probably have lost my leg).

          • Sorry you got hit on the sidewalk. But we’re talking about folks crossing the street… You referenced victim blaming when someone advised looking both ways. You see how there two separate issues? Sidewalk vs Major Intersection?

      • It isn’t about blame. It is about survival in an unpredictable world.

      • or you could accept reality as it is, which includes people biking and driving poorly, and protect yourself accordingly.

        • nahh much easier to blame everyone else for anything that happens to you. Note to everyone else – pause at traffic circles because folks FLY though the red lights there

      • That’s a really sound argument to make when you’re in the ER because YOU WERE RIGHT.

        • It’s a pretty big deal. Unless you’re dead, being right matters if you’re going to be disabled for the rest of your life. Being able to collect is crucial.

      • There’s no onus on you to do anything – I honestly don’t care. When when I, personally, drive or walk, I ALWAYS look both ways. It’s not about victim blaming, it’s about not getting hurt or being in an accident. I also don’t cross right away when a light turns green – I’ve been almost hit walking in the cross walk at Logan and now I just wait and see if people aren’t going to stop. Like OP anon said, being right isn’t worth being injured or worse. And as someone who HAS been hit by a bike, it’s not always that easy.

    • +1
      It’s also a good idea to look before walking at signalized intersections when you get a walk signal to make sure no one is running the red light. Especially downtown.

  • A friend of mine – who is in DC for his wife’s experimental medical treatment at Georgetown MedStar – got a JAYWALKING ticket yesterday afternoon on New Hampshire, just south of Dupont Circle. He was in the crosswalk and crossed against the red light, after it was abundantly clear that there were no car approaching from either direction. He said the cop ticketed 3 other people who crossed at the same time.
    Be careful folks. It’s the end of the month and MPD needs to make it’s quota.

    • Hmmm so cars have to stop for peds in crosswalks, but those folks could still be ticketed for jaywalking. That’s interesting.

      • I think you missed the part about it being a signaled intersection. Cars do not have to stop for pedestrians illegally crossing on red.

        That being said, I can think of far, far better uses for our police resources.

        • You’re right on both counts.

        • Drivers can legally run over someone jaywalking a signaled intersection? Sweet!

        • “Cars do not have to stop for pedestrians illegally crossing on red.”
          Of course they do. Or are you suggesting that drivers should just mow down jaywalkers?

          • If they hit a pedestrian who’s crossing against the light, I believe they’re considered “not responsible” for it.
            Obviously most sane drivers don’t want to hit pedestrians, though, so most people will slow/stop.

      • If it’s a signaled intersection/crossing then everyone’s supposed to follow the signals. Pretty straightforward.

    • This is not uncommon. However, if there IS a quota, I would be surprised if it’s financially motivated. Jaywalking tickets are not steep. More likely would be that MPD and the mayor’s office have gotten complaints from out-of-town commuters about how unfair it is that they get speeding tickets, but cyclists & pedestrians never get in trouble, and blah blah blah. So they crank up enforcement in hotspots where they can get reliable results, and voila! They have an end-of-month report to point to when MD/VA visitors start sobbing about paying a ticket for going 20mph over the limit in a neighborhood.

      • I just find it ironic that my buddy got ticketed for this after taking an abundance of caution to ensure no cars were coming. Meanwhile we have many individuals haphazardly stumbling out into busy traffic mid-block on H Street NE without a whit of regard for their personal safety.

        • This is the kind of bs they shouldn’t ticket. I get targeting pedestrians and cyclists occasionally, but target the kind of behavior that’s actually dangerous (like salmoning). Pedestrians who engage in similarly dangerous behavior (running in the bike lane on the wrong side of the street) could be targeted too.

          • Anonomnom

            100% agree on the pedestrians running in the bike lane. That drives me crazy (as does salmoning, and bikers who don’t stop at stop signs when there are cars waiting, but I digress). All it takes to make everyone angry at everyone is someone jogging in the bike lane. I have to pull into traffic, grumbling at the jogger, and then slow down a car behind me, who is surely grumbling at me. And the exact same scenario occurs with salmoning. Everything flows so much smoother when people stay in their respective places.

        • Bladensburg Rd. NE is the worst for this, just off the Starburst. I’ve never seen so many jaywalkers.

      • I seriously doubt jaywalking tickets are being handed out because commuters are complaining. This city does all it can to make life miserable for anyone who drives in the city. The issue of pedestrian safety is huge, and the new Mayor has set a goal of reducing pedestrian deaths to 0:
        So, it’s more likely your friend was ticketed because the city wants to reduce jaywalking as one step toward keeping pedestrians safe.

        • If this is true it’s insane. Reducing pedestrian fatalities needs to focus on driver safety.

        • I’m skeptical that it is connected with the Vision Zero. So far Bowser has announced that DC will be committing to it, but hasn’t announced or implemented anything beyond that. When other cities/countries implement Vision Zero, they will publish their strategy before executing it. Also, it should be noted that the city certainly does not do all it can to make life miserable for motorists. Unless “all it can” is to write parking tickets. I’ve been told there are lots of parking tickets. Not much inconvenience beyond that, as far as I’m aware.

          • MPD does not have quotas. The Chief states often to the public and the troops that measuring success on the volume of arrests or tickets doesn’t help the city or its residents. But officers would certainly be prompted, and appropriately so, to do something proactive — maybe in this case to focus on safety in the roads. MPD also has zero interest in revenue. The Department’s budget has no incentives tied to enforcement, which is, again, appropriate.

          • Never said it was a Vision Zero initiative, just said the ticketing is more likely connected to pedestrian safety than some spurious outrage about “suburban commuters” complaining to the mayor. There are more than ample postings on here about how unresponsive MPD is to DC’s own citizens. To imagine that Maryland and Virginia drivers somehow have a hotline to Bowser and Lanier when complaining about Dupont Circle jaywalking is laughable.

    • The city has for years ticketed jaywalkers around town at intersections where it is common.

      It’s illegal. Don’t do it. Why is that hard to figure out? That no one was coming is irrelevant.

      • ah

        It would be a lot easier to defend/justify the ticketing if the cops would do it at intersections where the jaywalkers are actually impeding traffic. It shouldn’t be too hard to find those – plenty of places where people don’t bother to wait, and then slow traffic even further.

        And I can say the same thing for any offense – e.g., better to ticket red light runners (or stop sign rollers) at high traffic intersections than some oddball light (stop sign) on the edge of DC with no traffic).

      • Just because something is illegal doesn’t make it wrong. If no one is coming, you should be permitted to walk.

    • Yesterday evening in Dupont Circle I watched two people jaywalk between two police cars. That’s chutzpah, but it worked, none of the police officers even raised an eyebrow.

    • Amusing how the police have time for this but don’t do anything about dangerous driving.

  • Yes! THIS !!!

  • Now if they could ticket the folks who jog in the bike lane.

    • i actually think this should be socially acceptable, but don’t know what the laws on the books are.

      • Are you serious? I cannot think of a more annoying and dangerous behavior. Joggers in the bike lane are the worst.

        • west_egg

          Now you understand how drivers feel when they have to follow a cyclist up Rock Creek Parkway.

          • + 1000. Or Beech Drive at rush hour

          • There is a good reason it’s not legal to run in the bike lane. It’s not simply a matter of the a cyclist getting annoyed by having to slow down if a runner is in it; the cyclist will typically swerve left out of the bike lane and possibly in front of a car whose driver is not expecting it.

          • False equivalence. You should have said: “Now you understand how drivers feel when they have to follow a cyclist when there is a bike lane.” Runner is to sidewalk as cyclist is to bike lane.

          • As a runner and biker on Rock Creek, I will likely never bike on that path anymore. It’s narrow, crowded with runners and it’s in such bad shape. I rather take my chances with the drivers who are all going WAY over 35mph.

        • I can think of something more dangerous and annoying…bikers running stop signs and red lights. Potential to kill themselves, injure pedestrians, and ruin a driver’s day. Transportation chaos triple crown!!!

  • Are they still ticketing for biking on the sidewalks? Not everybody is a professional biker, feeling comfortable with riding bikes in the lanes with cars.

    • They do in the business district, but it is ok to ride on the sidewalk everywhere else. The biz district has a fair amount of bike lanes though.

    • If you aren’t comfortable riding in the street, you shouldn’t be riding in the city at all. Sidewalks are for pedestrians. Slow, unpredictable pedestrians. Keep your bike off ’em. Or if it’s a matter of getting from one area you’re comfortable to another area, then get off and walk it. SideWALK.

      • Generally I agree but there are some areas where the roads are so un-bike friendly that it’s so dangerous, and the areas I’m thinking about don’t have that many pedestrians. So I don’t feel bad riding on the sidewalk a few blocks to avoid near death. I don’t really think NOT biking at all is a great solutions. Howabout more bike lines and safer roads for biking…

        • Sure, I’ll vote to make the infrastructure more bike friendly. I’m all for it. But when bike lanes (or biking ability) are lacking, you don’t get to take over someone else’s space and make it less safe for them just because it’s convenient for you. If you’re on a sidewalk, you should be walking.

        • where, in particular, do you think sidewalks are appropriate? We should always be in the street.

          • A. heading nw on Maine avenue from 7th to the crossing to the fish market. Sure you can take the lane on Maine, but its pretty uncomfortable for newb and semi newb cyclists, and making a vehicular left is playing Russian roulette. Trying to get to the sidewalk from the right lane to make a copenhagen left is not easy either. Riding slowly and carefully on the sidewalk is a good option for some and of course completely legal. Note that at some times of day and year there are very few pedestrians there.

            B. From the fishmarket up toward the Jefferson. In that case the sidewalk is signed as the “Anacostia Riverwalk Trail” There is no alternative westbound,. It is possible to take the lane east bound, but again very uncomfortable for most riders.

          • The other instances, relevant to this article, are where a one way street makes it impossible to bike to one’s destination in the road. One can walk the bike on the sidewalk, but if there are no pedestrians, that is not necessary.

          • Well the Maine Ave examples is easy to dispense with: Why on earth are you riding on Maine Ave in the first place? SW/the fish market is terrible and there’s no reason to go there. If you think otherwise I suspect you will already be impossible to reason with. The only reason to go would be Cantina Marina, in which case just take 7th Street.
            Riding under half a block on the sidewalk to get to your destination is okay of there are no pedestrians.

          • because I work in the Navy Yard area and live in (prepare to be shocked) Virginia and I need to bike from the Eye Street Bike Lanes to the 14th Street Bridge. (and no, I don’t like the Case Bridge route)

            There are commuters from Va, and from Md and upper NW (coming down from the CCT) who work in SW or SE who go that way – its actually pretty busy at both rush hours. We used to mostly all take Water Street, but that is gone during construction of The Wharf. Some folks take the Case Bridge, some ride in the lanes on Maine (easier EB than WB, and easier in the AM than the PM) and a bunch use the sidewalk.

            I suppose some have bagged it and now drive or take metro.

          • cyclist, I ride Maine because I live and Southwest and want to ride my bike to Hains Point.

          • I ride on the sidewalk for a few blocks along N Capitol and sometimes along Florida Ave. Drivers always seem in a rush and I get extremely nervous hearing an engine roar behind me. (I was rear ended by an SUV a few years ago while I was on Florida Ave.) I don’t prefer to ride on the sidewalk (and when I do, I ride at a pedestrian pace), but will when my safety demands it.

          • The sidewalk on Irving that circles around Wash Hospital Cntr.
            The bike route sign specifies “sidewalk”.

        • Gotta agree with this. Parts of Wisconsin and Connecticut Ave come to mind. Despite the lack of bike lanes, very aggressive drivers, potholes, parked cars, parked delivery trucks, etc, I stay in the street 95% of the time. But I certainly don’t fault newer riders or parents riding with small children for using the sidewalks, especially since they usually aren’t that crowded.

          Just because it’s called a side”walk” doesn’t mean pedestrians on foot have more of a right to be there than cyclists. It’s legal (except downtown), and often times safer. As long as you obey the rules and are courteous to those on foot, I have no problem with it.

      • Thank you for your reply.

      • +1 WDC. I see it all the time. Bikers on sidewalks creeping up to pedestrians, ringing their bells for them to get out of the way. Usually the pedestrian is startled and almost runs into the biker.

        • This is why bells are a bad idea, despite laws direct cyclists to install and use them. The noise can trigger unpredictable movements by walkers and create dangerous situations that wouldn’t otherwise occur. Verbal communication is better (on your left, heads up, excuse me you are blocking the path, and so forth). Of course I’m talking about on the multi use path (MUP) and not the sidewalk (SIDEWALK) where the cyclist and pedestrian aren’t supposed to coexist.

    • i’d be willing to bet almost no one who bikes in dc is a professional biker. if i were you i’d start off on easy streets like 15th or others protected bike lines (Penn, L and M), and then on to slower streets like Q or R where you’re mixed in with traffic. end with the 14th street bridge onto 395, and you’ve fully graduated into urban cycling. (obviously joking about the last part, but i have seen a poor tourist on bikeshare on that bridge before.)

      • IMO the L and M street bike lanes are no place for a novice rider; you have to be really aware of what is happening all around you because of all the points where cars can enter (turn lanes, driveways), trucks parking in them, pedestrians walking in them, etc. In some respects they’re worse than having no cycling infrastructure at all.

    • A safe way to remember it is most everywhere south of Mass Ave in NW is no biking on sidewalks, and most everything north of it is legal for bikes on sidewalks.

      That said, whenever humanly possible, just say off the sidewalks. Years ago I was taking a legal right on red in my car and a biker flying down the sidewalk slammed into my car as I turned. It scared the crap out of me and while totally his fault, I of course felt like it was mine because I was in a car. I’m thankful he was fine, though his bike was thrashed.

      • If you’re turning right on red you have to yield to all traffic. I don’t see why you think it was his fault.

        • west_egg

          It’s not clear from Truxtoner’s description which direction the cyclist was travelling, but if s/he was headed the same direction as Truxtoner and rode into the intersection against the red light, then it would be the cyclist who was breaking the law.

      • I hate bikers on the sidewalk as much as the next guy. But this seems like it was pretty clearly your fault.

        • How so? The cyclist ran the red light. The driver had stopped, and was making a legal turn. If the cyclist had stopped, there’s no way he could have slammed into the car and wrecked his bike. Red lights apply to bikes, too.

          • The cyclist could have had the pedestrian signal to cross, or was making a right turn as well. There’s not really enough info for us to pass blame either way. However, with anonymous internet comments, everyone’s gonna tell the story how they want it anyway.

          • It makes me nuts when driving and turning when a sidewalk cyclist or a sidewalk jogger runs into the street without looking. Yes, they may have the light, but I can see pedestrians walking and yield to them – but bikers or joggers moving faster than pedestrians really should stop (or at least slow up considerably) and LOOK before moving into a crosswalk at speed, because drivers often can’t see them coming until they are really quickly and suddenly in the street. I would do it as a matter of my own safety when biking or running.

  • 9th and M is north of Mass Ave, so riding on the sidewalk is legal there. Kinda funny that the way to avoid a breaking the law there is to jump up to the sidewalk for less than a block.

    If memory serves, cyclists can also technically avoid violating DUI laws in DC by riding on the sidewalk. Something to do with how the statute targets “operating a vehicle on the highway”, and a sidewalk is not legally a highway. Not that I’d advise riding on the sidewalk or riding drunk.

    • It makes sense to me. Sidewalks are 2 way, so yea bikes can ride in the “wrong” direction on one.

  • I’m all for this! I can’t stand salmon. If for some reason I need to go the wrong way up a one-way street, I just take the sidewalk. I absolutely never do the salmon thing- it’s just sheer laziness/recklessness. And speaking of other annoyances in biking: today I was coming to a stop sign at a four way intersection, but a fast road biker all in spandex with a long beard just whizzed right on through. RRRrrrr!

    • really? i salmon all the time for the last half block. i didn’t realize people get that worked up about it. what’s the problem?

      • ah

        Salmon die when they reach the head of the river.

      • Because based on the law people assume (although most don’t anymore because its common enough) that you are going to stop. This has been particularly annoying as a pedestrian when I’ve almost been hit by bikers who assumed I would know that they weren’t going to stop at the stop sign.

    • ah

      It would be a lot easier to defend/justify the ticketing if the cops would do it at intersections where the jaywalkers are actually impeding traffic. It shouldn’t be too hard to find those – plenty of places where people don’t bother to wait, and then slow traffic even further.

      And I can say the same thing for any offense – e.g., better to ticket red light runners (or stop sign rollers) at high traffic intersections than some oddball light (stop sign) on the edge of DC with no traffic).

    • interesting. if i need to finish a trip by either salmoning and biking on the sidewalk, i choose salmoning every time. (yes, i get i could get off and walk, which i do in busy areas.) hope i never run into you.

      • That’s fine. But if I run into you and you’re illegally going the wrong way (salmoning) in the bike lane, you’re the one who is going to have to veer into oncoming traffic when we can’t both fit in the bike lane safely. I’m not risking my life to accommodate your laziness.

        • yeah, that’s generally how it works. but if it’s not busy, then no traffic, and no problems.

  • I’m OK with this but yesterday laughed when I saw a Segway officer without his helmet going the wrong way in the bike lane down 15th st on the hill. Right behind a girl on her bike going the wrong way as well.

    • I feel like riders who salmon down that hill haven’t really thought about what they’re doing. That’s a rather big intersection to go barreling into.

  • Good. (I’m a cyclist)

  • Thank god. Wrong way riding is idiotic and dangerous for everyone. Every time MPD decides to target cyclists they tend to do it for some bs that’s actually completely reasonable (slow rolling a stop sign or treating a red light like a stop sign). Public safety would be enhanced a lot more by, on the rare occassion they decide to target cyclists, targeting the behavior like this that’s actually dangerous.

    • If MPD really wanted to hit a ticketing bonanza, they’d sit at 11th and W Streets NW during the morning commute.

      • Or pretty much sit at any intersection and ticket bikers for not stopping at red lights or obeying any traffic laws at all really.

        • Yes, you could do that, but it would be a pointless a-hole move. The point of 90% of the commenters here is that this is good because it focuses on a common, yet dangerous way some cyclists disobey the law.
          Ticketing for the many ways cyclists technically disobey the law but cause a danger to no one just infuriates cyclists and helps nothing.

      • this is frustrating for me to see. Any time I commute to work, I ride that route and yield at the stop signs (IE slow down and give proper right of way, but not necessarily stop).

        I cannot imagine coming to a complete stop at those stop signs. Know why? Because of the DRIVERS on that stretch. They’re already frustrated at being behind a biker–despite the fact that it’s sharrowed and you have to stop at the next stop sign anyways–if they were stuck behind me having to get going after a dead stop, that would further encourage dangerous behavior..

        Almost every day I have cars, vans, trucks, speeding to pass me, rarely giving more than a foot of passing space. You better believe I’m going to get through that stretch of road as fast as I can to get away from the cars. If that means treating stop lights as four way stops and stop signs are yield signs, then so be it.

        • PLUS A MILLION to himainland. If it was safer to come to a complete stop coming down 11th I would absolutely do it (and I definitely do stop/yield to crosswise traffic). but it’s so narrow between Florida and R — I guarantee any drivers also going south on 11th would prefer me on my bike to be well out of their way as quickly as possible. and all I have to do is beat them to R street, where the lane widens and the bike lane picks back up. faster for me, faster for the cars, and much much safer for everyone.

        • +1000. Drivers complain about bicycles running stop signs then absolutely lose their minds when stuck behind a slow-accelerating bike that stopped at an intersection.

  • Also a cyclist but not aware whether there’s a bike lane where these cyclists are being ticketed. One thing that really baffles me is why a cyclist would ride the wrong way on a one way street *in the bike lane* where cyclists going to right way are most likely to be. If you’re going to ride the wrong way in the street on a bicycle, why not on the side without the bike lane opposite to your direction of travel? Obviously it’s better to just ride with traffic…

  • I think this is great. Now if we could only find a way to do the same for the dirt bike/ATV gangs that terrorize the streets/sidewalks that would be amazing!

  • Observing the growth in bicycle commuters on my route in to work along Rhode Island Ave and M Street NW over the past couple years (carpool with my wife), there is definitely less idiotic behavior and more maturity from the average bicyclist today than there was a couple of years ago. I used to see people doing crazy stuff like riding without helmets between cars on RIA (one time I saw a guy with a kid in a seat on his bike change lanes all the way from the right lane to a turn lane in moving traffic instead of waiting for a red light and crossing safely) and I see much less of that today.
    I am also seeing a ton of bicycle traffic in the correct bike lanes on M street – so much bicycle traffic that it has to be having an effect on the overall traffic situation by taking cars off the road. Car traffic seems lighter today than it was a couple years ago along this route. Good stuff.
    All that said, I’m glad to see the police enforcing traffic laws with bicycles – hopefully this will contribute to the continued improvement in bicycle behavior and the safety of everyone on the road. Someday hopefully we will have bicycle infrastructure equivalent to Amsterdam!

    • Agreed. I walk pretty much everywhere, and I kind of love seeing all the bike commuters, the majority of whom are behaving in legal, predictable ways. Sure, some jackhole runs a light and speeds by me in the crosswalk fast enough and close enough to ruffle my hair about once a week. And in CH, there’s often some waste of skin trying to ride on those congested sidewalks. But most of the commuters are great, and I applaud them.

      • Jaywalking pedestrians are a danger to cyclists too. For some reason pedestrians crossing against red lights don’t seem to care when I cyclist is coming. When they do this I, for one, ride as closely in front of them as possible in the hopes of discouraging said behavior in the future.

        • The reason pedestrians do not care, is because they realize cyclists are going slower, are lighter than cars, and are more maneuverable. Ergo, jaywalking in front of them is not all that dangerous.

          It would be wise if people claiming concern about “dangerous scofflaw cyclists” considered the same facts that jaywalking pedestrians do.

          • This is all true. It just seems common courtesy to get the hell out of the way when it’s not your right away.
            I jaywalk if there is no traffic coming and do the same on my bike. But if I realize someone is coming I get out of the intersection ASAP. Pedestrians plodding across an intersection who see a bike coming and just continue along their way are annoying.

          • Are you NUTS? not all that dangerous? A co-worker had two surgeries and months in a sling after a biker knocked her off the sidewalk into the gutter. I walk very slowly and with a cane and the last thing I can do is move out of anyone’s way. I don’t jaywalk and I expect bikers to use the street. When I lived on my bike in Eugene I wouldn’t have thought of using the sidewalk, you just didn’t do it.

  • When I’m on a bike, I try to always ride on the street, whether there’s a bike lane or not. However, I always hop onto the sidewalk for this half-block stretch on M St. NW. (Really, it’s like 50 feet.) If there was ever a place for contra-flow bike lane, this would be it! DDOT, are you listening?

  • The value of ticketing cyclists who are going the wrong way on a one way as an overall concept aside, doing it *here* is ridiculous and stupid. M Street is a two way street, except, for some crazy reason, this one stupid little 300 foot long half block stretch. I can certainly understand how anyone might want to just go through it anyway (if they even noticed it had randomly become one way in the first place) since it is an incredibly low-traffic block, and since you can see when you enter at 9th Street if there is any traffic coming before it becomes two way again in the middle of the block.
    That being said, this is one of the reasons I ride on the sidewalk. All sidewalks are two way traffic, so it is impossible to get this type of ticket if you’re up on the sidewalk instead of in the roadbed.

  • This used to be a two-way street for cars and only changed to one-way a few years ago. And it’s only one-way for a couple of blocks with two-way operation on either side. It makes sense as a biker to ride the wrong way for that short distance.

    • west_egg

      Really? I don’t recall this stretch being two-way in the recent past. It’s definitely one way on Google Street View as of September, 2007.

    • It’s a really bad idea to bike down one way roads. There have been way too many mornings where I’ve had a car to the right of me, a car behind me and a car parked to the left of me when a cyclist starts zipping down the road the wrong way straight at me, and all I can really do is honk and try to brake without getting rear-ended. Usually the cyclist swerves onto the sidewalk and cuts through the crowd of pedestrians. It’s noxious. Just go around the one way street, like cars do.

  • I’m against salmoning and everything it stands for. But choosing to target a block that is only one way for a portion of the block is lazy and raises questions about motive. Please restore my faith in the DC government by saying they have done this on multi-block one way sections, such as 17th. St. north of Mass Ave., or similar.

  • I will admit that I occasionally salmon, but only for half a block on my way home to make it easier to make a left hand turn. Where I’m coming from I can see if there are other cyclists coming towards me. If so I just hop on the sidewalk instead of riding in their path. I don’t think it’s good to make a habit out of it, but I think for a short distance, when it’s a route you travel frequently and know the light pattern and typical traffic pattern, it’s not the most offensive thing you can do as a cyclist.

  • Maybe someone should put up an “except bicycles” sign under the “do not enter” sign. There is one on 8th St NW because it is a designated bike route.

    And I have seen bike patrol officers run red lights and stop signs too. Law of physics always trumps law of man.

  • About time! I’m waiting for them to start ticketing the bikers who keep flying down sidewalks amidst pedestrians.

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