ATV and Dirt Bike Racing in Truxton Circle


A reader reports:

“Saw on my walk home [around 8:30pm Monday at 1st and M St, NW]. Blocked traffic; about 50 people watching on foot. Finally a passenger got out of a cab and got the cop car on first street to clear them out of the way.”


46 Comment

  • +150 comments coming right up!

  • #visionzero
    Thanks Bowser, keep up the good work!

  • its authentic American cultural expression. rejoice.

  • Fast and Furious 8: Truxton Circle

  • Emmaleigh504

    Ugh this reminds me of the street racing in about 2007 in one of the burbs. One of the vehicles spun out of control and took out some spectators. I think 1 person died, but I can’t quite remember.

    • Yep – Indian Head Highway (210). It has actually happened several times over the years, and does not deter the street racers long term. Street racing in Southern Maryland has a long, deadly history. They opened the drag strip at Budd’s Creek in an effort to curb the accidents, however, they still occur. My little brother has lost a few friends and now only races at tracks himself, but it’s sad that it took him actually losing friends to stop himself. Never mind the years of history and his own dad losing friends the same way,.

  • My money’s is that before lunch there will be someone blaming gentrification and hipsters for this.

    I guess we just have to wait until they kill a few bystanders before Muriel Bowser decides to set up a commission to look into the possibility of setting up a task force in charge of investigating what options for non-action are out there.

  • I feel like the ATVs and dirt bikes haven’t been as big of a problem this summer . . . I really haven’t seen them around at all. I live in U St/Shaw. Maybe I’m just lucky.

    • You’ve been lucky. I’ve seen them almost every sunday this summer here in SW.

    • Come to H St

    • You’ve been lucky. Those same people pictured have been wreaking havoc late-night in NoMa. I witnessed them racing the wrong way down a one-way street multiple times last week with no police action (despite calls to the report them).

      • I can’t say with certainty that it was the same group, but just the other day there were a few guys on one ATV (one was actually hanging off the ATV, and the driver was standing…no helmets should go without saying I guess.) going the wrong way down N. Cap. around this area.

  • Completely unacceptable that the police and Mayor continue this failure to enforce DC law. How many pedestrians have to be run over before they actually DO something about this?

    • Have people actually been run over by them? I have always considered them a noise nuisance issue more than an actual safety issue. Obviously, drag racing is very different than just riding them around town in a responsible manor.

  • Wonder if they got the reward for this ..

  • Not to Nitpick, but the area you are describing isn’t Truxton Circle (borders are NJ, Florida, NY Ave & N.Cap), it’s Sursum Corda.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Not to be blunt but to me this is Truxton Circle. And I will it call Truxton Circle until they pry this keyboard from my cold dead hands.

      • houseintherear

        Agreed, it’s T Circle. That area’s eastern border is N. Cap St.

        • @PrinceofPetworth / @houseintherear, could you share info on how you define Truxton Circle? Not trying to pick an internet fight, I am genuinely curious. I’ve historically heard boundaries that include New Jersey Avenue to the west, Florida Avenue to the north, New York Avenue to the South, and North Capitol Street to the East. How do you define it?

          • From the photos and location, it looks like it is right next to the Sursum Corda Cooperative development, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be contained within the Truxton Circle neighborhood. In DC, we often have older micro-neighborhood names (Pleasant Plains, Park View, etc) overlapping with broader designations (Petworth, Columbia Heights, etc), new names (NoMa), metro station names (Van Ness), development names (Sorsum Corda), and other designations.

            Therefore, it is what it is. The exact borders are changing all the time, depending on resident’s historical context or lack thereof.

      • Prince Of Petworth

        Not to mention neighborhood borders are fluid and always changing. Embrace your ever expanding neighborhood Truxton Circle!!

        • It’s quite possible to simultaneously embrace your neighbors (regardless of where they are geographically), and to honor the historic names of neighborhoods in DC. Love the entire mega-hood, whatever you want to call it.

          • Prince Of Petworth

            Genuine question – Are you calling Sursum Corda a historic neighborhood name? Side note – there are many historic neighborhood names that are now defunct.

          • Truxton Circle is no more historic a neighborhood name than is Sursum Corda, even though there once was a traffic circle called Truxton Circle. The name is a real estate ploy. Historically, it’s just Shaw.

          • Pop, no one in Truxton Circle/Dunbar Shaw/Hanover/Bates area defines the area as including Sursum Corda. Not the new residents who call it “Truxton” not the old residents who call it “Dunbar Shaw.” For that matter, I don’t know anyone who lives in Sursum Corda who thinks of themselves as living in “Truxton Circle.” In general you’re pretty respectful to people who live in an area, yet you consistently disregard the opinions of residents in this area. Why?

  • Despite the alleged reward program and some PR around the issue, MPD is still not enforcing anything against these ATV riders. I’m a photographer who lives right next to that intersection and sometimes I’ll stand on my balcony with a long lens taking close-up photos of all of the ATV riders, then I send them on to MPD. The last time I tried calling them in, the dispatcher said they would send the next available unit, but after an hour and a half, they kept on riding and not a single police cruiser showed up.

    • Unfortunately when complaints for dirt bikes and ATVs are called in they’re placed towards the bottom of the list in terms of priority dispatching. It also doesn’t help that the riders (generally) like to come out on the weekends when the number of calls for service are higher than in the week. I understand how it can seem like nothing is ever being done to combat this problem but there is a group of officers who are identifying these riders, obtaining photos and videos of them riding, and ultimately obtaining arrest warrants.

      If you or anyone you know has pictures or videos that would help us identify riders, please call the 3D CST office at 202-671-6670

  • I was driving on Florida Ave NE by Gallaudet and in the opposite direction came a dirtbike and ATV. Behind them was MPD, going slowly but surely, sort of just making sure they didn’t do anything. It was so bizarre.

  • “Police stand around and watch a bunch of people flagrantly breaking the law, terrorizing neighborhoods they don’t care about, do nothing,” really is the “Dog Bites Man” story of the summer. When are people going to call out the cops on the work slowdown they’re obviously engaged in to embarrass the feckless mayor and her chief?

  • MPD is essentially prevented from dealing with this problem. They are not allowed to chase or to box them in, including at gas stations, because one of them may try to evade and injure himself or someone else. They can’t confiscate the bikes when they are parked because owning them isn’t illegal, only operating them on public streets is. The best shot is to grab one that has broken down or wrecked while on a public street, and how often is that going to happen? For a problem to be dealt with, officers need to actually be allowed to do something.

    • I totally understand the no-chase policy and the safety reasoning behind it, but what about police doing actual police work? The should be out there in plain clothes gathering evidence of the illegal operating of the ATVs on public streets, (not hard at all, the ones by Sursum Corda incredibly predictable handing out in the same spots and running the same routes) finding the owners, and then following up with search and seizure warrants to grab the ATVs and cite the operators.

      • Definitely agree. I live nearby, and it always seems to be the same ATVs running by and causing chaos. I just don’t understand why they can’t crack down on this, especially this group at North Cap and M. Its been almost daily these ATVs were out within the past week especially.

  • Posting late to this thread, but Commander Brown at an ANC meeting early this summer said that they don’t chase these kids. Everyone here already knows that, but the reason why is because it puts the police in danger. He said that just that morning, a police officer chased a group of ATVs and when he thought he blocked one in, when he got out of his car to go talk to the kid the rest of the group started running their ATVs into the squad car, doing a lot of damage to the car and putting the officer’s life a risk. He had to run back into the safety of his car.

    Of course, this begs the question, what good is law enforcement if they can’t enforce the laws and are running away from the criminals?

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