79 Comment

  • Emmaleigh504

    good grief! how do they not fall off and kill themselves?!

  • Is that top one wearing a helmet? Political correctness has gone too far!

  • Hey! He’s wearing a helmet – yay!

  • Saw a bunch of these on Warder last week. They surrounded a car stopped at the light at Kenyon then roared up the road. The car driver had to sit there until they passed rather than risk driving into one of them speeding around him/her. And drivers bitch about bicyclists in this town?

  • Heard them in Brightwood last night too. So much for sleeping with the windows open. 🙁

  • There must have been 30 ATVs + dirt bikes swarming the streets in NE — they ran through red lights, popped wheelies, drove on the wrong side of the road…cars pulled to the side (me, my husband and baby) to let them pass out of fear of getting caught up. I’m still scratching my head at how they get away with this without consequence. Two police cars drove right past them and didn’t even flash their lights. I guess when its 30+ to 1-2 cops, you just have to let them be?

    • This is a long standing MPD policy – they don’t chase ATVs or dirt bikes as they’re concerned about safety risks of chasing them (i.e. bikes going up on the sidewalk, down alley, through pedestrianized areas). The MPD tries to intercept them when they’re filling up at gas stations, or confiscating the bikes while they’re parked. There was a program last year – not sure if its still in place – where the MPD were offering large rewards (I think up to $2500) if you reported the location of an ATV or dirt bike and that lead to the confiscation of the bike.
      .
      There needs to be better prosecution though – there was a WaPo article last year that stated only ~10-20 individuals, out of over 250 arrested, saw any form of serious fine.

      • I was walking along Florida ave NE Friday and there were 3-4 ATVs and dirt bikes filling up at the sketchy Crown gas station. Eastbound cruiser drove by on Florida – I was certain I was going to witness some street justice, but the cruiser just kept driving.

  • A bunch riding up and down (and up and down) 4th st NE yesterday afternoon. Weaving in and out of traffic and doing tricks for hours, someone is going to get hit and killed. Police do nothing and also know exactly where they are stored and yet do nothing. Bowser’s non response to this is pathetic. Up the fines ($1000 plus) for ATVs and unlicensed dirt bikes on city streets, devote police resources to stopping groups. In short get your sh*it together DC gov.

    • And seize the bikes.

      • I had my car impounded in Southwest a couple months ago and went to the city impound lot to pick it up. There were HUNDREDS (maybe thousands) of ATVs and dirtbikes in the impound lot. Way more than there were cars. So, the city is actually impounding them, but can’t keep up with the popularity of this fun summer pastime.

    • Spike strips. Splat. I’m all for that.

  • how is that guy not dead.

  • They’re awesome I love watching them roll through Anacostia on a warm spring day. It’s like watching Nitro Circus go through the streets of DC. Try waving and smiling or applauding them as they do tricks; you’ll have a much better experience.

    • If we’re lucky, we can wave to encourage them on in doing wheelies, etc. Maybe it’ll cause just one guy to fall and get his pelvis crushed by his buddy behind him. We can only hope.

    • Hey Nate, I used to ride ATVs around on private land or in parks, I get it, it’s good fun. Would be fun to commute by ATV to downtown DC but its illegal (for good reason) and also I am not a self centered self centered assh*le. Rule of law is a thing in the U.S. Please enforce the law DC gov.

    • Unless you are trying to sleep. Or talk to someone in your own apartment. Or read. I don’t mind the riding around, I mind the constant revving of engines. I get it guys, you want us to think you have big penises. Fine. Now go play elsewhere.

      • …Or walk across a crosswalk on a green walk sign. Or walk along a sidewalk. Or safely drive a legally registered vehicle. Or live in a society that respects the rule of law in a general sense.

    • Glad I’m not the only one! They may be reckless kids (as I was at that age) but I haven’t found them hostile. It only takes an extra minute to sit until they pass, and I’d rather have them well ahead of me and not within feet of my wheels if one does wipe out.

    • I also give them a wave and pull my Vespa over when they roll by. I’d much rather be out of their way and enjoy the spectacle than involved in an accident. It’s not worth the stress for me to freak out about them. And it literally takes them 60 seconds to pass me. They usually keep these antics to non-busy traffic times (late Sunday afternoon/early evening seems to be their preferred parading hours).
      I’m fine with MPD confiscating and fining, when it’s safe to do so.

    • Grade A Troll

    • Thanks for trolling.

  • Woo-hoo warmer weather on the way!

  • That scene in Creed made me hate them slightly less

    • You should see “The 12 O’clock Boys.” It’s a great documentary about the ATV culture in Baltimore.

  • Annoying. Beyond annoying! There is no need for ATV in a city. Why can’t this be banned? Or at least fined big $$ as someone above suggested.

  • Bowser is too busy hanging out with Communists in China, Dictators in Cuba, and developers in Maryland to concern herself with dirt bikes.

    • Sorry, but you can’t tag Bowser with this one. ATVs have been a “problem” for several administrations. It didn’t just start when Bowser got sworn in.

      • It probably has the same level of priority with respect to police resources now that it had before she came to office.

  • They seem to love M & North Cap as well. Sometimes I just want to take some water balloons and drop them on their heads as they go by. But as someone noticed, at least one of them is wearing a helmet ;).

  • si faible classe

  • only a matter of time before they kill someone

    • It’s probably more likely one of them gets killed either by collision with another ATV, or with a larger vehicle.

      • woe to any unlikely pedestrians in their way, especially those with baby strollers or canes, even if the pedestrians are, say, in a crosswalk when the sign is telling them it’s safe to cross. it’s really ridiculous that the cops don’t stop this. way to make dc feel lawless.

      • houseintherear

        Not to defend anyone because these idiots make me angry, but the crew last night had two guys on atvs quite a bit out front from the rest of the crew… They were slowly approaching intersections and stopping traffic. There were also two behind the group waving cars on as they passed. So that’s one small thing to the credit of this particular group of riders- doesn’t seem like they’re trying to kill anyone (except themselves).

  • So does MPD devote extra resources to ATVs, safety on metro trains, beat patrol, the MBT, fire and rescue response, safety outside of metro stations and on buses, or the various night time districts this summer?

    • MPD can’t do much about known problem areas without being accused of racism.

      • You really believe that? I do not.

        • thebear

          Actually, yes. MPD commanders have stated that, in so many words, numerous times at community meetings over the years. Instead, their pleas for residents to help them arrest and prosecute individuals who are actually committing crimes fall on deaf ears in the very neighborhoods suffering the most.

        • Absolutely.

          Look at a crime map of DC and tell me what would happen if the MPD announced that these areas were going to be targeted for enhanced enforcement.

          • 1) They dont have enough cops to target everything 2) Bowser announced yesterday that they will be targeting ATV use in the city

  • I admit, I sort of admire the skill. And I don’t live somewhere they frequent– just see them occasionally on their way somewhere else, I guess. So the noise doesn’t bother me. (Though if I lived on one of their preferred performance routes, I’d be in a murderous rage every weekend afternoon.)
    But I’m afraid it’s just a matter of time before they injure or kill a bystander, and for that reason, I oppose MPD’s permissiveness. There MUST be a way to crack down on this that doesn’t endanger anyone.

    • justinbc

      They take the same routes pretty regularly. And MPD is well aware when they’re on their usual “prowls”, so I’m really not sure why they don’t just go ahead several blocks and set out spike strips, since the rest of traffic can’t pass through safely anyway. Obviously those at the back of the herd will just jet away, but even if you only catch the first 5 or 10 that’s progress (and hopefully some confiscated vehicles).

  • this is terrorist activity and should be treated as such. Police blockades on the streets to stop them. I agree with the no pursuit policy, but they should put those things down with spikes that flatten the tires.

    • I agree these guys are dangerous a-holes, but not really what comes to mind when I think “terrorist.”

  • Maybe install ATV lanes and an ATV park to foster a motor-bikeable community.

  • Kind of related.

    Has anyone ever seen a group of dudes with tricked out older cars (rims, custom paint, under lights, etc) who were really into swerving within their own lane? I ran into this twice last summer around 50 and Florida ave. Mostly MD plates on the cars.

    There were like six of them, driving really slow doing these big looping swerves within their own lane the entire time. They backed up inbound rt 50 for a while.

    They even had stickers on the back of their cars with swerving tire marks.

    It was so weird.

  • houseintherear

    guys, I think they won’t be back again. Pablo the Westie roared his head off and lunged at every single one of them when they passed us last night in Bloomingdale… LESSON LEARNED.

    ps it’s worth mentioning that this was by far the biggest group I’ve seen in my almost decade in DC. Had to be at least 50 vehicles.

  • Ashy Oldlady

    Anyone who wants this to stop needs to figure out which social media channels they’re using to organize, and convince them to gather in close proximity to the Capitol or the Whitehouse. I have a strong feeling their respective law enforcement agents would be far less tolerant than MPD. Especially the Capitol Police, who seem to have a shoot first, ask questions later approach to anything too suspicious or threatening.

    • The kids are smart enough to know not to mess with Feds. I think most people in this thread underestimate the kids’ level of situation awareness, street smarts, and awareness of how to “game the system.” In a different lifetime, they’d do well as lawyers or lobbyists (some of whom are kvetching in here).

  • I’m sorry, but this is blatant disregard for traffic laws and public safety. These guys are just daring someone to challenge them — and they have been getting away with it for too long. Apparently, it is acceptable to run red lights, ride the wrong way into oncoming traffic, terrorize motorists, pedestrians and cyclists — and to do all this and more on illegal vehicles. Crazy.

    They are breaking the law, but getting a free pass. is it going to take a fatality for MPD to stop this nonsense?

  • If you want to know more about the background of ATV culture in this area, check out a documentary called The 12 O’clock Boys. It’s about the ATV scene in Baltimore. At the very least, those of you who are wondering why MPD doesn’t actively chase these folks might get some potential answers. There have been instances where riders and pedestrians have been injured and even killed by ATVs running from police. Of course, there have also been injuries and deaths that had nothing to do with police chases. Whether it’s a good idea or not, the powers that be have decided that chasing people who are operating these machines in a very reckless manner would probably just lead to behavior that is even more reckless. So they rely instead on intel that allows for bikes to get confiscated.

    • “ATV culture”: f*ck everyone else, look at me me me!

      • Yes, believe it or not there is a “cultural” aspect to it. In the same way that there is a cultural aspect to illegal street racing – whether it was on the beaches of Daytona back in the day or on the streets of numerous American cities today.

  • I saw about 40 bikes and atv’s last night at 17th Street and Benning Road NE, followed by about 10 more 5 minutes later

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