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Cyclists Get Pulled Over on 11th Street, NW This Morning

by Prince Of Petworth September 12, 2013 at 10:30 am 338 Comments

Photo of warning tweeted by @OConnellPostbiz

@OConnellPostbiz tweets:

“FYI cops stopping bikers headed south on 11th st nw”

“My written warning saying I biked through a stop sign. I paused…not full stop.

A reader sends a photo from 11th and Fairmont St, NW:


  • yz

    cars also get ticketed for rolling stops…seems fine

    • lesserlesserwashington

      Yep. Complaining you got a ticket for admittedly breaking the law is ridiculous.

      • Anonymous

        I am also fine with the enforcement of existing law. However, I believe that existing law should be changed: http://blog.oregonlive.com/commuting/2009/04/physicsofstopping.pdf; http://vimeo.com/4140910.

        • Twerk
        • DC resident

          Sorry, but that sounds like a pretty stupid and dangerous reason to change laws.

          • Anonymous

            physics and encouraging healthy transportation options are stupid reasons to change the law?

          • brookland_rez

            Having to stop at stop signs according to the laws of physics means that actually stopping and having to build back up inertia means burning even more calories, thus making riding a bicycle even more healthy.

            Are you arguing that enforcing the law thereby making bicycling even more healthy is a reason to change the law?

        • Anonymous

          Really. You think that cyclist shouldn’t have to stop at stop signs? So pedestrians have to play frogger now? Dolt.

      • Anonymous

        I’m not sure it sounds like they’re complaining. Just informing.

      • Anony

        So is jaywalking. Would you quietly take a ticket for doing that?

        • Park View Drew

          Sure would.

          • Anonymous

            no you wouldnt

          • Park View Drew

            A) You don’t know me, so you really don’t know what you’re talking about.

            B) Here’s a similarly nitpicky ticket that I simply paid, even though it was arguably rediculous (and this one actually involved points on my license): Coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, but with the front of my car over the line that indicates where you are supposed to stop – even though I was not infringing at all on the crosswalk itself and there were zero cars or pedestrians nearby with the exception of the hiding cop.

            It’s pretty clear that guy was going to give ever car a ticket for something. But hey, technically, I was breaking the law. I can’t really argue otherwise.

        • Mark

          I tell people this all the time – I would love to pay a jaywalking fine if it meant that the police were finally cracking down on it.

  • GOOD!

    • Anonymous

      +1 Absolutely. Laws should apply to all that use the road.

      • sherman

        +2. It is fantastic to have this enforcement.

  • Rani

    It is about time. So sick of having to watch out for bikers not following the rules of the road.

    • You should still be watching out for them, as well as cars who don’t follow the rules, and pedestrians.

  • Anonymous

    This is the best thing I’ve read all week. GOOD. I watched a bicyclist smack right into a pedestrian at 15th & L St. a few weeks ago after she blatantly ran a red light. I hope that DC starts making bicyclists register with the city and use a license plate. That way the new stop sign cameras can catch bicyclists as well as cars who decide they’re above the law and are too important to care about the safety of others sharing the road/crosswalk/sidewalks.

    • L

      Ha! Agree 100%

    • Anonymous

      Well said!!! I agree 100%

    • Lisa

      LOVE this idea! I am so sick of having to duck out of the way of bikers who try to side-swipe mean during my walk to work.

    • Anonymous

      +100000. Cyclists, if you want people to respect you, respect them and don’t think you’re above the law. I’ve seen too many pedestrians almost nailed by bikes recently. It’s dangerous enough for peds out there, we don’t need your attitude.

  • Glad to see some enforcement!

  • Anonymous

    You’re right I too am so sick of people breaking the rules. Have fun car drivers when the stop sign camera’s come.
    By the way they won’t catch bikers. For all the money I have saved commuting by bike I’ll pay a ticket or take a warning no problem

    • anon

      “I’ll pay a ticket or take a warning no problem.”

      Or, you could just follow the laws.

    • or you could also smack into a pedestrian or car, hurting yourself/others. Hence why you need to follow the law.

      • YeahRIght

        I don’t follow all the laws when riding a bike (though still follow them more than most drivers) and I’ve never smacked into a ped or car or hut anyone while doing so (20+ years & running)

  • kken

    i’m assuming this happened because of the recent DDOT/ANC meeting about putting in a bike lane on 11th st.

    • 11th st. resident

      had to have been. from what i read about it, bikes blowing stop signs on 11th was a main complaint at that meeting. i’ve always felt that stop signs should be akin to “yields” for bicyclists, but it is also totally fair of the cops to do this. i agree with AllTheThings.

    • saf

      They do this several times every year.

    • Hilltopper

      But the ticket reads 2600 blk of 11th St, and if I know my DC block numbers correctly, this stretch of 11th already has a bike lane! And as a cyclist, yes, I am shocked by how blatantly people bike through stop signs and lights without even looking. I admit to running them too, but only when I’m 100% sure it’s safe.

      Incidentally, how do the cops plan to enforce these tickets, since there are no license plates, and one does not necessarily have to have ID on them when riding a bike, right?

      • Idaho Ave

        I’m pretty sure DC law says you must have an ID on when biking. Also, the law definitely says if you’re suspected of a crime or violation you have to show an ID. They can actually place you under arrest for running a stop sign, getting a ticket, and not having ID. (Also, ACAB)

        • Idaho Ave

          Actually not sure about the ID while biking just that you must have an ID if you’re getting a ticket or accused of something ,so I would assume common sense would tell people to bring an ID when biking. Also, the whole identification thing if one were to get in a serious accident.

        • Anonymous

          You are not required to carry identification in the district. If you are operating a motor vehicle…yes, bike …no, pedestrian…no.

          • Anon

            So going back to Hilltopper’s question. How could a cop enforce the ticket? If you don’t have an ID and you give a fake name/address, then how would the ticket actually catch up to you if you decide not to pay it? Just curious since it seems like a pretty legitimate question and interesting situation. Would the cop ask for your name with SSN and run a check on you or something?

          • HstNE

            According to the park police officer who ticketed me for not coming to a full stop at Haines Point while riding my bike all adults are required to have some form of ID on them while riding their bikes.

          • Anonymous

            Park police is lying. You are not required to carry id. If stop and you do not have id you are asked to identify yourself. If the officer has reason to believe your answer is false you can be arrested for failure to make identity known.

          • brookland_rez

            In response to Anon, if you get stopped, have no ID, they have the right to arrest you and book you. Once in jail, they will then look you up and find out who you are. And this process takes a lot longer than if you just had an ID to begin with. So you get to spend overnight in the jail’s holding chamber with stinky drunk homeless people, etc. Then when they finally find out who you are, you get charged not only with running a stop sign, but giving out a false name.

            Now most of the time, MPD and Park Police won’t want to hassle with all this. But it could happen, I knew someone once that this happened with in Chattanooga, TN. He also had his car towed and impounded while he was hanging out in the city jail overnight.

        • Anonymous

          You can not get arrested in the district for solely passing a stop sign or not possessing your license when stop. You’re wrong. Additionally, you’re not require to carry identification with the exception of a drivers permit when operation a motor vehicle which requires it i.e. automobile, motorcycle, moped.

          • Idaho Ave

            If cops are unsure of your ID (which they can say if writing you a ticket and you don’t have one) then are totally allowed to detain you until it is verified. The law doesnt say you have to have one but they can be assholes and take you in anytime they are writing you a ticket. I’ve seen this happen dozens of times. Virginia is the same way. You don’t HAVE to have an ID just being in public but if you are suspected of a crime or they are writing you a ticket , not having ID is a justifiable reason for htem to bring you in.

        • Anonymous

          No, you are not required to have ID, nor are you required to present it if you do unless you are stopped while operating a motor vehicle, motorcycle, or moped, even if asked. If you hand over your license for a traffic law violation on bicycle, said violation will find its way to your insurance company. WABA has long advised to never give your license for a bicycle stop.

          As for stepping up enforcement of traffic violations by bicycles, good. Just yesterday, 5 bikes were nearly creamed at the corner of 22 & P (at different times of the day). They all were making illegal lefts into 22nd (one-way, north), *from the far right curb*. All cut across moving traffic, making vehicles slam on their brakes (2 cars actually touched the bikes). Not one of the cyclists signaled their turn. One of them did get busted bigtime because she cut off a police car. I’m half a block away and could hear her going totally psycho bitch potty mouth on the cop. “NO I DON’T HAVE TO F*IN SIGNAL! YOU SHOULD BE PAYING ATTENTION TO THE ROAD SO YOU CAN F*IN SEE ME AND DON’T F*IN HIT ME!” I expected her to haul off and go Full Zsa Zsa on the officer. She obviously got quite a hefty fine, probably for her attitude. A few months ago, I saw a bike actually get hit right across the street from me. Another jackwagon who just cut across, no signal, busy texting, not looking to see if there was oncoming traffic. He was OK but went psycho on the driver for ruining his bike and his iPhone. Jackass.

          • wylie coyote

            Pardon me if I don’t believe your story about someone turning on a bike while texting. It would be pretty hard to effectively text *and* turn a bicycle at the same time, even if you were doing both with one hand.

          • textdoc

            Hmm… Anonymous 11:43 am mentions a bike “cutting across,” but I’m not clear that he/she is saying that the bicyclist who cut across was turning (as opposed to going straight and running a stop sign or a red light).

          • pwedz

            Wylie – please… texting and turning is where it’s at ya heard

          • pwedz

            Wylie – please… texting and turning is where it’s at ya heard. why is that so unbelievable tho ??

          • frustrated pedestrian

            “WABA has long advised to never give your license for a bicycle stop.:”
            An example of why WABA is part of the problem. WABA doesn’t give a squat for anybody but bike riders who claim traffic laws do not apply to them.

        • mpdpop

          you can’t get arrested in DC for not having your license with you, only if you don’t have a driver’s license at all and you’re driving a car.

          If you don’t have an ID, we have ways of looking up your photographs from the DMV/Criminal history and verifying that it is you.

  • Anonymous

    Bike is my mode of transport and I support this. We need to have level playing field on the road so there is mutual respect rather than cyclists plowing through traffic, etc. Also less agro-commuters would be nice. See Copenhagen and the rest of Europe.

    • Mr. Poon

      What the hell is an agro-commuter? Google isn’t helpful. I picture a farmer traveling, possibly on a tractor, to a general store for seed. I like Copenhagen. If it’s so awesome there because of the lack of farmers traveling through town, then I, too, am against farmer-commuters.

      • Anonymous

        Nah but farmers would be kinda cool. Agro, like aggravated. They yell and show much anger en route to work despite being on a bicycle, which is supposed to make you happy.

        • Anonymous

          Yelling and showing much anger is recreation, and relaxing. Car drivers can’t do anything about it, and are properly shamed in the process. Everyone wins! C’mon and play.

    • Anonymous

      I interpreted “agro” as shorthand for “aggressive.”

    • textdoc

      “Aggro” with two Gs, please. (I don’t see a single-G variant in Merriam-Webster.)

      • BitterElitist


    • BM

      Regardless of how you are travelling, by foot, public transportation, bike or car, in the DC area we all face the same common problems:

      1. Heavy congestion that makes people easily aggravated
      2. People who do not respect the rules of the road
      3. A road infrastructure that pits bicyclist and drivers against each other rather than providing a fast, safe and efficient way for each to travel

      I am tired of the old “bike versus car” argument. We should not judge either car divers or cyclists as a whole by the individuals who do bad things and instead we should demand that our government build a system that works best for all. It is impractical to have it any other way—in DC we need all forms of transportation to function. If all folks in cars took public transportation we would overwhelm the system; if all folks on bikes drove cars our commutes would be 2 hours instead of 1.

      I say this as someone who respects the rules of the road when I bike and who has been hit two times by those bad apples in cars who did not respect the rules. I hope together we can shift the dialogue and make a positive change to the system rather than being caught up in a petty back and forth of who don’ it.

  • Anon

    Excellent! As a pedestrian you are nearly as dangerous to me as cars are to you. Please follow the traffic laws!

    • AllTheThings

      Yes! And as a biker, I am genuinely more scared of other bikers than cars sometimes. So often on the 15th Street bike path I almost get hit from behind when I stop at a red light instead of running it.

      • Hilltopper

        You got that right! I have started using only a few blocks of the 15th St lane. Everyone acts like they are on the Tour de France to get up to the wonderful world of Coli Hts, or Petworth, or wherever they are going that seems to be very very time sensitive. I used my right arm as a turn signal at 15th and Q yesterday, which was useless against the douchbag right behind me from nearly plowing into me. Harumph!

      • bizzinger

        So agree. I’m starting to hate 15th, solely because of other cyclists.

      • wylie coyote

        You know, there is a signal for stopping. While I agree that stopping at red lights should be presumed, for bikers behind you, it’s good etiquette to signal that you are stopping.

        • AllTheThings

          Isn’t that what a red light if for?

          • squaredeal

            DDOT missed an opportunity to make the 15th St. lane another lane bigger. Bike traffic on 15 often outnumbers car traffic yet bikes only get 1/5th the space. It’s another instance of Mayor Grey’s words on mode-share goals being only so much bullshit.

    • Biker

      I’m just as scared of you guys when I’m riding. Jaywalking, crossing the intersection anyways, stepping out and waiting in the crosswalk even though I have a green light, walking around while looking down at your phone and ignoring the “stop walking” signs….

      • YES!!!

        What it comes down to is we all (bikers, pedestrians, drivers) need to be more attentive…and I include myself there. But I have to admit that while I always stop for red lights, I frequently just pause at stop signs. Definitely appreciate the PSA that cops are ticketing for this on 11th St.

  • Anonymous

    as a regular biker, I am happy this is starting. safer for everyone when folks follow the rules.

    • Anonymous

      I live downtown. I bike, and I often accompany my daughter on her way to school as she bikes as well. Our daily experience is one of stopping at the red lights as EVERY OTHER bike zooms by us and blows through the red lights. We watch as other bicyclists force pedestrians to duck and dodge them, and we watch as other bicyclists ride the wrong way on bike lanes and on streets, weave in and out of traffic, and ignore a score of other laws and rules that would otherwise help everyone know what to expect and therefore increase our safety. Message to my fellow bikers: Grow up. Now that we have bike lanes and acceptance and encouragement to bicycle in the city (which was a long time coming), take responsibility for your actions and do your part too.

  • AllTheThings

    I’m a biker. I don’t always make a full stop at stop signs. But if I got a ticket like this, I’d accept it was deserved. This is good enforcement–and a reminder to me to stop being dumb sometimes.

    • Anonymous

      you’re not a biker, you’re a bicycle rider

      • Anonymous

        Otherwise known as a cyclist.

        • Anonymous

          Otherwise known as a moron. Or a pain in the ass.

      • Anonymous

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biker he/she is indeed a biker. you’re an idiot.

      • AllTheThings

        This is getting hysterical, honestly.

        • Kam

          It is not hysterical, it is comical…; )

  • 11th Street resident @ a 4-way stop

    I got not problem with this. I see multiple close calls everyday at the intersection next to my house, as cyclists blow through the intersection, literally, every 20 seconds.

    Though, I do find it a bit ironic that cops were ticketing people on 11th Street today. Yesterday (or two days ago?) the DC Cycling Advocate was stationed at 11th and W Street, giving out freebies to cycling commuters and generally trying to encourage people to cycle. And no, they didn’t tell people to stop at the sign.

    • Anonymous

      yeah I saw that too… kinda of a screwed up message when bicycle advocates are advocating following the rules or making cycling safe….

      • frustrated pedestrian

        You don’t get it. They were out telling people that there are rules of the road that apply to all. They weren’t out there telling people to have fun, they were out there promoting safety. That is the educational component. then comes enforcement. A very routine police practice.
        If the polite message doesn’t work for you, maybe a fine will help.

    • Why would they tell people to stop at a sign? That’s what the actual big red sign itself is for.

      • Anonymous

        +! 🙂

    • cyeakey

      I disagree that they were not asking people to stop. When I biked through the guy said “thanks for stopping and remember to bike safe”

    • Anonymous

      literally not true. I was told to stop at the stop sign by those bike advocates.

      • Anonymous

        Good on you. I saw plenty of other bikers running the stop sign on the intersection that morning with nary a peep from the advocates.

  • anon

    oh goody – they take away the busiest (350 bikers/hour) protected bike lane in the city for repairs and now dole out tickets to one of the work-around streets so as to make bicyclists miserable. hooray.

    for the record, about 20% of the majority of bicyclists are giving you this bad impression of the other 80% of us. yes, there are jerks on bikes. BUT there are also jerks in cars, buses, trains, planes, etc.

    if you have ever jaywalked – you also should be getting tickets. i hope they do more of that, too.

    • Anonymous

      I’m not sure what city you live in, but I don’t see 80% of bikers stopping at stop signs and red lights. Clearly I am not a scientific researcher, but on my 20 minute walking commute each way from Logan Circle to downtown, I estimate that about 80% of bikers I see do not obey traffic laws and maybe 20% (if that) do.

      • You must live in the city where stats aren’t completely fabricated without basis!

      • anon

        oh, no, absolutely not! 80% of us at least slow down and make sure we’re not killing ourselves or someone else. if bikers stopped at ever stop sign, we’d never get anywhere. ever.

        HOWEVER. we slow. we look. we don’t want to die, either.

        i’m angry at the 20% who blow everything straight through and then of course assume it’s the car or pedestrian’s fault. no, no; it’s THEIR fault.

        i’m going to say most bikers will at least stop at a 4 way IF there is a car coming or a pedestrian crossing. otherwise, why would we?

        • Anonymous

          I’m not sure that as a pedestrian I’m comfortable trusting YOUR judgement on what constitutes conduct that will not result in “killing ourselves or someone else” as my threshold for it being safe to cross a street. I’d rather not get injured, stressed out, experience pedestrian road rage, get disgusting bike grease (or biker sweat) on my clothes, or any of the above thank you very much. My over/under on surviving a street crossing (while I am inside of a cross walk and have the walk signal!) is not my bottom line.

          • wylie coyote

            In a multimodal urban environment, you’re trusting someone else’s judgment every time you cross the street.

        • ead2020

          Here’s the deal – the sign doesn’t say SLOW. It says STOP. STOP means STOP.

          Based on your logic then drivers should be trusted to slow down and run through a STOP sign 80% of the time. And the other 20% of the time they could ignore it completely.

          It’s an absurd thought, but it’s your logic.

        • elbeech

          +100 to anon 10:53

          It is frustrating that the minority of cyclists make the rest of us look bad. 20% or not, it’s not the majority, and they anger my cyclist-self. And to the last point on stopping, slowing and being considerate of anyone who might have the right of way is necessary too.

        • Nads

          “Slowing down” is as ridiculous as not stopping. Stop at the stop sign and follow the law.

          I bike to work every day, and the majority of early morning and afternoon commuters that I come across do not stop at stop signs and do not slow down. This is ridiculously dangerous, especially when they’re behind a biker who is stopping and following the law.

          Don’t want to follow the law? Don’t bike. It’s a simple as that.

        • Anonymous

          The law doesn’t say slow down and decide for yourself what’s safe. The law says stop. If you have to get up earlier to follow the law, so be it.

        • frustrated pedestrian

          Sorry but 80% of rush hour bike riders on 11th St NW between U St and Monroe are now obeying the law. Evidence? Go to you tube, search 11thStNWpedsafety, and do your own counting. There are videos there documenting south bound rush hour traffic at 11th and Fairmont. In one video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6wq5muOSv4, recorded on Oct 22, 2012, there are 1 pedestrian, 10 motor vehicle (9 car, 1 motor scooter) and more than 40 bike violations in 12 minutes. To maintain the 80% of bike riders being law abiding types, that would require more than 160 bike riders in the same 12 minutes. Didn’t happen – check the video tape.

          • frustrated pedestrian

            not obeying – not now obeying

        • Agreed

          Yah – Im in that 80%

    • John W Henry

      If you stop at the red light, why would this make you miserable or inconvenience you in any way? It would only impact the 20% of cyclists you (dubiously) suggest violate the law.

      The work on the 15th Street bike lane is specifically for the benefit of those who use it. Sure, it’s an inconvenience that it will be out of commission briefly, but anyone who uses it (including me) agrees the work is necessary and long overdue. It’s not like DDot closed the lane out of spite.

      And since, as you point out, 350 bikers per hour are diverted to other, less protected, routes, is this not an ideal time to remind bikers to ride safely and obey the law?

  • Alexis

    This is really refreshing…as I was driving to work (20th and M) yesterday for the first time in a very long time, I was really surprised by how many bikers were not following the rules of the road. It made it extremely difficult to predict their next move and ensure we both got to our destinations safely…put less tastefully, it was really annoying to watch cyclists blast through red lights, stop signs, and veer in and out of traffic and off and on sidewalks during an extremely busy commute. In my less than 2 mile commute I had at least 4 cyclists pull right in front of me or cut me off or following any sort of traffic pattern. I realize this might seem hyperbolic but it was really dangerous and made me wish I never had appointments right after work that forced me to drive in.

    I also think that it would be nice if cyclists (SPECIFICALLY BIKESHARE RENTERS) were required to take basic road safety courses (just like drivers!) to fully understand laws specific to city biking. I feel like it’s too much of a risk to everyone on the road…

    • Anonymous

      +1 to the bikeshare renters. As a cyclist, they are some of the worst offenders and often have no experience riding in a city, let alone one with as many weird streets as DC

  • msm

    Can we get some enforcement down in Bloomingdale. It’s gotten to the point where when I’m driving and approaching a stop sign the same time as a bike I just assume the bike isn’t going to stop, regardless if I was at the intersection first. I’m actually kinda surprised when I see a bike yield to someone who approached the intersection first. I get a nice chuckle out of seeing the near collisions between bikers when both don’t slow down.

    • Anon

      Yes! Just one more thing that could be ticketed/enforced at the 1st and U NW intersection if any cops bothered to park and watch there.

      Here’s the list I’ve been keeping:

      – cars running the stop signs
      – pedestrians walking diagonally and messing up traffic in all directions
      – bikers running stop signs
      – same group of drug dealers dealing all day, every day, in plain sight
      – dog poo not getting picked up
      – men peeing on nearby Bloomingdale Ct NW
      – littering
      – good heavens I could go on and on…

  • Anonymous

    I have no problem w/ enforcement but make it consistent.

  • Eric

    Getting a ticket for blowing a stop sign at speed is one thing, but ticketing for a rolling stop is on a bike is ridiculous unless they didn’t yield the right-of-way. They really need pass a law allowing Idaho stops for stop signs (Bikes treat stop signs as yield signs). It simply makes more sense. The fact is that a bike are not as dangerous to pedestrians as a car or truck.

    • msm

      The problem I’ve seen is that a significant portion of bikes don’t even follow the Idaho stop rules. The problem everyone keeps pointing is the large number that don’t stop at all.

      • zach

        And they should get ticketed if they don’t slow down. The point is there is a middle ground between safety and convenience, and it’s allowing bikes to treat stop signs like yield signs and red lights like 4-way stops.

        • msm

          Sadly, the bike culture in this city appears to have taken a stance of total disregard. If current practice was Idaho-stop behavior I’d think changing the law have some chance, however given the total disregard that exists today. I see the law being more used to justify further ignoring oncoming traffic rather than allowing responsible behavior.

        • Anonymous

          What would be the reason for treating red lights like stops?

          Seems the momentum argument that often times is cited for being able to yield at stop signs has no weight as you would have to come to a complete stop at the red light anyways.

          Is being able to get to your destination quicker the only reasoning behind it, or do you see an added safety or ease of cycling (like the momentum argument for stops) benefit as well?

          • Anonymous

            I think he means 4 way stop as in you actually stop at the stop light, but if there’s nothing coming then you can go. I think the benefit for that is if you get in front of the car, then you’re more miserable. and on 11th street, there are some intersections where if you beat the car and get from a sharerrow portion to a bike lane portion, that’s a huge benefit.

        • Nads

          “Middle ground” implies judgment. When two cars and two bikes pull up to a four way stop, do you want the cyclists deciding they can just go through? That’s how you get cyclists bashing into each other.

          Sorry, but there’s no middle ground here. Either you go fleet flat at a stop sign, or you’re breaking the law and endangering others.

          • squaredeal

            No man, Idaho stop means you yield just like you would yield if you were in a motor vehicle. I Idaho just about every stop sign I pass. I yield ROW assiduously (fellow cyclists, motorists, and most importantly pedestrians). It’s really not complicated provided you understand the rules of the road. I’m not saying every cyclists does, but I’d wager the average cyclist knows the laws better than the average driver.

            I think for most of us that ride frequently, the key is just not being a dick while still keeping ourselves safe. I’m not going to pretend like there isn’t shitty behavior out there (I watched some dangerous/stupid weaving through peds on 15 & L 3 days ago and it pissed me off), but the vast majority of us are really aware of what’s going on, and don’t want to hit anyone or anything. We want to arrive safely and most of us don’t cycle like assholes.

            Lastly, the letter of the law is the letter of the law. Pretending however, that bicycles are the same as automobiles is just ridiculous. They aren’t, and cyclists need separate, dedicated infrastructure that puts their safety first. When you see infrastructure like that, compliance rates are far far higher.

        • brookland_rez

          I actually agree with this. I rode bicycle for a number of years and this was how I rode. It’s too bad people have abused it and now completely disregard the law.

    • Anonymous


    • 11th st. resident

      this. even if they don’t pass that sort of regulation, it’s a waste to ticket cyclists for rolling through a stop *so long as* they did not disobey right-of-way. otherwise, it’s totally merited. feels like there’s bigger fish to fry at 11th and euclid, if you ask me.

    • Anonymous

      I’m a somewhat regular biker, and this is what I do too. I slow down almost to a complete stop, I look both ways, and if there are no pedestrians or cars, I continue on. I’ve never, ever just blown through a red light or stop sign without looking.

    • ead2020

      Eric, then you should allow the same for cars. “Not as dangerous”? The vast majority of the cars follow the traffic laws. The vast majority of bikers do not. As a pedestrian I am more concerned about the bikers.

      • squaredeal

        @ead2020-your concern is misplaced. No way around it..you’re far more likely to suffer serious injury or death in a collision w/ an automobile vs. bike/cyclists as a pedestrian.

        No, automobiles (or motorcycles) should not be allowed the same “Idaho stop” rules. Cyclists approach intersections at slower speeds than autos, they have a far greater field of vision, and are able to hear what is going on around them far better. They are not even close to the same.

  • As a bike commuter who uses 11th Street, I have no problem with enforcing the traffic laws. I might argue the officers’ time could be better spent, but still, the rules are the rules.

    Hopefully next: Jaywalking tickets. Get ready, pedestrians! No crossing outside designated crosswalks, no moving into the street until the WALK sign is lit. Those, too, are laws on the books designed to keep people safe… I look forward to their consistent enforcement, and to the shock & complaints you’ll hear from some of the same folks cheering the cyclist crackdown.

    • DC

      Jaywalkers are ticketed at times. I’d say about as frequently as bikers.


      I’ve also watched people get ticketed for jaywalking at 14/U. It’s necessary at some locations.

    • Anonymous

      Exactly. EVERY time this subject comes up, furious car drivers post dozens of comments screaming about how cyclists are such a menace. They always say that everyone should follow the rules of the road and obey all laws at all times.

      So does that mean that, when these same drivers are walking, they really all stand there waiting for the WALK sign, even when no cars are to be seen in either direction? And they literally never jaywalk? And as drivers, they never double park in bike lanes, or carelessly open their car doors into bike lanes, or text while they drive, or talk on their cellphones while they drive, or all the other countless obnoxious, dangerous things I see car drivers do every time I ride my bike?

      Because if you’re going to insist that it’s dangerous and extremely objectionable for a cyclist to not come to a COMPLETE stop at every single stop sign, then you really should also follow every single rule of the road at all times. Oh, AND you don’t get to honk your horn and curse at cyclists when you’re behind them at a stop sign and they’re taking forever to get back up to speed because they’ve come to a complete stop.

      I get it- there are plenty of people who ride their bikes in an utterly careless manner (often people who use the bike share bikes and really don’t have much experience), but it’s REALLY not all of us. And to insist that merely slowing down and looking both ways at a stop sign is a ticket-worthy crime just seems totally ridiculous. Being on a bike is simply not the same as being inside of a car. You have much better visibility, take up less space, and can’t accelerate nearly as quickly. So to demand that the operators of bikes behave in exactly the same manner as the operators of cars just doesn’t make sense.

      And now that I’ve typed this all out in an anonymous comment on Prince of Petworth, I’m sure that will be the FINAL WORD on the matter and people will quit arguing about this. Thanks everyone!

      • Anonymous


        • Anonymous

          MANY words, actually.

          • BM


    • Lisa G.

      “Any intersection of two or more roadways is a legal crosswalk, whether marked
      or not. Pedestrians have the same rights in marked crosswalks as in unmarked crosswalks.”

      Please, for the safety of everyone, learn the actual laws before getting into your car.

  • With all the cars running red lights in this town, I’m surprised they have enough resources to ticket bikes. Seems to me a ton or two on 4 wheels does a lot more damage than a couple hundred pounds on 2…

    • They have cameras for the former, and the latter is done really only in spirit to send a message. Otherwise they would be giving out fines ($50) rather than warnings.

  • kallie

    this is why stop signs are called stop signs, and not pause signs.

  • guest

    It’s about [email protected] time!

  • What this city needs is a post about dog owners not picking up poop in the bike lane in front of a newly opened small plates restaurant. That would unite all the crazies from every corner of the Trolliverse.

    • AllTheThings

      Only if the small plates restaurant was next to some public housing. And the dog was unleashed. And it was during the Caribbean festival. Now THAT would be a post.

    • Anonymous

      And the unleashed dog was a pitbull 🙂

      Thanks for making me smile you two! Any bets on how many comments this thread will reach?

      • I would set the over / under at 130.

        • AllTheThings

          Whoa we were off by a lot.

          This sh*t has gone insane.

  • ShawShank

    What intersection was the ticket and for how much? I agree that bikes should yield at stop signs to cars arriving first/pedestrians about to cross/right of way. Coming to a full stop is dumb and a waste of energy if no one is clearly present.

    • Anonymous

      Should cars be allowed to do that too? If they don’t immediately see someone in their field of vision, should they be allowed to just roll through the stop sign? Nope.

      • Eponymous

        A car is not a bicycle anymore than a bicycle is a Thoroughbred horse. I walk, drive and cycle. The fact is that your sight lines on a bike are much better when approaching a four way stop than they are in a car – there are no steel beams blocking you, and you are up high. Further, cyclists use much much more energy if they come to a full stop (as opposed to slowing down – blowing through the stop is just plain stupid). That means more exertion, more sweating, and at some point it’s simply not worth it. If the law as it stands were rigorously enforced all of the time, I guarantee that many fewer people would choose to cycle. This would mean more cars and more traffic for you and other drivers! So while people should obey the law, this particular law should be changed to reflect the differences in these modes of transit.

        • ead2020

          I drive a convertible so if the top is down I can ignore the stop signs, too! Yay!

          Great logic Eponymous! Look out, suckers!

          • duh

            so your convertible also doesn’t have a windshield and thus a frame to hold one up? Would love a ride in your car.

          • Anonymous

            you’re ignoring/missing a part of his argument and are being a bit rude about it. It’s not just the sight lines (even though yours may be similar), it’s that your foot depressing pedals takes a whole lot less energy than riding a bike.

          • anon

            How about we make cars turn off their engines at each stop sign?

          • frustrated pedestrian

            my car’s internal combustion engine does turn off when it is stopped

        • Nads

          Oh look! Justification for breaking the law!

          “It’s not worth all the extra energy just to follow the law.”


          • Anonymous

            This may sound insane (well, it is insane actually), but I have had drivers yell at me when I come to a complete, foot-down stop at a stop sign, because the considerable time that it takes me to get back to speed slows their passage through the intersection. Often they then pass me at close range and high speed because they are pissed off that I’m in the way.

            At the intersection of 4th and Elm NW this happens to me at least once a month. Fortunately it is less frequent that the driver gets so angry that they attempt to execute a pass in front of me before getting to the speed bump halfway down the block (on a street where the speed limit is only 15 mph!!) which usually results in my having to slam on the brakes to avoid going through their rear windshield. You really can’t win sometimes, but I’ve had enough of this at a few intersections in particular that I’ve actually amended my behavior to a very slow rolling stop (ie basically no forward motion, but no foot down) akin to the way most cars stop because I am reasonably afraid of someday pissing off the wrong person and getting hurt. I would like to follow the law, but it seems to enrage people, and I’m more concerned about staying alive than being ticketed for being technically at a forward velocity of 0.5 mph rather than stopped.

          • Anonymous

            Eponymous said:

            “Fortunately it is less frequent that the driver gets so angry that they attempt to execute a pass in front of me before getting to the speed bump halfway down the block (on a street where the speed limit is only 15 mph!!) which usually results in my having to slam on the brakes to avoid going through their rear windshield. ”

            The fact that you have to slam on your brakes to avoid hitting someone whom you’ve claimed has already sped around you as you wait at a stop sign kinda undercuts your position that it takes a “considerable time” it takes to get back up to speed.

            If it really did take a considerable amount of time then I imagine you’d necessarily be far enough away from the speeding car not to need to slam on your brakes when he came to a screeching halt.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t think it’s a considerable time at all, it doesn’t bother me to take 2.5 seconds to get moving (besides, that’s what gears are for…I always downshift before a stop).

            But the cars behind me clearly think it’s a considerable time because they are blaring their horns/screaming at me and then I hear the engine revving as they speed up to pass me and I kind of freak out a little bit, because no matter how many years you ride a bike, the feeling of someone passing you at close range isn’t terribly comfortable. And because the problem of the “considerable time” is one of perception rather than reality, the driver frequently underestimates my ability to get up to speed, hence their passing me with too little clearance both to the side and the front and causing me to brake suddenly to avoid a collision.

    • According to his twitter post it was a warning. He said the normal ticket would have been $50.

    • Anonymous

      Looks like the 4-way stop at 11 & Fairmont

  • TG

    A cyclist blew past me this morning when I was stopped at a stop sign. I didn’t even see him coming. The level of carelessness of many of the bikers in this city is astounding. And let me preempt the usual response by saying, yes, motorists are often careless as well. And yes, there are responsible bikers. My point is that I very frequently see people on bikes doing incredibly stupid and dangerous things. I think some enforcement of the traffic laws is entirely warranted.

    • textdoc


  • Good!
    I’ve been hit by a bike (11th and N, on the sidewalk). Guy was going REALLY fast with headphones on – again, on the sidewalk – and smashed into me. Luckily it was pre-pregnancy. But WTF? there’s a bike lane there.
    My husband commutes by bike but luckily follows the laws. I also find it funny how most of the time, the cyclists who blow through stop signs/lights tend to do so without helmets on. I don’t like those odds.

    And yes, I agree with jaywalking tickets. Enforcement of the basic rules that make city traffic less horrible would help everyone.

    (I lived in Copenhagen, where no one jaywalks and even when there is clearly no traffic, they wait for the hand to turn green at the intersection…gotta love it)

    • Most of what you’re describing sounds a lot like the couriers in DC. I’ve found them to be by far the most offensive in terms of blatantly defying the rules and courtesies of the road, shocking because they actually do it for a living, but maybe not so much since they’re probably the most “comfortable” on their bike.

      • Sunsquashed

        Nope, couriers rarely use sidewalks. I was a courier in NYC for 2 years, and I can confidently state that riding on the sidewalk is extremely inefficient in most cases. Plus, most couriers would never wear headphones. The guys who I see doing rude stuff like this are most often Latino guys in Columbia Heights (although I’ve seen rude/dangerous biking like this by all races, sexes, ages, etc…).

        • NYC sidewalks are drastically different (due to crowding of pedestrians) than DC’s are. And I routinely see them wearing headphones.

          • Sunsquashed

            Yeah, but even in DC, sidewalks are sooooo much slower than streets. I’ve never seen a courier in DC wear headphones.

      • AllTheThings

        Yeah I almost get beamed by couriers on a daily basis on K Street/L Street.

      • no, it was just a man in his early 20s riding his bike.
        But someone going fast on a bike, not stopping when they are legally required or going commuting speed on a sidewalk or any other number of things can REALLY hurt someone. An old person, a child, a pregnant woman. People who aren’t as fast to react. It’s ridiculous.

        He did stop, but he stopped to check his bike then kept going.

      • BitterElitist

        That doesn’t sound like a courier. They don’t use sidewalks, they slalom through crossing traffic and blow through stopLIGHTS. Asshole almost hit me on Conn.

  • Anonymous

    It’s about time! The bicyclists in this city are stupid. Riding around sans helmet, running stop signs, running red lights, riding erratically down sidewalks. On my walk to work the other day, of the 9 bikers I saw, 7 of them were doing stupid and dangerous things (one of them even almost ran me down when he didn’t stop at a red light while me and a few others were crossing the street with the walk light).

    I hope ticketing bikers for breaking the law is something that continues and becomes even more aggressive.

    • Next up: Pedestrians! Time to ticket the idiots walking when & where they please while staring at their phones.
      No more crossing outside designated crosswalks.
      No moving into the street until the WALK sign is lit.
      Those, too, are laws on the books designed to keep people safe… I look forward to their consistent enforcement, and to the complaints you’ll hear from some of the same folks cheering the cyclist crackdown when they are pulled aside and ticketed for jaywalking.

      • I’ve seen people get tickets for jaywalking. It does happen.

      • Anonymous

        I’m fine with this.

        Crossing mid-block by pedestrians on BUSY thoroughfares in DC is totally egregious – I’ve never seen anything like it anywhere else in the U.S. Not even in NYC, where I lived in Manhattan for 9 years. People literally mosey out in the middle of traffic to slowly shuffle across the street here in DC, nearly killing themselves, causing accidents, and holding up traffic.

        This is one of the many reasons why DC can’t have nice things.

      • It’s actually not illegal to walk while looking at your phone.

        • I don’t think it’s illegal to text while on a bicyle either — but it’s moronic and dangerous to walk while staring at one’s phone, particularly when crossing a street. (and of course it’s insanely stupid to do it while riding a bike)

    • squaredeal

      You know what’s REALLY stupid? Not wearing a helmet when you drive! Do you know how many deaths could be prevented w/ that one simple step? We should probably also mandate roll cages.

      400,000++ deaths by motor vehicle and counting since 2000…

  • Anonymous

    Except that infinitely more cars roll through stop signs and more pedestrians jay-walk. Those bicyclists don’t account for many people.

    • Anon

      Serious? That doesn’t make it okay. Apply this logic to myriad other situations involving safety.

    • ead2020


    • frustrated pedestrian

      actually on 11th st they do. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6wq5muOSv4 to see

  • 11 st resident.

    Good job!!! Love to see police officers on bikes doing a good job..

  • sunsquashed

    I have no problem with cyclists getting tickets for doing things that are dangerous/stupid/inconsiderate, but slowly rolling through a stop isn’t one of those things. At the same time, I’ve made MANY requests to MPD and DOT to ticket cars blocking bike lanes along 14th st. and I’ve always been given the cold shoulder. Many of the car driver complaints above (like bikes weaving in and out of lanes) are caused/exacerbated by cars blocking bike lanes. I think MPD needs to focus on ticketing behaviors that are most dangerous, and with few exceptions, the most dangerous behaviors on the road are those of cars (simply because they are heavier and go faster).

  • Evan

    Good. Long, long overdue.

  • SF

    Great. Now if we can just start ticketing pedestrians who cross against the light and cars that don’t use their turn signals, we’ll be in good shape.

    EVERYBODY on the road (cars, bikes, pedestrians) breaks the law. I’m fine with ticketing as long as it’s equally applied to everybody, and no group is given preferential treatment.

    • Well said! Enforcement needs to equitable and proportional.

      Here are some additional enforcement actions I’d like to see:
      * Snag all those motorists and bicyclists who insist on blowing through the marked pedestrian crossings – I’m thinking specifically on New Hampshire south of Grant Circle, but really it’s all over the city.
      * Motorists who insist on forcing right turns through pedestrians who, without question, have the right of way.
      * Pedestrians who jaywalk…especially on K STREET…idiots!
      * Motorists who attempt left turns from roadways that are restricted during rush hour.

      • SF

        Oh my god how I loathe those idiotic K Street jaywalkers.

        • K St is by far the worst, due to the parallel side street. I’ve actually seen people standing in that middle section on the street be hit before by cars trying to speed up and avoid getting stuck at a red.

    • Vic

      No. The equivalent you’re searching for would be a car blowing a through an intersection, running a red light, slowing down but not stopping at a stop sign. They DO get ticketed for all those things, and bicyclists should too.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds good to me. I don’t drive, I am a pedestrian and cyclist but probably walk more of the time. When cyclists run stop signs and stop lights, particularly while making turns around intersections with low visibility, it affects not just their safety but mine as well.

  • Anonymous

    Have had so many near – and what probably would’ve been fatal- collisions with cyclists who roll through signs and lights. This isn’t just annoying; it’s playing roulette.

    • squaredeal

      What I hear you saying is that you’ve never been hit.

      Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and atomic bombs.

  • gia

    Stop signs and stop lights are two different things. It’s a problem when a biker totally blows past a red light on a busy road as if it’s not even there. But when bikers yield at stop signs rather than stop completely it’s a safer move on their part in a lot of cases. Obviously EVERYONE (bikers and drivers) should make stopping for pedestrians their first priority. But if no one is crossing the street, it’s safer for all involved if bikers continue to cross rather than stop, put their foot down and then restart. It takes a lot of energy to start speeding up once you’ve totally stopped your bike. This is dangerous for a biker when cars can accelerate so much faster. Often a biker will get totally cut off by a car when both are stopped at a sign b/c the driver isn’t aware that the biker is trying to go straight or the driver simply doesn’t see the biker. When I first started biking I stopped at every stop sign I saw. In a lot of cases I felt unsafe sitting next to drivers who didn’t see me or started to turn while I was trying to go straight. Most bikers are not out to be rebels and disobey all the rules. We’re just trying to stay safe in a city that’s notorious for having the world’s most terrible drivers.

  • sensible

    The best solution is to legalize the Idaho stop. Bikes should always yield to anyone with the right-of-way and should slow down at stop signs, but expecting a full, foot-on-the-ground stop isn’t useful.

    It also dissuades biking, which is a healthy, low infrastructure, and environmentally friendly option that benefits the city as a whole.

  • Anonymous

    As a former cyclist, the real reason they are blowing through the stop signs is a kind of denial. People honestly believe that DC is a great city for bicycles, but this is ridiculous. This city has far too many hills to be a good ity to cycle. Philadelphia is a great city to cycle in, it’s practically flat as a board. My point is that in order to get up the hills in this city, you need momentum, and stopping at intersections breaks that momentum. This is why they are doing it, I can admit it, since this is exactly what I used to do. Once they have to stop at intersections, they will be forced to admit that it sucks to ride a bicycle in this town, it’s all just miserably slogging up hills.

    • Sunsquashed

      ???????? I could give a rats ass whether I’m going up a hill or down a hill. If I come up to an intersection and there are no cars or pedestrians in the way, I roll through the intersection. Why? because I can get from point A to point B faster (and in a safe manner). Hills have nothing to do with anything. Philly is a shitty biking city in many parts because the streets are much narrower, and getting doored is much more likely.

    • _

      “This city has far too many hills to be a good [c]ity to cycle.”

      This is a joke, right?

    • Twerk

      You can shift to a lower gear if you lose momentum going uphill. That’s one of the reasons they make bikes with multiple gears.

    • Anonymous

      up hills both ways. always up hills.

    • Mike

      Oh, please… I enjoy biking on hills! Lots of people do.

  • cw

    ITS ABOUT TIME!!!! Im worried un going to plow into one of these fuckers and then two peoples days are ruined.

  • cs

    +1,000,000, I am so tired of self-righteous bikers thinking road rules don’t apply to them and then bitch about how motorists don’t respect their rights. I drive and bike in DC and you know what, during the operation of either vehicle, I FOLLOW THE LAW.

  • Jake

    Pedestrians jaywalking pose just as much of a threat/issue. Would love to hear all of the bitching and complaining if the police start giving tickets for that!

    • Anonymous

      They have already started doing that at the corner of Connecticut and K Streets.

    • msm

      Pedestrians are much slower moving. 15mph vs 3mph is the difference between watching someone advance 3ft on a sidewalk, or appear out of nowhere from 20ft away hidden behind a car while your head is turned.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t understand your point.

        • jaka

          Of course you didn’t. That’s why you don’t bother slowing down for oncoming traffic.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t ride a bicycle, idiot. Now that I’ve read that comment about 25 times I think I see what the point was. It was not very clearly written.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah clearly jaywalking is not the same thing as what this article is about. If I jaywalk at 3 mph, the risk of me seriously injuring another pedestrian (or biker or car) is laughably miniscule. A metal bike moving at 15 mph can inflict serious injuries.

    • Twerk

      And how about those pesky skateboarders, roller bladers and segway riders! We need to regulate them as well!

      • You forgot people in wheelchairs.

    • Anonymous

      Excellent logic there that a person walking into you at 3mph would do as much damage as a cyclist ramming into you at 25mph. Get real.

  • Anonymous

    Um, news flash: you’re not required to carry an ID in this country. Tell them you don’t have one and give a fake name and address.

    • Anon5

      That would be a felony.

      • Anonymous

        I’m sure the police are going to worry a whole lot about that over a ticket for someone riding a bicycle.

      • Anonymous

        I shouldn’t have to give my name and address to a strange man if I’m not comfortable doing so.

        • KMB

          Is this a serious comment? If you break a law and are caught doing it, you are legally required to give your name and address to the policy officer who caught you.

        • Anonymous

          I probably would, if he were attractive!

          Love a guy in uniform!

    • KMB

      And they will proceed to run your name through their system, then arrest you when the picture that pops up doesn’t match.

  • Anonymous

    The same laws that govern a 2 ton metal death machine should not apply to a bicycle.

    • Sunsquashed


    • They don’t. You can drive a bike on a sidewalk, not a car. You can text on your bike, not a car. That doesn’t mean that certain other things should not apply to all methods of transportation though.

  • Ridge Street

    I would love to see tickets given to people who ride their bikes on the sidewalk….ugh, as an avid biker myself, that shite makes me crazy!

    • Anonymous

      You see that happening Downtown (where you’re not allowed to)?

      • Anonymous

        Every day!

        • Anonymous

          Oh wow, I never go there so I didn’t know. It seems like the sidewalk would be annoying for the biker because of all the people on it.

    • Sunsquashed

      I’d like to see the no biking on sidewalks law expanded to most of the city.

    • Jake

      Agreed! For sure!

    • sometimesibikeonthesidewalk

      when you’re biking on a busy street and cars are whoosing past you and some of them are honking at you and yelling things at you, and you see that there’s maybe one person on a sidewalk for the whole block, I’m sorry, but it makes sense to hit the sidewalk, especially when you’re not downtown.

      Asshole bikers blazing around with no regard for safety and decency are a problem whether on roads or sidewalks. I would argue that conscientious bikers who slow down in more dangerous situations and make a concerted effort to be safe and respectful to all are a non-problem, whether on roads or sidewalks.

      The sanctimoniousness of all three parties is just absurd.

      Driver sees biker on road, honks, yells GET OFF THE FUCKING ROAD
      Biker goes on sidewalk.
      Pedestrian sees biker on sidewalk, yells GET OFF THE FUCKING SIDEWALK ASSHOLE.
      Biker gets pissed, hates both, stops giving a fuck who s/he pisses off and starts telling driver and ped alike to FUCK OFF.
      Cycle repeats 500 times, everyone is pissed, each group feels like an embattled victim.

      • Laws

        1. If the street is too busy for your comfort – it is upon you to find a LEGAL alternative route. In the DC Core, that is NOT the sidewalk. That cyclists would choose to break the law for their own convenience tells a great deal.

  • happycyclist

    1. yes, they have a write to ticket cyclists and they do. Bike haters who claim cyclists are not ticketed, take note

    2. that said, its silly to prioritize ticketing folks for Idaho stops – IE slowing at a stop sign, treating its a yield sign. Thats safe, and there are so many things some cyclists do that are not – like biking against traffic, biking at night without lights, blowing through (by which I mean not stopping at all, rather than stopping and then proceeding which is illegal, but far less dangerous) red lights. Ticketing for Idaho stops is the moral equivalent of ticketing a driver who goes 2 MPH over the speed limit.

    • rice

      “Ticketing for Idaho stops is the moral equivalent of ticketing a driver who goes 2 MPH over the speed limit.”
      yes. this.

    • MiCoBa

      yes. thank you.

  • biker

    This website has some of the most whiny, self-righteous, a-hole commenters I’ve ever seen. Is DC really full of people this terrible?

    Yes, bikers should not be on the sidewalk or blow through red lights and stop signs without looking. Yes, some bikers suck. But rolling through a stop sign? If you need someone to explain why that’s a completely reasonable thing to do I’m guessing you’re already beyond reason.

    The rules of the road were written for cars. Good bike enforcement would give some leeway to bikers who ride responsibly but don’t obey the letter of the law.

    There are absolutely bikers out there who could/should be ticketed. If MPD is serious about enforcement, why not ticket riders who (1) blow through lights, (2) don’t slow down and all for stop signs, (3) ride on the sidewalk, (4) ride far to quickly on the Mt. Vernon or RCP trails, or other egregious and dangerous behavior.

    A good analogy might be that no cop gives a ticket for going 2 miles an hour over the speed limit. Good enforcement would send the message that those who ride/drive responsibly won’t get ticketed even if they’re not perfect. And those who blatantly and dangerously flaunt the law will be ticketed regularly. It seems like what happened here (and in the past) is someone complained and MPD sent out an officer to ticket bikes indiscriminately. If MPD actually wants to encourage safe biking this is not the way to go about it.

    If commenters really care about safer streets, advocate for a reasonable enforcement plan rather than being self-righteous pricks.

    • also biker


      Fuck you people in your BMWs.

    • Anonymous

      Your subsequent reasonable points are completely overshadowed by your intial dickish opening. First impressions matter.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, unfortunately DC is full of people like this. They used to be too scared to live in the District and kept their antics in Virginia, but now they’ve moved in and are trying to turn yet another city into the suburbs. If you like the suburbs, stay there.

    • AllTheThings

      If there is one thing I’ve learned in 3+ years of PoP comments, it is that, yes, people in DC are really this terrible.

      • Anonymous

        You really need to read the comments on other local news sites. Especially those that attract more centers from the exurbs.

        • Anonymous


        • AllTheThings

          Oh, I know it gets worse. PoP is just in the range I can handle–sometimes ridiculous assholes, but interesting and usually reasonable. Once and a while I make the mistake of reading WaPo comments and then I just want to curl up in a corner and cry/hate all humans.

    • Nads

      You do realize that, aside from the central business district, DC bikers can legally bike on the sidewalk? You know this, right?


      But then again, you’re locked into your view. So why am I even bothering?

      If you’re comfortable rolling through stop signs, then please stay off the road when those of us who follow the law are biking. Thanks.

  • Myron

    Wow…these comments make it seem like all people riding bicycles are absolutely suicidal maniacs with no regard for their own lives. Except, there is a remarkably low fatality rate for bicycle riders in this city. So despite the rampant claims of dangerous, suicidal behavior….why aren’t more cyclists run over and killed? Could your perceptions be completely erroneous and false?

    • msm

      In my case, good brakes. I have to slam on my brakes for at least once a week for a biker ignoring a stop sign. Same goes for cars, but they’re a lot easier to see

  • msm

    Please stop equating bikers with pedestrians. A bike moving at 15-20mph covers between 22 and 30 feet per second. A person walking at 3-5mpg covers 4-7ft per second.

    To put this in perspective, in the time it takes you to look both ways, given the relative small visual foot print of a bike, there are many situations where a bike would literally appear out of nowhere.

    This gets even worse if you’re going down hill, say from Columbia hgts south. 25-30mph down the big hill is 35-45fps.

    Think that driver is gonna see you when he pulls out. Think again.

  • Tripp

    Bikers need to start following traffic rules- you guys suck most days!

    • Anonymous

      i’ve had cars hit me while im in my bike lane. I had a pedestrian run in to me while i was fully stopped for a minute at a red light. I’ve seen some bikers dart right in front of cars and buses.

      Point is, there are tons of terrible commuters using all forms of transportation.

  • Anonymous

    I particularly love the “I’m a biker” thing. You’re a bicycle rider!

    • John

      From M-W, the definition of “biker”.

      1. bicyclist

      2. motorcyclist; especially : one who is a member of an organized club or gang

      Will you stop now? Thx. If it’s “bicycle rider”, shouldn’t it also be “motorcycle rider”?

      • Anonymous

        In the developing world it either means “someone who’s too poor to have a car” or “someone who’s rich enough to not have to walk everywhere.” Funny how bikes here have become something that only the well-off can afford to use for transportation!

        • Absolutely untrue.

          • Anonymous

            What is?

          • Anonymous

            I live downtown. I bike, and I often accompany my daughter on her way to school as she bikes as well. Our daily experience is one of stopping at the red lights as EVERY OTHER bike zooms by us and blows through the red lights. We watch as other bicyclists force pedestrians to duck and dodge them, and we watch as other bicyclists ride the wrong way on bike lanes and on streets, weave in and out of traffic, and ignore a score of other laws and rules that would otherwise help everyone know what to expect and increase our safety. Message to my fellow cyclists: Grow up. Now that we have bike lanes and acceptance and even encouragement to bicycle in the city (which was a long time coming), take responsibility for your actions and do your part too. Just follow the laws. If and when they change, follow the new ones. Period.

          • yyy

            my rule: when people are around, obey the laws. when no one is around, run stop signs and some lights.
            never ever ever disrupt someone else’s right of way. .

          • Anonymous

            No to your first point; mistakes happen and “I thought no one was around” will be little consolation if you kill or injure someone while deliberately breaking the law. You are dead on with your second point.

          • Nick

            I agree. That’s basically what I do.

        • AllTheThings


    • AllTheThings

      Lol, I put about .00001 seconds of thought into my word choice there. I am usually up on word usage controversies. I had no idea that there is an issue of biker vs. bicycle rider? Is it like something that motorcycle riders are sensitive about? Is that the issue, that biker = for motorcycles only?

      I am genuinely curious.

    • Anonymous

      i don’t get what you mean.

  • Ja

    Hurray! I wish I could find the cyclist who ran me over. I mean, as a pedestrian, I stopped his bike as he tried to bike through me. He just drove off with me on the ground. Jerk toast.

  • Anonymous

    As someone who just lost my brother-in-law to a commuter bike accident, I can honestly say that the person who seemingly submitted this to POPVille in annoyance for receiving the warning should be ashamed of his carelessness about the safety of himself and those he shares the road with. You got a written warning that will hopefully remind you to be more careful so you and the motorists around you get home safely – god forbid.

    • Anonymous

      Damn. This thread just got REAL.

      • Anonymous

        [Larry notices a picture on his rabbi’s desk]

        Larry: Is that you?

        Rabbi: That’s… that’s Eddie Solomon. My brother-in-law. He, ummm… he died on September 11th.

        Larry: Oh my gosh. Oh, I’m so sorry.

        Rabbi: Yeah. Terrible.

        Larry: He was in the building?

        Rabbi: No, no. He, he was… uptown on 57th Street. He got hit by a bike messenger.

        Larry: Uptown?

        Rabbi: Yeah, yeah. Bike messenger. Hit ’em.

        Larry: [Long pause] What a shame.

    • “Seemingly” being the key word in your assumption of someone’s character.

  • lovessoldier

    Hip Hip HOORAY!!! 2 preggo co-workers were knocked down because bikers don’t stop at RED LIGHTS so this is refreshing news. Even though I have personally witnessed DC’s FINEST parked at 11th & Park while cyclists whiz around the corners onto 11th with out stopping at stop signs then cursing drivers and pedestrians who dare cross their path LEGALLY. I really feel bad for folks who walk their dogs in that area. What if Muffin gets creamed because a biker is moving too fast and doesn’t see you or your leash. What is the stat on that?

  • Anonymous

    Next please:
    Expand the no-sidewalks rule to the whole District. I live in CH and have daily near-misses with hispanic men weaving genially around pedestrians.
    Enforce the no-sidewalks rule everywhere, always. Being too afraid or too unskilled to ride in the street with the other speedy wheeled vehicles is no excuse to put pedestrians at risk. You’ll just have to walk if you can’t handle it.
    And, always and forever, enforce the no cell phone while driving rule. Texting on the Beltway? Seriously?? You deserve to spend the night in jail.

    • Anony

      YES to the sidewalks rule. I usually dislike making generalizations but it seems like every Hispanic guy on a bike is on the sidewalk in that area and it makes me crazy. I’ve seen it dozens of times on 15th St which has TWO bike lanes. GET OFF THE F*%!ING SIDEWALK ALREADY.

      • BitterElitist

        I live in CH and wholeheartedly agree.

  • i follow the idaho stop rule, even though it’s not DC law (yet…)

    but if I got a ticket while doing so, then so be it.

    and +1 on whoever said that cyclists (especially bikeshare folk) have to pass a road safety test. the sidewalk riders are the worst.. no i will not get out of your way while walking on the sidewalk.

  • lovefifteen

    It’s about time. Thank God the police crack down on bikers for their ridiculous flouting of the law. Would love to see more tickets for jaywalkers, too. Ugh.

  • PoP, ever get a response regarding the cyclists you posted who punched the driver through her window?

  • Anonymous

    Good good!

  • Anonymous

    I will come to a complete stop on my bicycle, at every single intersection.

    I will also “take the lane,” so cars all behind me are just going to have to wait as I get going again.

    • Anon

      And I’ll do this going north on 16th St by Meridian Hill Park during rush hour even though there is an extra wide sidewalk nearby

  • Anita Hoare
  • I agree with the general sentiment. Enforcement of traffic laws is a good thing regardless of the mode of transportation. I bike daily and break laws but I do it conservatively. If I got this ticket, I’d suck it up and be more careful in the future. I really do try to be a courteous biker. And I try to budget for my own stupidity.

  • Rob

    Note that I recently passed one of these bicycle enforcement operations on 11th Street while riding. I saw it ahead of me, and proceeded to make a COMPLETE stop with foot on ground (not claiming to do this every time, but I certainly did this time – I saw the cops afterall!). After starting again I passed the cop who told me about how there was a stop sign there and suggesting I pull over. I told him I stopped, and kept going. I’d be suspect of any of these tickets without evidence.

    Also – I don’t get the sense this poster is complaining, just informing.

  • tbone

    LOCK ‘EM ALL UP AND THROW AWAY THE KEY! WATCH OUT PEDESTRIANS AND DRIVERS THEY’RE COMING AFTER YOU NEXT! Meanwhile nobody can walk down the street or ride the metro with their phone out because criminals feel confident enough to steal it from you and possibly beat you up while they’re at it without any consequences. But by all means lets keep writing those traffic tickets.

    I’m sure the good people at the MPD are trying their very best (bless their hearts) but let’s face it drivers/cyclists/pedestrians/criminals/whoever treat this city like it is the freaking wild wild west because 97% of the time you break the law, no matter how major or minor, you simply will not be caught (yes I made up my own stat, everyone else here is doing it). So go ahead and run that red light while you’re going 70 mph on K St, you know where the cameras are so you know where to slow down or stop at a red light. Go ahead and ride your bike like a complete maniac, chances are you’ll just get wherever you’re going faster. Go ahead and break into your neighbors house while they are at work, even if MPD bothers to respond to the call and take a report they’re not catching you unless maybe they catch you in the act and even then they’ll probably undercharge him or her to keep the crime stats low, this happens everyday.

    If you were a victim of a crime do you really have confidence that MPD will catch the SOB who did it and bring him/her to justice? I think most of us would say no, and that is a shame

    • AllTheThings

      This commentary has devolved to the point that I can’t decide who is being factious or not.

      • cash

        Another ignorant comment from an entitled biker who refuses to assume responsibility for his actions !

        • AllTheThings


  • Anonymous

    Why do bicycle related posts send the POP commentariat in to such a frothing rage. It’s like clock work. No one in Amsterdam is bitching about rolling stops.

    • textdoc

      It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Amsterdam, so I don’t remember the specifics there… but when I was in Stockholm and Copenhagen more recently, I was impressed at how bicyclists stopped at lights and stayed stopped until the lights changed.
      I also liked how the bike lanes were slightly elevated above the car lanes, so that cars couldn’t use the bike lane space (unless they felt like going over a curb to do it).

      • squaredeal

        Compliance is high b/c they have dedicated, separated infrastructure that keeps them safe. The US doesn’t.

        • I’m not sure it’s a cause/effect thing (whereby they *wouldn’t* comply without the separate infrastructure).
          It would be nice if we had both here — the separate infrastructure, and also the compliance.

    • Legalized marijuana.

  • Anonymous

    WTF is this with texting while biking all of a sudden? I just 2 bikes nearly get hit at Conn & N because they were texting and just flying through the red light. Both of them started flinging f bombs at the drivers who had the green light!

  • After reading all of this I think the clear answer is this: everyone stop bickering and go get on your bike. F*ck the police, use common sense, be respectful, dont be stupid and remember, perspective is everything. Safe travels kids 🙂

    • frustrated pedestrian

      F@@k the police? You are one of those people building good neighborhoods? Spare me.

  • Anonymous

    PLEASE MPD – come to Georgetown and get idiots who blaze through K street (under the Whitehurst) to and from the Cap Crescent trail. I know MPD periodically hands out jaywalking tickets on M but they need to venture down to K. As a pedestrian, the crosswalks are scary and I’ve had numerous near misses with cyclists and have seen pedestrians struck by bikes while in the crosswalk.

  • Ashley Swagz

    Wow! So much anger and frustration! Let’s have a Town Hall. I will like to unite Peddies, Bikies and Car folk. WABA…let’s organize this…lol

  • anon3

    I can’t wait until they start enforcing ‘no biking on sidewalks downtown’. Of course that is a little hard at the moment, seeing as how the city wants bike parking spaces on the sidewalk. Why not remove street parking for cars, and install streek parking for bikes instead? No, the rack on 7th street at G NW in the middle of an intersection, doesn’t count, isn’t safe, and it’s astounding that WABA supported its installation. The other dozen racks WABA installed with narrow parking that are used by motorcycles don’t count either, and I don’t think they meet DC code.

    • MiCoBa

      That’s a good point. Having the racks and bikeshares on the sidewalk could be giving the impression that bicycling is allowed on all sidewalks.

      • squaredeal

        “Why not remove street parking for cars.”

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! I’ll call Metropolitan A.M.E. and get right on it.

        There are two things sacred in the US, guns and on-street car parking.

  • katier

    One of the biggest dangers I see on a daily basis is a bicyclist who doesn’t stop and “tags” onto a car’s tail end, who is going through a stop sign. I don’t always see these guys and end up closely hitting them as I take my turn at the 4-way stop.

  • Anonymous

    If I got this ticket (and I certainly could), I would have no grounds to complain on the law.

    That said, I do not like this use of enforcement resources. There is so much worse bike behavior than rolling stops at minor intersections, and the effort could be better spent on curbing that worse behavior. And it might have a stronger chance of changing overall bicycle behavior, too.

    For example, ticket the bicyclists (and pedestrians) who go through against the northbound left-turn arrows at 14th & R or 14th & K. Ticket bicyclists for running readlights downtown. Etc.

  • textdoc

    Wow. Who knew “I think some enforcement of the traffic laws is entirely warranted” would be so controversial?

  • Shawn

    I am one of the residents on Fairmont that called the cops about the problem at the intersection with 11th NW. I am so glad the police finally followed up on this problem. Must remember to send the district officer in charge of cycle issues a thank you note.

    • CB

      I’m so glad that your complaining will probably increase full stops at that intersection by about 2%.

      • Anonymous

        You mad, cycle-bro?

    • Anonymous

      Good job. Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    GUYS! If we just legalize marijuana then this bickering would end! Bikers loving drivers loving pedestrians loving friendly neighborhood dogs. Just all around love, man.

    • Native Daugter


      Goes back to that Amsterdam comment. Gotta have TRUST America.

  • Eb

    The quote from the bike rider reminds me of this exchange from the movie Clueless (1998).

    Dione to Cher: Hello! That was a stop sign.
    Cher: I totally paused.


    A pause is not a stop! I think that bike riders are trying to avoid putting their foot on the ground or otherwise stabilizing themselves as is needed when they come to a complete stop, but if you want to ride, follow the rules. As a pedestrian who walks to work, I am sick of being almost run over or otherwise trying to avoid bike riders who are swerving around the crosswalk trying not to stop.

    • Anonymous

      It’s not the stopping that’s a problem. It’s the stopping then starting back up.

      I don’t condone the crosswalk behavior you’re talking about, but you should understand that there’s more to it than just “oh I don’t want to stop” because bikes function differently than cars and walking.

      • DC Pedestrian

        This whole argument about “physics” and “OMG, we have to start peddling after a full stop – it’s sooooooooooo hard and energy intensive” is totally facetious.

        Just admit the truth – you’re lazy and want to get where you’re going as fast as possible. Rules be damned.

        Frankly, cyclists’ laziness does not merit an exemption from the safety rules. If you don’t want to peddle, don’t bike. You’re already out there ostensibly doing this for the health benefits, so just do a bit more peddling. You’ll make it to work on time, I promise. In the meantime, don’t ride in circles in the crosswalk or run red lights.

        • Anonymous

          To be fair, there are places where it’s impossible to make it across the intersection in time if you wait until the light changes to start up.

          • Anonymous

            Seriously? Do you mean if you’re on a bike stopped at a red light, that when it turns green it doesn’t stay green long enough for you to cycle through the intersection? Where does that happen?

          • Anonymous

            To be fair, you’re full of hyperbole. This isn’t Beijing, it’s DC. Our intersections are not that large.
            And besides, if you can’t get through it as a biker, then how the hell are pedestrians crossing that intersection?!?

          • Anonymous

            The intersection of Spring Road and NH Ave. NW is a good example. The green on spring to cross NH lasts for 4-5 seconds, generally long enough for 1 (maybe 2 if they finish on the red) cars to go through. When I have cycled through that intersection the light has turned red about halfway through, leaving me in the middle of NH Ave!

            Pedestrians can’t cross the intersection (with the light) without hitting the pedestrian button on the lightpost. If you hit the pedestrian button, the light lasts for about 20 seconds instead of 5.

            This intersection has the additional problem of having a light triggered by the weight of a vehicle. So if you are stopped there on a bicycle you can’t actually get the light to change, ever. You either have to wait for a car to come up behind you, triggering the light cycle, or go up onto the sidewalk to hit the pedestrian button and then re-enter the intersection. It’s just a mess and I’d advise cyclists to avoid it (easier said than done I suppose if you live on Spring/Princeton itself).

          • Anon 4:26

            Interesting. I pass through that intersection fairly often (mostly on foot, sometimes in a car) but I’ve never much noticed the timing of the cross street light. I’ll check it out tonight. Still, if you’re actually reaady to go when the light turns green, I think 4-5 seconds should be enough time to clear the intersection on a bike.

          • Anonymous

            yep know exactly the intersection you’re talking about. if a pedestrian presses it to cross nh then it’ll stay green for like 30 seconds. if not, then that light is only green for like 10 seconds then you have to wait a very long time again for it to turn.

          • Anonymous

            11th and Pennsylvania SE is another good example. Pedestrians on 11th can only make it to the median before the light changes, unless they’re jogging across (which is what I usually do). This street has a bike lane too, so it’s popular with bikers. There’s a 311 request hanging out there to change the timing of the light but no one’s done anything about it.

        • happycyclist

          Why not replace all yield signs with stop signs then? I mean if its wrong to want to get somewhere faster? Why allow right turns on red? Why allow any streets to have speed limits over 20MPH?

          Fact is we ALL want to get where we are going faster and usually easier – some folks bike for health, not all do, and even those who do are sometimes in a hurry. And a foot down stop for block after bleck, when there is no cross traffic, needlessly adds time and effort with minimal gain in safety. The gain in safety from making cars stop is larger, and the additional time is less. thats why they are different cases.

          • Anonymous

            Sorry buddy, I’m not buying the argument. If you want to advocate changing the street signs and laws, then I’m all for it. But you don’t get to pick and choose which laws you get to violate, simply because you’re inconvenienced by having to stop every few blocks.

            Don’t you think cars would love to avoid stopping every few blocks in this city? Or how about pedestrians – don’t you think they are inconvenienced by “DON’T WALK” signals? Should they also get to choose to when to cross and add unpredictability to the streets?

            Just be honest and say you’re lazy and don’t want to deal with the hassle of stopping, even if it puts others at risk. Everyone else would at least respect your intellectual integrity a bit more.

        • Anonymous

          You can’t say bikers are lazy when they’re literally choosing to pedal themselves around town instead of tapping our feet in cars or sitting down in (sometimes) a/c metro.

          And it’s been mentioned before, but oftentimes it is safer and more convenient for cars if bikes do idaho stops. So no, it’s not just laziness.

  • ClevelandDave

    Is it my imagination or is the cyclist also going the wrong way on the bike lane, with a baby carrier in the back? If they are they are potentially causing a hazard to other cyclists going the right way (blocking the whole bike lane with the carrier) which also isn’t cool for the motorists either. It seems that might be more dangerous than a roll through the stop sign.

    • Anonymous

      In the second picture at the top? That looks like the back of a baby trailer and everyone looks like they’re pointed in the right direction to me.

  • JGK

    I have no issue w/ bikes, the more the merrier, just obey the laws. For example, quit riding the wrong way down 15th St NW to get the bike line just south of V. It’s really dangerous to the bikers and to peds and someone is going to get hurt.

  • bruno

    Hooray and hallelujah!
    You had it coming to ya!

  • Tomas

    I sincerely hope all the self righteous nit wits posting hate on cyclist get a ticket for going 5mph over the speed limit..

    • Anonymous

      What if they don’t drive?

      • happycyclist

        then they should get a ticket for jaywalking across a slow street where there is no auto traffic,

    • Sparta

      Your ad hominum attack aside, DC tickets drivers for going LESS than 5 miles over the speed limit.

      I got a ticket for 3 miles over the speed limit–$150.

      Ride a bike on the street, obey the laws, or get tickets. Same as car drivers.

  • cMaryC

    More. They need to be ticketed more for a good reality check. A friend and I were nearly mowed down on the sidewalk, and after calling out to the guy to lookout and slow down, he came back and started picking a fight. The people I know who ride bikes are decent, peaceful, cool folks. But there are some serious dorks out there.

  • Anonymous

    What’s the greatest # of comments a post ever received? Think we can get up to 300?

    • Anonymous

      Sooooo close! Come on guys!

  • Bad Bicyclists

    I can’t stand bicyclists in DC. They should all be ticketed when doing figure eights in the middle of the intersection. They should all be ticketed when blowing past any stop signs or red lights. You’re on the road, follow the rules. There is a advocacy group meeting at Meridian Pint next thursday in support of the rights of vehicles on the roads. We are tired of these bicyclists and we advocate for them to be registered with the city and be forced to have license plates.

    • Trolliver

      287 comments and this hasn’t been decided?

      Everybody – play by the rules! Go ahead and yield! Be nice! And have a nice day 🙂

    • another tri-modal

      when is the meeting?

  • Anonymous

    I’m surprised that cars blocking the box has yet to be mentioned in this impressive thread about DC traffic.

  • Anonymous

    I like boobs!

  • Anonymous

    Idaho Rule Idaho Rule Idaho Rule Idaho Rule Idaho Rule Idaho Rule Idaho Rule Idaho Rule Idaho Rule Idaho Rule

  • Sparta

    It’s about time.

  • PA Ave Bike Lanes

    MPD should set up on the PA Ave Bike Lanes. DDOT already determined that 50% of bikers run their red lights on the PA Ave Bike lanes. Should make for some juicy revenue.

  • Anonymous

    Really….they write you a ticket or a warning, what are they charging it to your bike id #? I wouldn’t give them a driver license.

  • Tanya Brown

    Really….I am curious as to what they charge these warnings are tickets to…..bike id maybe. I wouldn’t give them my name and I certainly wouldn’t give them a driver’s license.

  • Vic

    If you want motorists to share the road, then follow the rules of the road. Pretty simple.

  • Vic

    The fact that the bicyclists in these comments are equating running red lights and stop signs with pedestrians jay-walking (and not, say, cars running red lights and stop signs) illustrates the problem pretty clearly. You are a vehicle, not a pedestrian. Act like one. Follow the rules of the road.

    • Anonymous Coward

      But they are special. So very special.

  • The amount of vitriol that these sorts of threads inspires is more than a little disappointing, especially with all of the hypocrisy from all sides. Having lived in the DC area for nearly a decade, I can honestly say the pedestrian, cyclists, motorcyclists, and drivers are all equally bad. Whether commuting to work, going out at night or on the weekends, or just strolling around my neighborhood in Park View, I have lost track of the number of times that I have nearly been crashed into regardless of what mode of transportation I myself was using. Suffice it to say, DC area residents + vehicles = the suck.

    On foot, I have had to deal with cab drivers who do not yield to pedestrians, crazy kids on unregistered off-road motorcycles, cyclists failing to stop at stoplights, drivers who refuse to stop at marked crosswalks, and even other pedestrians who insist on walking 5 abreast on the sidewalk and refuse to make room for people to pass.

    On the bicycle, I have been cut off in the bike lane by cars attempting to make a turn without signaling, cars pulling into the bike lane from a parking space without signaling, drivers opening doors into the bike lane without checking for cyclists, pedestrians stepping out into the middle of the street against the light without paying attention to traffic, and cars failing to yield right of way at a stop sign.

    On the motorcycle, I have been yelled at by cab drivers to use the bike lanes (moronic, I know), nearly rear ended, cut-off by drivers who think the gap between two cars isn’t occupied, nearly killed by idiots who change lanes without signaling or checking, and at least twice nearly crushed by a driver trying to make a left across multiple lanes of traffic just as a light turns green.

    In the car, I have been rear-ended, nearly crashed into by drivers trying to squeeze into traffic, nearly crashed into by taxis making illegal u-turns mid-block, and nearly run into pedestrians who dart out into the middle of the street without checking for oncoming traffic. I have had more close calls in the car because some jerk decides he wants to be exactly where I am at the moment and forgets to check his mirrors to make sure there isn’t another car occupying the space.

    So essentially, no one can claim to be innocent in this mess and nobody should act as if their hands are totally clean in this matter because, unless you are inhumanly perfect, chances are you have been guilty of committing some sort of infraction yourself.

    Instead of this constant battling, which incidentally just seems to encourage, and sometimes reinforce, the bad behavior, we should be looking at how our entire transportation infrastructure should be adjusted over time to meet our changing transportation realities. All road users should have stake in this discussion and we can find solutions (they are out there, after all) that help every get where they are going faster, safer, and more conveniently. In return, we all, as road users, should take greater responsibility upon ourselves to learn the rules and abide by them. We should also expect holistic enforcement of the rules, instead of targeted enforcement actions that breed antagonism, and we should hold those responsible for enforcement accountable in meeting that expectation.

    Alright, off my soapbox…

    • cycalist

      Best comment on the thread. I bike, I am ok with traffic laws, and agree that the streets of DC are a Hobbesian nightmare. Google “complete streets” for an idea of what a sane transportation future might look like.

    • frustrated pedestrian

      Holistic enforcement of the rules? That doesn’t include a ticket? That is what they did – educated one week – enforce the next. What is holistic enforcement? Who gets the the ticket if the law breaker doesn’t and the law breaker keeps breaking the law?

      • By holistic enforcement, I mean no more targeting of one group and instead properly enforcing rules for all groups. So in the context of the original post, it would not just be ticketing cyclists, but pedestrians and motorists as well who are breaking the rules.

        • another tri-modal

          have you ever looked at bike ticket stats? A recent year there were just over 700 tickets issued in the whole year. I think there were a lot more tickets given to cars. It is about time bikes had some enforcement. Car enforcement happens despite what you think – at Fairmont and 11th, Ofc Rios regularly pulls cars over – often one car every three minutes that he is out there – I have watched and timed. Far more cars have gotten tickets at 11th and Fairmont than bikes aver have.

  • frustrated pedestrian

    To all people who think they are entitled to write their own rules of the road –
    Traffic laws are created so that traffic is predictable. Whether I am walking or in/on some sort of moving transit (bike, skateboard, car, motor cycle, unicycle, Segway, wheelchair – all of which I have seen in the street and in bike lanes), my safety, and your safety, is increased if I have an idea of what you are going to do before you do it. I wouldn’t pull out in front of you unless I was confident that you are going to stop at the stop sign. Idaho stops and further claims that existing traffic laws don’t actually apply to bikes only undermine predictability and thus everyone’s safety. All traffic laws are not going to make “sense” all the time but when there is no predictability blood pressure goes up and accidents will happen. If you want to ride a bike for fun, ride in the park when the roads are closed. If you want to ride for health, again the park or a gym. If you want to use a bike as a mode of transportation in public space, be predictable by obeying traffic laws.


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