Attention DC Cyclists: Bicycle Safety is a Thing
I’m really thrilled that Capital Bikeshare (pictured above) is thriving, and that the city is become much more bike-friendly. New bike lanes, increased access, and more bike stations are a great way to promote sustainable development and reduce traffic. But as the temperature increases, so do the number of people using bicycles.
This spring, however, has been almost unbearable with regard to cyclists. I constantly see cyclists going the wrong direction in bike lanes, crossing intersections without the right of way, failing to signal, and worst of all: riding on crowded sidewalks.
Not only is this behavior obnoxious, it is unsafe. You may remember in December an elderly chinatown man walking with his wife when was struck and killed by a cyclist who didn’t even stop to help.
Yesterday I was walking with misanthropologie in Logan Circle when an angry cyclist rang his bell repeatedly and glared at us while we walked down P Street. There was a bike lane 2 feet to our left. When I informed him of such, the otherwise handsome gentleman shouted “are you talking to ME?” and nearly crashed into a fence. When I replied “Yes”, he got off of his bike and asked him how he was supposed to get it to the docking station.
Try removing yourself from the bicycle and walking it 10 feet to the docking station, dickhead.
Just because you are on a bicycle does not give you supremacy over sidewalks or the pedestrians walking on them. Bicycles belong on the roads, many of which have bike lanes.
Probably twice a day I encounter cyclists moving at various speeds on sidewalks. Sometimes the walkway isn’t crowded, and they will go around me. Sometimes it is: increasingly, I have drawn angry comment from cyclists for refusing to move.
This problem is only growing worse, and is contributing to a rise in bike-related accidents involving both pedestrians and motor-vehicles. We need to have more bicycle patrol officers from the DCPD on the streets enforcing bicycle traffic laws. Without enforcement, it seems I am fighting an uphill battle.
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- choronda said: As a DC biker, I agree with many of your points. I am definitely a street biker, but do know cyclists are allowed to be on sidewalks outside of the ‘central business district’ (essentially downtown). Cyclists = gray area b/w pedestrians and drivers.
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- bk2204 said: I’m elated to hear that you know that bicycles belong on the road. Nobody here in Texas seems to know that (cyclists or motorists).
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