[Photo by Elvert Barnes]
Today there was some Twitter excitement over DDOT's installations of curbs, extra bollards and generally better protection for the First Street cycle track in Northeast D.C. However, part of this excitement is due to various events over the past year demonstrating that this level of protection is apparently a necessity. Yes, more often than not cyclists and motorists can often share the road without a problem, but here are a few of the more infamous and ridiculous incidents that detail that there's still a ways to go.
Holy Wrath: The cycle track on M Street was shortened by a block because members of Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church were concerned about what the loss of parking spots meant for the safety of their elderly members. Cyclists were of course, infuriated and called it a slippery slope.
Illegal! Illegal!: The city put in speed bump looking objects called zebras to stop cars from making the illegal U-turns on Pennsylvania Avenue (like this infamous one.) They did little good, potentially due to spacing and the staff of the Washington City Paper deemed them the Best Nonfunctional Road Art of 2014.
Caught On Video: In November a cyclist named Rob almost ran into a white van illegally parked in the L Street bike lane. While reporting the infraction to police, a couple started to berate him, telling him that he's "obnoxious" for reporting the vehicle and then telling him that he's wrong for "minding other people's business." The original post reporting this on Greater Greater Washington got 192 comments.
Enjoying The Bike Lane: Just a few weeks ago, Twitter exploded after the discovery that various motorists had made their way into the bike lanes near Union Station. This led to a few confrontations as cyclists photographed the offending motorists.
· The Bad Precedent of Bike-Lane NIMBYism [WCP]
· Video: Taxis Still Cutting U-Turns Through Pennsylvania Avenue, But Sometimes They Get Cited! [DCist]
· Couple berates cyclist for reporting van in bike lane [GGW]
· Best Nonfunctional Road Art [WCP]
· Will cycletrack barriers on Pennsylvania Avenue work? [GGW]
· Drivers Already Enjoying New Bike Lanes Near Union Station [DCist]