The Washington, DC region is great >> and it can be greater.



This parody flyer recently appeared on a San Francisco street, but could almost apply verbatim to most DC-area debates over road space—Glover Park's median, the M Street cycletrack, and many more.


    SAVE MASONIC!!! Don't let the UN make San Francisco a ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT EXPERIMENT! THEY WANT TO TAKE YOUR CAR AWAY! Did you know that besides countless meetings, mailers and community outreach the SFMTA is trying to SNEAK IN a redesign of Masonic Ave to MAKE IT SAFE FOR ALL USERS?? This is an OUTRAGE! Sure we skipped all the meetings and didn't read the mailers but AUTOMOBILE PRIORITY UBER ALLES!!!

    Despite a number of crashes, deaths and accidents, this street is TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY SAFE! Shout down and talk over anyone who disagrees with you and your made up FACTS!

    Don't let the BIG LIE* that over 700 people have been hit by cars in the past year in San Francisco fool you! MASONIC is as safe as a kittens belly fur!
    90% of the people who agree with us and the FACTS THAT WE JUST MADE UP SUPPORT OUR CONCLUSIONS!! RAGE CAPS!!!

    A FLOOD of frustrated drivers whose trip now takes 5 minutes and 15 seconds instead of just 5 minutes will go on a KILLING SPREE!!! YOU MAY BE THEIR NEXT VICTIM!!! LIKE SUDDEN IMPACT! YOU WILL BE IMPACTED! ALL DAY EVERY DAY! Analogous to what happens when a speeding automobile strikes you when you are crossing the road.

    Write letters as though you have a fifth grade education! Grammar be DAMNED! WE KNOW the County Stoopid-visors are doing this TO YOU because GREED! Their evil intent, their INSIDIOUSNESS and MEAN-SPIRITEDNESS is matched only by that of... THE CYCLISTS!!


    Keep the dream of the 1950's alive! EVERY ROAD IS A HIGHWAY! TEA PARTY FOR LIFE!!! Are you a lawyer? Do you know one that wants to work for free? Perhaps for a bunch of shrill, hysterical crybabies over forty? Why should cyclists and pedestrians ever feel "comfortable" near cars? What gives them that right?? ENTITLEMENT!!! ARRORGANCE!!!

    YOU DESERVE UNLIMITED FREE PARKING! IT'S NOT FAIR!!! MORE RAGE CAPS!!! THROW yourself on the floor! Spin around! Pitch a TANTRUM! People in cars should never have to compromise or share! It's the AMERICAN WAY! You're not a Communist, are you???

    Do you have your own anecdote about a cyclist being rude? Present it as DATA! Did a pedestrian hold you up for five seconds? Were you MAD that YOU had to WAIT? Tell the area representatives! Raise your voice! Shout at them! Get screechy! So the SFMTA has "engineers" who hold "Masters Degrees" and "Professional Certificates"—<wbr>do not be fooled! YOUR IDEAS ABOUT TRAFFIC ENGINEERING ARE JUST AS GOOD AS THEIRS!

    *source SFPD

The San Francisco MTA is trying to modify Masonic Avenue to add bike lanes and trees and calm traffic, a plan that the local neighborhood association supports, Uppercasing reports (via Streetsblog).

But angry residents have posted flyers objecting to losing parking spaces and other complaints, which the parody flyer mocks:

Do you have your own anecdote about a cyclist being rude? Present it as DATA! Did a pedestrian hold you up for five seconds? Were you MAD that YOU had to WAIT? Tell the area representatives! Raise your voice!

David Alpert is the founder of Greater Greater Washington and its board president. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. 


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Love It! Nothing quite like a clever reductio ad absurdum to drive home a reasonable point. What I find amazing is that SF, known as a bastion of liberalism, has these really vocal conservative elements when it comes to parking and transportation in general. It goes to show how parking politics transcends all reasonable partisan divides.

by Will on Aug 20, 2013 10:12 am • linkreport

This suits the Chevy Chase listserv to a T. One member frequently decries the enormous, well-funded and organized bike lobby. Plus, this person says you can easily see that we do not need better bike and pedestrian facilities on Broad Branch Road. Just drive over there and see for yourself!

by TJ on Aug 20, 2013 10:13 am • linkreport

Remember. In a public process that talks about relatively benign changes to our road networks (omg, special lanes for bikes!) you'll get a lot of respect and accolades by verbally abusing civil servants and interjecting your thoughts formed 7 seconds ago into a process that usually takes months and years.

They're just government employees. We can say whatever we want to them!

by drumz on Aug 20, 2013 10:32 am • linkreport

I'm a SF resident and both drive and use transit on Masonic. I see both sides to the issue at hand. First off, Masonic is the crosstown connector that joins Fell/Oak and Pine/Bush. Cars speed through this stretch with total disregard for not only bikes and peds, but other drivers as well. Now for the bikes...very few, if any, obey any traffic laws. I've narrowly missed cyclists who buzz thru red lights while I've got the green just because they feel like traffic laws do not pertain to them. Can there be a happy coexistence? Sure, but only if drivers and cyclists think of someone other than themselves. Then again, if more people were really concerned about their community as a whole SF would have a world-class transit system.

by Mark on Aug 20, 2013 10:45 am • linkreport

Ha! I love it. Old hippies becoming the old farts that they said they would never become when they were under 30.

by dc denizen on Aug 20, 2013 10:45 am • linkreport

I just want to testify that a kitten's belly fur is in fact HORRIBLY DANGEROUS AND RESULTS IN MANY SHARP THINGS STRIKING UPON ALL THAT TOUCHES IT.

by Bossi on Aug 20, 2013 10:58 am • linkreport

Great twist.

Too used to seeing the standard-issue "Democrats: Vote on Wednesday" or "You can't vote unless your phone bill and rent are all paid up" shitestormers.

by KadeKo on Aug 20, 2013 11:07 am • linkreport

Most bike lanes, dedicated transit lanes, etc. take metered parking spaces on commercial streets. The reaction from affected businesses isn't too pleasant either.

I noticed Best Buy now has reserved spaces for hybrids/electrics. Maybe with our ozone pollution problems we need to think of this too.

And reserved spaces for plug-ins with charging stations is way overdue.

by Tom Coumaris on Aug 20, 2013 11:17 am • linkreport

The IPCC is warning, in a draft report, that the seas could rise three feet by century end. On top of this, we still don't know what will happen to the food chain with ocean acidification. It's also clear that the U.S. refuses to show any leadership in address climate change. The only action, remaining, before we all perish in fire and ice, is on the local level. Let's not go out without a fight: Bring on the car apocalypse.

by kob on Aug 20, 2013 11:58 am • linkreport

My favorite complaint is this area is from auto commuters who complain about being held up by cyclists on Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park.

by Crickey7 on Aug 20, 2013 11:59 am • linkreport

"Get Screechy!"

by Tina on Aug 20, 2013 12:08 pm • linkreport

Needs more guttural wailing, but otherwise pretty spot on.

by Alan B. on Aug 20, 2013 12:13 pm • linkreport

buzz thru red lights

Thank lob someone brought that up...

by thump on Aug 20, 2013 12:16 pm • linkreport

This sounds a lot like Jack Evans who was inconvenienced having to take his daughters up Wisconsin to their private school.

BTW: he's running for Mayor . . . wait for it . . . . of Nantucket:

by fongfong on Aug 20, 2013 12:26 pm • linkreport

Buzz Through Red Lights would be a good name for a band.

by Greenbelt on Aug 20, 2013 1:18 pm • linkreport

My favorite complaint is this area is from auto commuters who complain about being held up by cyclists on Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park.

I don't get why this is funny or unusual. Beach Drive is one of the few stretches of road in DC where you can drive at a steady clip without being confronted with red lights every block. Since bicycles can't reliably travel more than 10-15 mph, it seems clear how it would be irritating to have to deal with that, since bicycles don't have their own lanes on Beach Drive (though they should probably be using the available trails).

by JustMe on Aug 20, 2013 3:35 pm • linkreport

Well considering DC is a city, red lights should be something that people expect regularly. Bikes should be another thing to regularly expect.

Plus if they're riding a bike you can ignore them!*

by drumz on Aug 20, 2013 3:44 pm • linkreport

Two reasons. First, it's a national park being used as a commuter thoroughfare, to the virtual exclusion of all other uses twice a day, in direct violation of its charter, and two, I would get passed by the cars only to catch up to them a short while later at where Broad Branch came in.

As for the trails, I have used them, but they are often crowded, too narrow, in poor condition and of a design that one might think is calculated to cause injuries to cyclists.

by Crickey7 on Aug 20, 2013 3:46 pm • linkreport

To tie it back to the article. Same for people who are flabbergasted by street re-designs that calm traffic and add bike lanes. You're in a city. Of course there are going to be lots of different people traveling around in various ways.

by drumz on Aug 20, 2013 3:47 pm • linkreport

Yeah, that is a good band name.
trademarking it now..

what kind of music would they play?

by scratchy on Aug 20, 2013 4:00 pm • linkreport

Post Rock?

by BTA on Aug 20, 2013 4:02 pm • linkreport

though they should probably be using the available trails

Um, what trails? Most of Beach Drive has no parallel trail for bikes. North of Pierce Mill the only legal place is in the road for almost the whole distance to Maryland. (Somehow this gap never seems to be mentioned..)

by DavidDuck on Aug 20, 2013 11:40 pm • linkreport

"Do you have your own anecdote about a cyclist being rude? Present it as DATA!"

Best. Line. Ever.

by OX4 on Aug 21, 2013 7:57 am • linkreport

Stop with your "facts" and get back on the sidewalk. Unless I'm in a "get off the sidewalk" mood, then just go to h*.

by Mike on Aug 21, 2013 7:59 am • linkreport

(though they should probably be using the available trails)

No trail between Pierce Mill and Military Rd.
Also no trail from Bingham Dr to the Maryland Border - you can climb out of the park on a trail but it still doesn't connect.

Shockingly, people are biking on Beach Drive because there aren't alternatives!

by MLD on Aug 21, 2013 8:09 am • linkreport

I just want to confirm what others have written regarding why bicyclists aren't using the "available trails" on Beach Drive. They don't exist! I've had a built environment/transportation interest for nearly 20 years now (and lived in D.C. since '96), and it still surprises me (although it really shouldn't any longer) how little folks know about the places they complain about. Yes, south of the Beach Drive intersection with Broad Branch, cyclists can hop on the trail. However, going north all the way to the Maryland border, except for a short stretch from Military to Bingham, there is no trail! Come on folks -- if you're going to complain, at least make the effort to learn about the area of which you're complaining.

by Sandy Zuckerman on Aug 21, 2013 10:15 am • linkreport


When I'm cycling on Beach Drive on my daily commute, I'm usually doing 15-20 mph, depending on the direction. Many of the other cyclists on the weekdays are at or near this same pace.

On the rare occasions that I drive on Beach Drive, I've had cars pass me illegally since I hold to the speed limit.

by DCAKen on Aug 21, 2013 11:01 am • linkreport

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