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


Breakfast links: Same old, same old

A different driver reading. Photo by WeeJames.
Metro is more than just the train: A few weeks after the Red Line crash, many riders are still using the bus. It's a lot slower, but some are sticking with the bus because it's cheaper, or because they are afraid to go back to rail. (Post, Stephen Miller)

ReadOn: Another rider caught a transit driver paying attention to something other than operating. This time, it was on a Ride-On bus, where according to the rider's photographs, the driver seems to be reading while driving. (WTOP)

Denser counties safer, motorcycling not: Road fatalities have decreased in the region's denser counties, but increased in many more rural areas. Motorcycle fatalities are also up, partly due to more inexperienced drivers switching for the better fuel economy; bicycle fatalities have also risen, though not as part of an ongoing trend. (Post, Stephen Miller)

More stop sign tickets: Richard Layman narrowly escaped getting a ticket for not coming to an absolute, complete stop on his bike on the way to Friday's policy greenhouse. (RPUS)

A loophole and a sex-shop flounder: After Alexandria denied an Old Town property owner's request to add onto his historic "flounder" shed, the owner leased the property to a sex shop. Now, a city ordinance might allow the owner to proceed with the addition despite the city's and preservationists' objections. (Gazette Packet)

A fourth the parking: Old Town Manassas closed its VRE parking garage during the Fourth of July, arguing that it would otherwise dump too many cars onto the street at one time. But do residents have any alternative but to drive and park somewhere nearby? (PT's Parking Blog)

Advice to GOP: Be innovative, except in transportation?: A Baltimore Sun op-ed suggests ways to revitalize the Maryland GOP, including embracing environmental cleanup. Unfortunately, the author doesn't draw the connection to transportation and land use, recommending Republicans keep pushing for projects like the I-95 widening instead of transit. He says that's because it'll take years for projects like the Red Line to benefit commuters, but that roads are cost-effective. Sorry, new roads are on the drawing boards just as long, and are less cost-effective. Plus, how will that distinguish them from Maryland Democrats, again?

Wonder Woman wins!: Wonder Woman has won the NOI mock election. Street sweeping is safe and streetcars are at the top of the agenda, at least in the fictional world where she actually becomes mayor. Who will she pick as Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development?

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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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bravo to the DC police for letting bikers know that they must comply with the rules of the road and simply not run in and out of traffic as they please.

by SA on Jul 13, 2009 9:22 am • linkreport

It would be nice if the police would start ticketing all the car drivers (most of them) who don't stop at the stop sign next to my house.

I find that most bicyclists are much more law abiding than most car drivers.

by kenf on Jul 13, 2009 9:29 am • linkreport

As a lifelong bicycle advocate, I also support bicyclists getting tickets for breaking road rules because:

(1) Bikes that break the law give cyclists a bad reputation, making it harder for advocates to do their work (witness comment #1 above);
(2) If cyclists want equal privileges as cars, we also need to accept equal duties -- and getting tickets is a sign that we're starting to be treated as equals.

Now we just need the bicycle cops to themselves follow the rules and, for example, stop biking on the sidewalks. (I watched one collide with a pedestrian two weeks ago in downtown DC). More bicycle cops riding in traffic will do so much for drivers' awareness of bicyclists.

by Gene Koo on Jul 13, 2009 9:52 am • linkreport

I also noticed a police car was parked next to the W&OD trail on Saturday, presumably to give cyclists tickets for failing to stop. A yield sign rather than a requirement to stop is much more efficient for cyclists. In other news, a section of the Custis trail that was previously severely rutted was repaved and is now much safer for trail users.

by Ben on Jul 13, 2009 9:57 am • linkreport

If cyclists want equal privileges as cars, we also need to accept equal duties


Wrong. Cyclists "right" to the road is not contingent on all cyclists behaving, or on the good-will of drivers.

And yes, there is a "right" to cycle on the road; it's different from the "driver's priviledge".

Not my opinion--just the law.

by ibc on Jul 13, 2009 11:05 am • linkreport


Really? What law?

by Tim on Jul 13, 2009 11:27 am • linkreport

@ibc No it's not contingent as a legal matter but it is as a practical and political one.

by Gene Koo on Jul 13, 2009 12:08 pm • linkreport

I assume he's referring to the fact that drivers need to be licensed to ride on the road, unlike cyclists, though I find the point kind of weak.

Regarding everything else:
I agree, grudgingly, that cyclists should need to follow the laws to the same extent cars do. However, I would really like to see some Idaho laws in effect, because the idea that it is reasonable that I should always have to wait for all those lights on 11th in Columbia Heights when there isn't a lot of traffic on a bike is just friggin' ridiculous.

by Nate on Jul 13, 2009 2:31 pm • linkreport

I'm pretty begrudging too on this, and supporting tickets for bikes is pretty contingent, for me, on the police also taking bike accidents and incidents seriously -- including driver harassment of cyclists. Otherwise we'd be burdened with the duties and none of the rights.

by Gene Koo on Jul 13, 2009 5:00 pm • linkreport

A few weeks after the Red Line crash, many riders are still using the bus.

This sentence does not really make sense to me. Why would bus riders stop riding the bus because a Metro train crashed?

Also, sorry to say but it's further evidence that transportation writers/bloggers know very little about bus service or just have normal experience riding the bus.

by Jazzy on Jul 13, 2009 7:25 pm • linkreport

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