Greater Greater Washington

Breakfast links: Unsafe


Photo by brad.coy.
Safe to break your promises-way: When the 5¢ bag fee was going into effect, most grocery chains provided free or discounted bags. Safeway promised to donate 10,000 bags to the poor through local nonprofits, but still hasn't come through. (DCist, Gavin)

Distracted drivers still safe from consequences in Md: WTOP summarizes Maryland's new cell phone rules. They're pretty toothless; you can still be distracted long enough to turn your phone on or off or answer or end a call, and police can't pull someone over even if they see them holding a cell phone. (WTOP)

Pedicab rules: DDOT has proposed regulations for pedicabs, including seat belts, headlights and taillights, reflectors, and hydraulic brakes. The details are in the DC Register. (WBJ)

Ice cream, not drugs: Some Capitol Hill residents love the local ice cream truck, others hate the noise, and some constantly suspect him of selling drugs. He's not. (City Paper)

NYC v. cyclists: The NYPD officer who got caught on video knocking a cyclist down in 2008 tells his side of the story (NYT) ... Without warning, NYPD cut numerous bikes off their locks for President Obama's visit for Earth Day. (this is fyf via WashCycle)

Recharge while you hang on: One designer devised a system for generating power from people holding overhead handles on buses and trains. It would only be enough to recharge an iPod here and there, though, not actually drive the bus. (Gizmodo)

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David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. 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 loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

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Re: Recharging handles

I have a better idea. Instead of seats, there will be stationary bikes that passengers can pedal in order power the bus. The air conditioning, of course, would still be powered by a mini nuclear reaction placed where the old diesel engine compartment.

by Adam L on Apr 26, 2010 10:39 am • linkreport

@ Adam L: True. Idle a few minutes less and save more energy.

by Jasper on Apr 26, 2010 10:53 am • linkreport

I wonder how the bike commentariat responds to this line:

"While Mr. Long [the biker] testified earlier in the trial that he had struck and killed an elderly pedestrian with his car in North Carolina, Mr. Pogan [the cop] testified that while working as an emergency medical technician before joining the Police Department he had saved a 56-year-old man who was in cardiac arrest.

by charlie on Apr 26, 2010 11:43 am • linkreport

@charlie,

I'll bite: what in God's name are you talking about?

:)

by oboe on Apr 26, 2010 11:45 am • linkreport

Some Capitol Hill residents love the local ice cream truck, others hate the noise, and some constantly suspect him of selling drugs. He's not.

Ah! Well, it sounds like this this schmuck--whose ice-cream truck blares "Turkey In The Straw" at jet-plane decibels while trolling through residential neighborhoods at 11pm in the evening--is owed an apology.

by oboe on Apr 26, 2010 12:13 pm • linkreport

@ I read the article too. I came to the conclusion the biker sounds a bit like a loose canon. Killing the elderly man who was walking wasn't his only past example of reckless behavior on the record.

by Bianchi on Apr 26, 2010 12:16 pm • linkreport

The nerve of that ice cream man, thinking he can continue to make a living the same way he's done it for 20 years. He's disturbing some people who moved into the neighborhood a couple months ago.

by jcm on Apr 26, 2010 12:19 pm • linkreport

I say let him sell what he likes, even if he were selling say MJ, I say good!

And if people in D.C. don't like that, they are being medieval in supporting criminal mercantilism for cigarettes.

by Douglas A. Willinger on Apr 26, 2010 12:30 pm • linkreport

The thing with the NYC cop isn't about what he did so much (how wrong it may be) but that he lied about it as well. Fine, be scared that a cyclist is gunning for you but to lie about what you did should probably be enough to discredit you fully in the first place.

by Canaan on Apr 26, 2010 12:33 pm • linkreport

RE: ice cream man - I can't think of a better combination then buying a popsicle and a joint. But I agree the blaring music is offensive.

by bing!bing! on Apr 26, 2010 12:33 pm • linkreport

I can believe the cop who said he fell down a couple times during the struggle w/Long immediately following the collision and confused the timing of those falls in his mind later. Also the poor guy deferred to the older cops in writing the report. I'm sympathetic to him for being a rookie on the job for 10 days. Besides, I have a bias and lost much of my sympathy for Long after learning he killed a pedestrian when driving and was caught at least once for vandalism. He sounds like an a--h--- who would do the things the cop described him doing immediately prior to the confrontation.

by Bianchi on Apr 26, 2010 12:39 pm • linkreport

@jcm:

The nerve of that ice cream man, thinking he can continue to make a living the same way he's done it for 20 years. He's disturbing some people who moved into the neighborhood a couple months ago...

Or five, or ten, or fifteen years ago. But your point stands: back in the day, I'm sure the mothers of children who were kept awake by music blaring at midnight didn't mind the late-night intrusion. Heck, they probably didn't even have to work in the morning, right? After all, who cares about legal operating hours when you're selling packs of smokes and pickled sausages on a winter's midnight?

'Cause, y'know, they were poor and minority, and only white gentrifiers care about that sort of thing.

You can keep on keepin' it real on the serious tip, hibbity-dibbity, but none of these issues (wakability / bike lanes / noise enforcement / traffic_calming) are "black vs white" or "rich vs poor". Poor folk are entitled to a decent environment in which to bring up their kids just like anyone else.

by oboe on Apr 26, 2010 1:25 pm • linkreport

@oboe I don't know which part of your post is most offensive to me. The suggestion that I think poor people are Reagan-style welfare queens, the insinuation that working class black folks need gentrifiers to come save them from their miserable lives, or your inexplicable use of dated slang.

That was some trifecta you hit.

by jcm on Apr 26, 2010 2:17 pm • linkreport

When I was growing up, ice cream trucks played soft jingly music, like a music box. At some point they started blaring tunes that sound like those obnoxious greeting cards all amped up. The sad thing is, Turkey in the Straw was actually a great song before they butchered it.

by Matthias on Apr 26, 2010 2:26 pm • linkreport

@jcm:

Thanks, it was intentional.

Now every time you feel the urge to write some flippant comment about how great 90s DC was before all the gentrifiers came and messed up everything, you'll need to write "Poor folk are entitled to a decent environment in which to bring up their kids just like anyone else" a hundred times.

Penmenship counts. Word to your mother.

by oboe on Apr 26, 2010 2:44 pm • linkreport

When I was your age, there was no air conditioning at home. Folks might keep a window open. The ice cream man did not need to make a whole lot of noise. Nowadays, a lot of folks are indoors with their own noisemakers. They can hear him fine as he passes by, but he needs them to hear him when he is still a block away, so they have time to pull on a bathrobe and locate their checkbook.

As a compromise, the community should provide a bagpiper to sit in the ice cream truck and play the bagpipes in place of the mechanized Turkey tune.

by Turnip on Apr 26, 2010 8:40 pm • linkreport

I wonder what the laws are when your GPS is on your cell phone?

by Dave Murphy on Apr 27, 2010 12:39 am • linkreport

@Turnip

As a compromise, the community should provide a bagpiper to sit in the ice cream truck and play the bagpipes in place of the mechanized Turkey tune.

Thanks for putting this in perspective. As an (half-) Englishman, I'll take the out-of-tune, mechanized Turkey In The Straw, thanks.

by oboe on Apr 27, 2010 9:07 am • linkreport

I'm happy to see that Pat "The Pug" Pogan is actually standing trial. It's great for him that his lawyer has been able to introduce all sorts of evidence about what a jerk Pogan's victim was, and it sounds like Pogan's victim really is an ass, who probably shouldn't driving a car or smoking dope (or carrying a rifle, as I'm guessing he did in the army). All of that is really beside the point, but unfortunately, it meake sit awfully likely that Pogan will avoid paying a price for his actions. (Yes, I know he quit the police force -- that's not really much of a price. The NYPD doesn't need any more guys like him.)

by Paul Product on Apr 27, 2010 1:23 pm • linkreport

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