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Breakfast links: One step at a time


Photo by txd on Flickr.
Take this lock and stick it: A vigilante in Williamsburg, Brooklyn has gotten fed up with the number of bikes parked in his neighborhood, so he's decided to rectify the situationby gluing the locks. Funny thing is, the bikes are still there... (The Brooklyn Paper, Erik W)

Metro opens data: WMATA's new developer's license agreement doesn't seem to have any indemnity language. Does this mean the Google Maps detente is nearly over? (DCist, Joey)

Getting to work: The Center for Workers with Disabilities has published a report [pdf] focused on transportation barriers to employment. Profiling the four Medicaid Infrastructure Grant transportation projects in Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Jersey, the case study suggests ways in which states and communities can advance accessible transportation. (Center for Workers with Disabilities)

We aren't getting any younger: The challenge of aging in a car-dependent place goes beyond the sense of loss many senior citizens feel when they have to give up driving. While this Post article doesn't quite make the leap, it touches on the need to reevaluate our transportation planning to help seniors maintain their independence. (Cavan)

No turn on red: Two USDOT employees have been struck at the intersection of M and First Streets SE; the first, Amy Polk, died. After a site visit by DDOT Director Gabe Klein and a meeting with USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood last Friday, no-right-on-red from 7 am to 7 pm will likely be the new rule at this pedestrian danger zone. LaHood also blogged about the meeting and general pedestrian safety on the FastLane. (TBD.com, FastLane, Stephen Miller)

You don't say: "The car is still king," Robert Thomson's headline tells us. No news there. The real story is that solo driving has become less popular in the past decade as transit and other modes grow. (Washington Post, Stephen Miller)

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Jaime Fearer worked in the book industry for over 10 years before pursuing a graduate planning degree, and she is a community planner in Greenbelt, MD. When she first moved to NE DC, she ran stop, blog, and roll. Jaime now lives in Trinidad DC, where she serves on the neighborhood associationís board. 

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How about a no-right-on-red for the rest of the city while you're at it?

by aaa on Aug 11, 2010 10:08 am • linkreport

I am a bit torn on the right-on-red issue. If you turn right on red, then you have to watch for pedestrian traffic crossing directly in front of you. If you turn on the green signal, then you have to watch for pedestrian traffic as you turn.

I am not sure it's really better or worse either way, except at intersections where there is a dedicated traffic-only turn signal. Whenever the car turns, it must avoid pedestrian traffic that could legally be where it's about to drive.

by Jamie on Aug 11, 2010 10:37 am • linkreport

I think that there should be a blanket rule of NO RIGHT ON RED anywhere within 2 number of blocks of any Metro station.entrance. If Metro was specially created to attract non/drivers (i.e. pedestrians) then one shouldn't be surprised that there is more pedestrian traffic near Metro stations - and those pedestrians should be given priorty, safety-wise, over cars.

by andy on Aug 11, 2010 10:44 am • linkreport

@Jamie-

Some issues with right turns on red is that the driver is looking left while pedestrians could be approaching from the right. Furthermore, with the wide crosswalks common throughout much of DC as well as the buildings & landscaping restricting sight lines: right-turning vehicles must often pull forward onto the crosswalk in order to be able to see leftward for a gap.

@in general...

My own opinion is that a blanket NTOR restriction seems a bit excessive... but I do think it could be implemented more readily in a number of the more densely-populated & busy areas where there are high enough pedestrian volumes... especially since in many cases there aren't gaps in pedestrians for a motorist to pull through, anyway, unless they intentionally choose to intrude into the pedestrian stream & block the crosswalk.

by Bossi on Aug 11, 2010 10:51 am • linkreport

@Bossi; well said. As a driver, I can think of two intersection that I have given up making a right on red for the reasons you identified; too hard too see given the amount of sidewalk furniture and the pedestrian stream is too heavy.

I'd go further and say we need some pedestrian-only (and car only) turn signals.

by charlie on Aug 11, 2010 11:07 am • linkreport

The right-on-red rule is mandatory in order to receive federal highway funding. The mandate was originally designed to save gasoline (like the since-repealed 55 mile per hour speed limit).

People with longer memories may recall the District put up "NO TURN ON RED" signs at almost every intersection. The city felt the right-on-red rule was too dangerous in a place where there were a significant number of pedestrian tourists (domestic and international) that might not be aware of the rule and too many odd-angle intersections. The USDOT ruled the District was not complying with the mandate, and threatened to withhold funding. As a result, many of the signs came down.

Of course, the signs that do exist are generally disregarded. What we need are arms that come down to block traffic (like at parking garages) to enforce the prohibition.

by Stanton Park on Aug 11, 2010 11:18 am • linkreport

I just read about an account, extremely sad, of a man who was cited for careless driving resulting in death of a passenger in his car. I have never read about a driver receiving a similar citation for death of a pedestrian. Never. I'm not saying it doesn't happen. But, has it?

Also, the issue of senior driving is very serious and should be engaged seriously. No throwaway answers or suggestions. Because let's face it - if a senior is to stop driving, then SOMEONE MUST DRIVE HIM OR HER. It is extremely labor intensive. There are no easy answers, but that should not be an excuse for working hard on this. I am for many seniors to stop driving. But a solution has to be found if she or he does stop.

by Jazzy on Aug 11, 2010 11:26 am • linkreport

Just to elaborate on Stanton Park's comment-

He is correct about how this applies to States with regards to the energy plan & federal funding, but municipalities (such as NYC's well-known blanket NTOR) do not fall within that federal law. Of course, where DC rests in this I cannot say for sure...

Stanton Park- Do you know which case ruled that DC has to permit RTOR by default?

by Bossi on Aug 11, 2010 11:43 am • linkreport

Re: Gluing locks: What the hell? That article has got to be the epitome of irresponsible journalism. The Brooklyn Paper should have turned him over to the police the second he approached them.

by andrew on Aug 11, 2010 12:09 pm • linkreport

@Bossi - I don't know that it was a lawsuit. It may have been an administrative decision by the USDOT. I'm young enough to be able to remember what I had for breakfast this morning, but not old enough to remember details from 30 years ago. I do distinctly remember my aunt blaming the feds for her neighbor's crash where another driver did not look before turning on a red light. If there is anyone here who has a connection at DDOT, they would probably know.

by Stanton Park on Aug 11, 2010 12:11 pm • linkreport

Thanks for that RTOR history. I was not aware of those things. It seems that stop lights have become eternal green lights for some right turners. These drivers seem genuinely shocked that they are supposed to stop before a crosswalk. They are busy looking to their left for traffic and not checking for pedestrians to their right.

The right turn from Bacon Dr. onto Constitution is one example where I've seen people nearly get picked off during the morning rush.

by aaa on Aug 11, 2010 12:56 pm • linkreport

Right turn on red is probably the most dangerous rule we have. Very few other countries allow people to disregard a red signal when turning.

What happens is always the same. Car cruises up to stop line, and then, while the driver is looking left, continues across the crosswalk without stopping. Still only looking left, the driver then proceeds to turn. Sometimes they come to a complete stop, but that is rare.

by Bike share on Aug 11, 2010 5:25 pm • linkreport

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