LIST PART TWO
Bikes and the Law
Laws may need to be reviewed and re-written. The Bicyclist is not a Pedestrian and the Bicycle is not a Car… the laws must be written to show this. The breaking of a law on bike is usually closer to the actions of a jaywalking pedestrian than a speeding car. This topic is complex and needs to be investigated.
This should be common sense. Too many car drivers pass cyclists too fast and too close. A car passing a cyclist closer than three feet is a danger to the cyclist. When people are not behaving in a way that reflects common sense then there need to be a law.
ENFORCE ZERO TOLERANCE FOR AGGRESSIVE DRIVING DIRECTED TOWARDS CYCLISTS
The bully behavior of the car needs to stop. There should be a non-emergency number where cyclists and pedestrians can report aggressive drivers. With the driver’s information given to the officer a warning could be issued to the car driver in the same way that speed cameras issue a ticket. If the driver gets several warnings then an officer would visit their house.
Driver Distraction Law
The DRIVER DISTRACTION LAW NEEDS TO BE PUBLICICZED and ENFORCED.
THINGS TO BE DONE TO MAKE THE STREETS SAFER FOR THE CYCLIST
Create more bike lanes and paint all bike lanes a different color. PAINT IS CHEAP! Striping the lanes is not enough. PAINT THE LANES. Once the lanes are painted, there should be an awareness campaign that educates citizens about the importance refraining from driving and parking in the bike lanes.
SHARROWS or some sort of markings for the roads that are “bike routes.” The roads that connect the Bike Lanes should be marked accordingly.
BIKE TRACKS like the bike lanes being considered on Pennsylvania Avenue should be considered all over the city. A glance at a map of Washington, DC that marks the old Trolley Routes would be a good place to think about creating more BICYCLE TRACKS. A street like Mount Pleasant Street that once had trolley tracks would be a great place for a BICYCLE TRACK. This current “no man’s land” goes virtually unused. Claim this space for the bicycle!
COMPLETE REWORKING OF THE STREETS
The city is changing. Sadly, when these changes happen, not all variables are taken into account. There are roads where there is NO FLOW. There is always blockage and there needs to be some change. Between Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant on Park Road, there needs to be some change. In my view, the sidewalk is too narrow for all the foot traffic that is going back and forth. While the road is always congested, it may make sense to remove one side of car parking, widen the sidewalk and create a bike lane. This is an idea… just an idea… but such ideas merit consideration.
THE BICYCLE AND SNOW
Plain and simple -- bike paths like The Capital Crescent Trail and The Mount Vernon Trail need to be plowed when it snows. There should be no discussion here. It should be part of the budget and part of the plan. People complain about the bicycles on the street when it snows… well… a good number of those cyclists would be traveling on these paths if they were cleared and safe for cycling.
There should be a program to aid the DC Police to better understand what it is to travel by bicycle in this city. This initiative could involve asking DC Police to bike in plain clothes around town so that they can see what it is like to ride a bicycle with all the cars swarming around them. This same concept could be good for heads of state.
WABA AND SCHOOLS
So much can be done with WABA and the schools in the area. WABA needs to work closely with SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL and each school to try and make things safer. It would be amazing if we could educate parents and children in the same effort. Currently the way that parents drive for drop off and pick up is often unsafe.
NEIGHBORHOOD PACE CAR
Neighborhood pace car is an amazing concept. It is simple and easy and should be promoted and expanded. The SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL program needs to educate parents to drive responsibly around all schools. The driving behavior of parents within the immediate sphere of my children’s school disgusts me. If we could get parents to drive more safely and intelligently when their kids are in the car then this would be a better world.
Parents fail to realize that you do not teach your children to drive a car at 15 years and 8 months. We start teaching our kids to drive the day we take them home from the hospital as newborns. For a father or the mother to drive while talking on the cell phone, to fail to yield to pedestrians, to rush for yellow lights and push reds is unacceptable.
WABA could partner up with OPRAH and her NO CELL PHONE ZONE agenda. We could encourage people to put their cell phones in their bags and ignore them until they arrive at their destination. Teenage Drivers Texting? UNACCEPTABLE.
There needs to be an education program for the high school age kids who drive themselves to school.
Every school in The District should have a BIKE CLUB. The clubs could organize group rides as well as safety and mechanical clinics. Kids who do not have bikes could learn to ride bikes. Basic bicycle maintenance should be within everyone’s understanding and reach. Fixing a Flat and lubing a chain could easily be basic knowledge.