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  1. #51
    Don from Austin Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Wow, a true false dichotomy!! To compare an illegally parked van with Berlin in 1937 -
    I know, silly analogy to say the least. State-sponsored genocide of the innocent and a well deserved parking fine are a little different.

  2. #52
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    Everyone needs to understand that almost all traffic tickets are written as a revenue raising venture for the city. Safety is only a secondary issue.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don in Austin View Post
    I know, silly analogy to say the least. State-sponsored genocide of the innocent and a well deserved parking fine are a little different.
    Not that it matters to anybody, but there was a lot gong on in Germany in the runup to WWII. I wasn't referring to the genocide, or the war preparations, nor even to any government policy. I was referring to a culture where people would spy on and report neighbors and fellow citizens.

    Elsewhere on this forum we have a story about parents being cited because their children are illegally riding bicycles in the street. This only became an issue because a neighbor felt obligated (or spiteful enough) to call police and file a report.

    Over the last decade or two, we've become a nation of busybodies. People file complaints and reports about all kinds of "improper" behavior. Some may think this is a good thing. To put it simply, I don't.
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  4. #54
    babylon by bike Standalone's Avatar
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    Good lord. Why do I read these threads?

    How is the OP the bad guy here?

    Good lord. Why do I post in these threads??? I mean, it's already gone to Hitler vs. The Parked Flower Truck.
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  5. #55
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Not that it matters to anybody, but there was a lot gong on in Germany in the runup to WWII. I wasn't referring to the genocide, or the war preparations, nor even to any government policy. I was referring to a culture where people would spy on and report neighbors and fellow citizens.

    Elsewhere on this forum we have a story about parents being cited because their children are illegally riding bicycles in the street. This only became an issue because a neighbor felt obligated (or spiteful enough) to call police and file a report.

    Over the last decade or two, we've become a nation of busybodies. People file complaints and reports about all kinds of "improper" behavior. Some may think this is a good thing. To put it simply, I don't.
    Next time, use a comparison to the East German Stasi rather than prewar Germany when showing an honest concern about cycling busy bodies overeager to drop a dime on anybody who annoys them. Carries less buzz word baggage.

  6. #56
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    The real hazard here appears to be those barrier posts which hinder cyclists from using the full roadway safely.
    Plus a cyclist who was approaching riding too fast for conditions.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Next time, use a comparison to the East German Stasi rather than prewar Germany when showing an honest concern about cycling busy bodies overeager to drop a dime on anybody who annoys them. Carries less buzz word baggage.
    I tried to be clear by saying Berlin in 1937 vs. referencing Nazi Germany directly. The comparison to the Stasi in post war East Germany doesn't fit. The issue isn't police tactics, it's the culture of non-police reporting neighbors out of a sense that "law and order" trumps all. In post war East Germany, the police were seen as the enemy and folks didn't call them for anything.
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  8. #58
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    If that was the worst thing that happened to Rob that day he has a good life.

  9. #59
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    Everyone needs to understand that almost all traffic tickets are written as a revenue raising venture for the city. Safety is only a secondary issue.
    That is why I like CHP officers better than other police. They do see tickets as mainly a safety issue.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  10. #60
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I tried to be clear by saying Berlin in 1937 vs. referencing Nazi Germany directly. The comparison to the Stasi in post war East Germany doesn't fit. The issue isn't police tactics, it's the culture of non-police reporting neighbors out of a sense that "law and order" trumps all. In post war East Germany, the police were seen as the enemy and folks didn't call them for anything.
    You are correct, and have been all along on this thread. The people encouraging dime dropping "good cyclists" can be compared to the good Germans of 1937 encouraging the outing of others to the authorities over trivial manners that cause them such outrage. Has nothing to do with war crimes or bestial behavior.

  11. #61
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Really? Now parking laws are the same as laws prohibiting kids from riding bicycles in their neighborhood. Or maybe you just missed the point of the other thread.

    The cyclist in this thread actually reported a violation of law which was a safety issue.

    The person who reported the kids, reported something which was not a real safety issue and was only a violation of law in the mayor’s and caller’s minds.
    Land of the Free, Because of the Brave.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Really? Now parking laws are the same as laws prohibiting kids from riding bicycles in their neighborhood.

    Absolutely not.
    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    The cyclist in this thread actually reported a violation of law which was a safety issue.
    .
    Will the real safety issue please stand up? Which is more of a safety issue, children playing in traffic, or adults having to maneuver around a single parked van? I'm surprised that you feel that adults riding in traffic is more of a safety issue than children riding in traffic.

    This is the kind of paradox you get when looking at everything strictly through the lens of bicycle advocacy.

    BTW- I'm not in favor of Charlotte's law which is overly broad, and apparently selectively enforced. But if measuring laws strictly based on intent and safety, reporting children playing in the street makes more sense than making a big deal about having to ride around a parked van in in light traffic.
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  13. #63
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I'm not excusing the van's driver who parked illegally, but don't see blowing this up to a cause celebre, and as I said earlier, I'm not a fan of those who feel compelled to call police for simple traffic, parking, or other minor "nuisance" violations.

    And though I have no way of knowing, my gut feeling is that the cyclist here would not have called in any parking violation, only those which offended his sensibilities.
    Did you read the links I posted? We've been having a big issue with this cycle track. Part of it is the design could be alot better,but part of it is people don't like it and the police don't care. This isn't NYC. We haven't had decent traffic enforcement since the 90's. Chief Lanier is much more interested in the 'sexy' stuff like terrorism,the murder rate,and the gay community. For about the past decade,the number of traffic fatalities has been close to double the murder rate. Yet while most cop shops have a Gay and Lesbian Liaison,there are just two officers who show up to the bimonthly DC Bicycle Advisory Council,and no specific traffic enforcement unit at all. This sums up how most cops feel about cyclists in DC.

    If people didn't constantly complain about parking in the cycle track(or U turns across the Penn Ave track),then it would be totally useless. And the reason this has blown up on the local blogisphere is because of the couple's reaction. This guy did what he's supposed to,calling in a complaint,but the couple don't like the track so they think it's ok for people to park there.

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  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    Did you read the links I posted? We've been having a big issue with this cycle track......
    I read the links, but for me it comes down to philosophical priorities. IMO the concept of "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" trumps the specific case here. I don't live such an exemplary life that I'm willing to report the minor (IMO) infractions of others. Of course, it's possible that the cyclist in the OP is a saint....

    As far as getting the police to prioritize serious enforcement of bike lane violations, I don't think case by case reporting is likely to be effective. If DC police are anything like the police I'm familiar with, this kind of reporting gets the reporters viewed as cranks, and, if anything, would discourage enforcement.

    If this is important to you, work through the same community structures that got the patch built, to let the police command know that enforcement is a priority.

    BTW- this is a forum, and I think I'm made my opinion abundantly clear, and don't think there's anything I could add, so I'll move on.
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  15. #65
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Will the real safety issue please stand up? Which is more of a safety issue, children playing in traffic, or adults having to maneuver around a single parked van? I'm surprised that you feel that adults riding in traffic is more of a safety issue than children riding in traffic.

    This is the kind of paradox you get when looking at everything strictly through the lens of bicycle advocacy.

    BTW- I'm not in favor of Charlotte's law which is overly broad, and apparently selectively enforced. But if measuring laws strictly based on intent and safety, reporting children playing in the street makes more sense than making a big deal about having to ride around a parked van in in light traffic.
    But this particular situation has a couple of added factors in it. The van was parked out of the line of sight for a cyclist making a left turn and then the cyclist going around the illegally parked van was forced to deal with those stupid plastic sticks intended to separate cyclist from traffic. So bad infrastructure joins with illegal parking to create a safety issue for a cyclist where none existed before. As a cyclist, I would have preferred both the illegally parked van and the bad infrastructure be removed. This cyclist really only had one choice, call to have the illegally parked van removed.

    Without the plastic sticks, I would simply call the van an excuse to take a traffic lane and avoid the bike lane.

    Even when riding in traffic, I do not want stupid plastic sticks in the way of my escape route.
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  16. #66
    boattail71
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    Great discussion - FBNY, CBHI, dyna, et. al.
    Both parties are unreasonable and dare I say that the cyclist started it. The cyclist said something like "the van is parked in a very dangerous spot for a cyclist... I almost smacked into the back..." Dangerous? I can't imagine. And the lady said she saw the cyclist ride from "there to there/on sidewalk..." Nit-picky and retaliatory!

    Agree with CB that those sticks are the biggest hazard here. Although I can't imagine the danger not seeing this white van even if it is parked near a blind corner. I'd be crippled a long time ago if I were the type to ride into the back of parked vehicles - legally parked or otherwise.

    I don't know this area; did not the Monopoly Man have a point about the bike lane not blocked? If I complained every time a UPS or other delivery truck/van double parked or parked "illeagally" as a bike commuter I'd never get anywhere. As Rodney would say, "can't we just get along?" Rhetorical but... I'd suggest the camera-cyclist to pick your battles. Save your energy on infractions that really matter. Wouldn't that get more respect from the authorities?

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I read the links, but for me it comes down to philosophical priorities. IMO the concept of "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" trumps the specific case here. I don't live such an exemplary life that I'm willing to report the minor (IMO) infractions of others. Of course, it's possible that the cyclist in the OP is a saint....

    As far as getting the police to prioritize serious enforcement of bike lane violations, I don't think case by case reporting is likely to be effective. If DC police are anything like the police I'm familiar with, this kind of reporting gets the reporters viewed as cranks, and, if anything, would discourage enforcement.

    If this is important to you, work through the same community structures that got the patch built, to let the police command know that enforcement is a priority.

    BTW- this is a forum, and I think I'm made my opinion abundantly clear, and don't think there's anything I could add, so I'll move on.
    I know different police departments work differently, but it is not uncommon in my experience for the dispatch operator to have to log in all calls. These are then tallied as to the type and location of the incidents and the patrol schedules are adjusted to this data. Truly, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. This so-called data-driven policing is what leads my city to have an extensive police presence in the less-blighted neighborhoods, since those residents call everything in, and no police at all where the crimes are happening because those people have given up on calling the police.

    In cities where the police have adopted data-driven patrols, it pays to call in everything if you want anything done.

  18. #68
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boattail71 View Post
    Although I can't imagine the danger not seeing this white van even if it is parked near a blind corner. I'd be crippled a long time ago if I were the type to ride into the back of parked vehicles - legally parked or otherwise.
    Is that with the consideration in mind that this is a left turn from a one way street with left sided bike lane to a one way street with left sided bike lane and your mirror mounted on the left?

    Think of what you normally have, a right turn from a bike lane to a right side bike lane. Then add trees and sidewalk furniture blocking your view during the turn, a van immediately in front of you as you come out of the turn, but your mirror or normal head check is to the right vice left. And then, after you avoided hitting the van, as you pull left of the van, you have stupid plastic sticks and cars next to them to deal with.

    The cyclist was not dealing with the simple middle of road left turn.
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  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Is that with the consideration in mind that this is a left turn from a one way street with left sided bike lane to a one way street with left sided bike lane and your mirror mounted on the left?
    Aren't you the one who complained (on another thread here) about how motorists are always overrunning their sight lines on twisty roads?

    Might I respectively suggest that the the same rules apply to bicycles. Any rider who turns an urban corner and almost runs into a van is cornering too fast for urban conditions, or simply not paying attention. What if it was a parent crossing the street with a chile in a stroller?
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  20. #70
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Aren't you the one who complained (on another thread here) about how motorists are always overrunning their sight lines on twisty roads?

    Might I respectively suggest that the the same rules apply to bicycles. Any rider who turns an urban corner and almost runs into a van is cornering too fast for urban conditions, or simply not paying attention. What if it was a parent crossing the street with a chile in a stroller?
    But note that the cyclist did not hit the van, so he did not overrun his sight line. The cyclist also still managed to pass the van without hitting the stupid plastic sticks or getting run over. So the cyclist is a man of skill as are most here in BFs.

    Does that all mean the cyclist should not care about the safety of the less skilled than we are. I really do not understand the push back from cyclists on making the road a bit safer for all cyclist with a simple call to get an illegally parked van moved.


    ------------------------

    I once made repeated calls on Ford dealership employees illegally driving on and illegally parking on the side of the Pearl Harbor Bike Path. The police whined it was "no big deal, where are they suppose to park". Gee, maybe order a few less new cars so the employees could park in the massive parking areas of the dealership. My concern was not for me but for the kids who used the bike path. Once they parked next to and often partially on the bike path, it was a blind pull out for the drivers onto the bike path.

    The magnitude of the push back from the Ford employees was unreal, with threats of a gang style beat down, running me down on the road and some actual attempts to hit me while I was on the bike path. Many remarks included racial slurs.

    I even played nice by getting one ditch next to the bike path filled in for them to use for parking. Still no good, the jerks kept driving on the bike path.

    I was vindicated when one of the Ford employees blindly pulled out and forced a military mother with a baby in a baby jogger off the bike path and into a deep ditch. After that, I was able to force the city into putting up physical barriers to keep the jerks out.

    That process caused them half the parking spots I got for them by getting the ditch filled in, served the jerks proper.

    That effort made that stretch of bike path much safer and more enjoyable to ride on.
    Last edited by CB HI; 11-25-13 at 11:21 PM.
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  21. #71
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    This sums up how most cops feel about cyclists in DC.
    Reading the attached article, only reinforces my belief in continually videoing my commutes. To think that if the cyclist had waited a few more days, the traffic light video would have been erased, and the cyclist would have been basically SOL on any legal redemption or decent financial compensation.

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    Both members of that couple need to be tied to chairs and smacked around for an hour or three.

  23. #73
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feldman View Post
    Both members of that couple need to be tied to chairs and smacked around for an hour or three.
    If they are truly libertarians, they should know to mind their own business and let other people work out their own disputes. Regardless of their personal feelings about the matter.

  24. #74
    Senior Member cderalow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
    Hey-did the old lady get him on the " I saw you riding on the sidewalk from there to there"-is it illegal to ride on the sidewalk in DC?
    Might have been a pretty good reason to leave.
    He certainly couldn't have been scared of those to ancient duffers.
    Yeah-van was clearly parked in a dangerous place-night-run right into it.
    Outside of the central business area, which L street is not. though based on the video, I'd say he's walking his bike on the sidewalk.

    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    OTOH - as you point out it was a white van and not exactly camouflaged. If the cyclist claimed to have almost hit it, he was seriously vision impaired, or (like motorists) not attentive to the world around him. (is distracted cycling the same as distracted driving?).

    I'm not defending whoever parked the van, but IMO this kind of stuff is a tempest in a teapot. It's easy and safe enough to maneuver around a parked van (bike lane or not) and this is a skill that every cyclist has to have. What if there's no bike lane and a truck is stopped (legally) to load or unload.

    Whether parking in a bike lane laws are enforced or not is a community/police issue and can be addressed the same way as other nuisance issues. But to all those who think it's a big deal, or serious hazard, my advice is to get over it.

    Looks to me like the van is pretty close to the corner of the intersection, so if he were making a left off the adjacent street into the bike lane, it's possible to almost hit it. more importantly, those lanes on L street have flex barriers at the corners entering the bike lanes, so the van would have had to intentionally go around the barriers and back up to get that close.

  25. #75
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    When you are making a turn-you are concentrating on a moving cars-or pedestrians jay walking or legally crossing and intersection-you might not expect the van to be plopped there.Yeah-humans are predators-so motion is what we most quickly appreciate.
    Obvious he couldn't have LITERALLY almost hit it-but it probably did surprise him

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