3/15/11

Ride In 3/15

Happy March 15th everyone...? It's a big deal in Hungary, a country with a history so desolate of happiness that the start of a failed uprising is a cause for celebration. If your nation is planning to have an uprising, don't let a poet lead it!
As for the commute, it was uneventful through Arlington. On the Custis, I was in the middle of a five person bicycle line. The guy in front was wearing a seriously bright jacket that he looked like he came from the set of Backdraft. Not only was it super-yellow, it was also covered in highly reflective tape. You couldn't miss this guy. It was not cycle chic.
There was a fire at a gas station on Wisconsin, so there was a huge backup of cars and buses on 35th street. I rode on the sidewalk and used the the opportunity to work on my bike jumping (in a non-threatening to pedestrians sort of way). I can get my bike about 2 inches off the ground. If the X Games is about extreme feats of athleticism, I would qualify for the A sub1 Games.
Do you like beating dead horses? If you do, you're disgusting. But do you like using cliches to indicate that you'll be covering the same topic that you always talk about? I do. So, here we go again talking about bike lanes on New Mexico Avenue. Car-bicyclist conflict is one of the concerns, and by concerns I mean canards, about installing, and by installing I mean painting, bike lanes on New Mexico Avenue. From the Georgetown Current:
Commission chair Tom Smith added a further concern: Residents on the east side of New Mexico Avenue backing out of their driveways would need to pass through the bike lane.
This sounds like a really serious concern. I mean, I don't want someone backing up into me. I don't think that drivers even want to back their cars into me (though I haven't done a survey). So I decided today I would look for the driveways on New Mexico between 42nd St NW and AU, where the climbing lane would be. There are a number of "curb cuts" (note- I'm not a traffic engineer, so I use this term loosely) for cars. You can look too, using Google Maps, to make sure I'm accurate in my description of the driveways and let me know if I missed any. Between 42nd Street and Cathedral Avenue, there are two, both for the same building:

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I couldn't imagine anyone having to back out of that parking lot. Looks to me like there's ample room to turn around and I doubt a driver would prefer to back out when he would have the option is pulling out facing frontwise (technical term?). Furthermore, I'm sure the driver is already looking out for pedestrians, since there's a sidewalk there and he's probably not inclined to run them over either. So, that takes care of up to Cathedral Avenue. Let's keep looking.
The next two are at Sutton Place. One curb cut appears to be for an ingress (the French painter?), so that hardly counts. For the egress (which I think is a kind of bird), it doesn't look like anyone would be backing out there either. You tell me:



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How about the next one? Well, in the picture there's a car pulling out rather than backing up, but that's probably an anomaly, right? 



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At 3301, Foxhall Square, there's another long driveway. I guess one could back out of there- maybe if you thought you needed to go to Rite Aid, but then you realized you had cold medicine at home and were all like, screw it, I'm not even gonna turn my car around.I mean, though in so doing, you'd definitely be looking left and right to make sure that no pedestrians are on the sidewalk:


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Embassy Park? Yeah, I'd say it's pretty unlikely, but some people like to reverse downhill. The same kind of people that reverse into parking spots at Trader Joe's.


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The good people at Westover Place might like to watch their gate open through their rearviews mirrors. But, assuming that they don't actually do that, they probably just pull out like normal.


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Then of course there's the dreaded hooligans coming out of the AU Nebraska Lot. If they don't have enough space to turn around in that lot, they're probably driving at 747.


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So, yeah. Residents on the east side of New Mexico backing out of their driveways would need to look out for bicyclists in the bike lanes. They would first need to look out for pedestrians. Then they would need to look out for car traffic. Then they would also need to justify why they're backing out of the driveways in the first place when there's no obvious need. Busted.

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