It was hot, but I didn't get the usual thwack from the wall of wet heat when I rode out the garage this morning. I took this is a good sign and it brightened my mood considerably. The prospect of two more months of everyday oppressive heat isn't exactly something I'm excited about, so it's at least a little nice when your expectations of terribleness aren't met.
I think I've solved my crossing the intersection of Fairfax Drive and 10th/N Kirkwood problem. Instead of getting in the left turn only lane, which is technically the correct and legal thing to do, I rode the bike lane to where it stops, waited for the traffic from N Kirkwood to pass and then crossed diagonally in the crosswalk while the car traffic from the opposite direction of Fairfax (the part that's basically a church parking lot) has the green light. This works because the traffic on 10th has a red light. So, I'm trading salmoning for 50 feet for going through a red light in order to cross with a walk-sign. The moral arithmetic of bike commuting makes me feel like Jeremy Bentham sometimes.
Let's break some more Arlington County bike lane news. Bike lanes have now been striped on eastbound Wilson Boulevard between Oak Street and Nash Street and a sharrow has been added between Nash Street and Fort Myer Drive. This means that there are bike facilities on eastbound Clarendon Boulevard/Wilson Boulevard from Washington Boulevard from past the Clarendon Metro station to almost the Rosslyn Metro station. In fact, if you take into account Fairfax Drive, there are bike lanes for the entire length of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor excepting the roughly 1140 feet consisting of the part Fairfax Drive that serves as the church/Northside Social parking lot and intersection of Washington and Wilson Boulevards. If Arlington County added another sharrow between Fort Myer and Lynn Street, there would be more than 2.5 miles of bike facilities (the whole length excepting the bit I talked about and the area on Lynn between the Lee Highways) from the Ballston Metro to the Key Bridge. I think that having these facilities will be especially beneficial for Bikeshare expansion and the primary commercial corridor of Arlington will double as the primary bicycle transportation corridor. To what extent this has the potential to help businesses along the stretch or reduce automobile traffic will be interesting to see.
Car traffic going over the Key Bridge seemed especially miserable this morning. So miserable, I was moved to take a picture. The picture is of the usual poor quality, so I'm not even posting it. It's just a lot of red taillights and cars strewn in various states of incomplete turn attempts. I don't know to what extent the red light cameras there have managed to keep the box unblocked but if I had to hazard a guess, I would say to no extent. It's annoying to bike around, but I'd rather be able to slowly bike around the clusterf- than be stuck in a car behind it.
Punitive horn use should be grounds for summary execution. If the person driving in front of you isn't moving forward, perhaps there's a reason and you just cannot see it. Pounding on your horn is puerile and anti-social and entirely unhelpful. I can't think of a single time when the solution to a traffic problem was not enough honking.
Sometimes van drivers are great. Like when they're driving behind you and you're both stuck behind a stopped bus and the van driver moves over into the left lane but instead of speeding around you, he waves you in front. Thanks van guy! I'm sorry I didn't see the name of the company with which your van is associated or else I'd plug it and save the economy and whatnot.
The CVS in Georgetown might be running some entrepreneurial parking scheme that charges a flat $3 for 0-20 minutes parking. Maybe it's not the CVS, but a small independent lot next to it- I couldn't really tell. Anyone know if for any dumb reason if there'd be some aspect of the DC code that would preclude "pop-up" paid parking lots? I don't think this is normally a paid lot. I've never seen the sign before.
If you're riding behind a bus, give at least 20 feet if you don't want its hot exhaust fumes in your face.
Try not to unclip when you're trying to get up Wisconsin, especially if you're sort of stopped because an unloading truck is blocking the right travel lane and you have to slowly merge left. I made an ass of myself trying to clip back and continually missing, half-pedaling and half-pushing my bike uphill to get past the truck.
It wasn't the best morning to sprint in order to catch a green light. I made it, but it was stupid in its pointlessness for how hot and gross that small bit of extra effort made me feel.
On Wisconsin, van drivers continued to be great. One white van tried was trying to pull into the Duron Paint parking lot, another one was trying to exit. The vans being large, this required a touch a finesse by both drivers. As the entering van managed to pull in to the lot and the exiting van was midway through his left turn, a man driving a grey Lexus SUV turned onto Wisconsin from S Street and was had to stop to wait for the exiting van to complete his turn. If he had a modicum of patience, the Lexus driver would have been cool, but instead he must have said something to do the driver, which I didn't hear, but the driver's response was pretty fantastic: "I don't care, man." I thought that this dismissiveness was probably way more effective than any invective he could have hurled.
I just saw for the first time this morning that it's no turn on red from 7am-7pm at the intersection of Wisconsin and Calvert. I apologize to any pedestrians I might have blocked in the crosswalk from scooting up in at attempt to allow drivers to get past me to turn right.
I think I see more FC Barcelona decals on cars than Redskins decals. Hope I don't get sued by Dan Snyder for pointing this out.