3/24/13

Ride Home 3/22: Reputable Dealers

If you have a smartphone, you can download the 311 app here. You can then use that app, like I will be doing every single day from this point forward, to report drivers who have parked in the L Street Cycle Track. So far, I've reported two. I guess this is about two things, the first of which is justice comeuppance law abidingness and the hope that parking enforcement officers can arrive quickly enough that drivers who flout the law are appropriately ticketed and this is a fine motivation if you're into to old school, Old Testament biblical-style justice and punishment. I'm fairly certain that one of the plagues was parking tickets. I think it came after locusts and before killing the firstborn. Word was, and I'm not sure this made it into Exodus, that Pharaoh was very dismayed to find his chariots booted, even more so because he thought that the [Hieroglyphics for No Parking or Standing Anytime] signs were confusing. But secondly, and more importantly to my mind, is that I want a "written" and verifiable record that this is an outstanding and unresolved issue. That's why I'm encouraging you to do it as well. The more the merrier. Anecdotes and pictures are great (and cathartic), but it's time to generate some real data (that might manage to escape the self-referential internet "bike bubble" that's typically only seen by those who seek it). Data that, let's say, could be used when testifying at Council hearings about bicycle safety bills (like the one tomorrow March 25th at 11 AM). Anyway, I'm not saying that this kind of stuff won't be ignored- ignorance is bliss after all- but I think that having a documented history of a recurring and unaddressed problem might be worthwhile the extra 20 seconds it adds to your trip. That's my plan at least. I mean, I have a backup plan of making a scrimshaw of each offending vehicle and then emptying sack after sack of whale bones and walrus tusks in the Council Chamber in a Miracle on 34th Street meets Moby Dick meets bike safety melange, but the app thing seems like a slightly better approach so I'll try that first.

Also, it'd be nice if DDOT put the flexposts back at the beginning of each block. They really do make a difference. And plastic poles are much less expensive than paid traffic control officers.

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