6.01.2008

the issue of the Speed Limit and the Bicycle

in response to this article in the Washington Post
Capital Crescent Trail Puts in Speed Limits to Slow Cyclists


I have been dreading this electronic conversation...

worse than the electronic conversation I dread the notion of having this conversation with officer friendly with his radar gun in hand
I can appreciate the notion that the enforcement of the Speed Limit for bicycles on the Capital Crescent Trail is more about education than penalty... I think that those that create these objectives could use a little education themselves

lets start with this....

CONTROL THE CAR CHAOS!
if I used the word f_cking... would that statement make more sense?
let me try...
CONTROL THE F_CKING CAR CHAOS!

if may not be more effective
but it felt pretty good
I will repeat that line to myself gently
ah... it does feel good

but honestly... who thinks hitting their children changes behavior?
issuing tickets does not change behavior!
okay... the threat of hitting your children may alter behavior just as the threat of issuing a ticket may change a behavior
but... there are other means to this logical end
there are better ways to achieve these goals than threats
how about a rational discussion?

PSA: Public Service Announcements!
and other forms of Educational Tool!
we all know that the rules must be set before people are punished
the rules are usually set and explained
then a warning before punishment
but we must have consistency

the idea of people behaving in a safe manner on the multi-use bicycle trails is a notion that is near and dear to my heart
I am in full agreement that it is an issue that needs to be addressed
but... I do not think that this is how it needs to be done
to judge the situation with a radar gun will be ineffective and is nothing shy of unfair

first- my guess-timation: ONE OUT OF A HUNDRED CYCLISTS HAS A DEVICE THAT MEASURES SPEED ON THEIR BICYCLE

secondly-CONTROL THE F_CKING CAR CHAOS!

thirdly-ADMINISTER THE LAW JUDICIOUSLY
The Law Must Be Consistent... if the speed limit is a gray area on the roads for cars then the speed limit for bicycles on the multi-use trail is also a gray area... a standard deviation
it says 15MPH but up to 23 MPH is okay... 30MPH is wrong
got it
thanks for the signs

set rational Speed Limits and then enforce the law in a fair and balanced fashion
but... just as in the car there is an understood parameter for this concept of the SPEED LIMIT
which means...
just as the car is able to bend the rules of the SPEED LIMIT by 40% so can the bicycle

it boggles the mind that a few complaints from the trail users gets action on the Capital Crescent Trail
is that all people need to do is voice a complaint
can the powers that be not see that the car chaos is more dangerous to more people than the bicycle activity on the bike trail

pedestrians and cyclists are at risk in the cross walks on the city streets
the cars speed in such a fashion that doubling the speed limit is common place
stopping at stop signs at the stop lines is blurred to a SLOW AND GO with no concern of anything except keeping momentum

Point the Radar Gun at the cars...
Educate the Cars
Write an article that says.... ATTENTION RACE FANS! or START YOUR ENGINES YOUR MORNING RACE TO WORK HAS BEGUN...
see the bigger picture
if the streets were more safe
then the cyclists could ride their bikes there instead of clustering on the multi-use trail

finally...

if everyone
walkers, joggers, runners, mom, dad, and nanny's pushing strollers along with all car drivers and cyclists behaved with more COMMON SENSE and COMMON COURTESY then we would not need to be having this coversation
PEOPLE ARE F_CKING UNCIVILIZED
if PEOPLE POLICED THEMSELVES we would need less action by the Police!

bring down your speed!
pass others with respect!
tailor your approach to each situation accordingly
be civilized
respect others as you wish to be respected
BEHAVE!

sorry... I lack the time to give this RANT my full attention
take it from here
take it to the streets

1 comment:

Jim said...

This is stupid.

Everybody says they want to be green, encourage alternate forms of transportation, save the Earth, etc.

Everybody is full of shit. Sure, they want to save the planet.

They just want it to be on somebody else's dime, somebody else's time, and at somebody else' inconvenience. "Don't make me pay attention to where I'm walking."

Well, except for the people who don't really want to save the planet, who are just sort of capitalizing on a trend and a sentiment and (maybe) a crisis in order to impose much greater social control. Hey, why not just ban bikes altogether? That would make the trail much safer, right? We could just put those silly bikes back on the roads, where they belong.

If I follow the rules, this will add 15+ minutes onto my downhill, 6 AM commute. I may have to look into road routes into D.C. if they're serious about enforcing this.

Sorry about the rant but I am a little pissed that they just seriously compromised the utility of my morning commute path. I presume they'll be extending the limit to the Georgetown Branch Trail as well, given that it falls in the same jurisdiction?