8.07.2008

they were riding as if they were on bicycles...


yesterday as I stepped out for lunch I saw the strangest thing...

yesterday... as I stepped out for lunch I saw the strangest thing
when I reached the corner of Connecticut Avenue and M Street I took a glance in all directions for approaching cyclist
I stood poised with my camera in hand
ready to capture the image of a passing cyclist

there it was... my shot
north towards Dupont Circle I saw a cluster of cyclist


I could not see the traffic signal
but the halted car traffic behind this group of cyclists made me think that their light was yellow or may have just turned red
then as they rolled down the block the swarm migrated from lane to lane

the right lane was blocked up with right turning traffic
so the cluster of cyclists broke up
some split the lanes to the center
others coasted down the left lane
while there were a few cyclists that rolled down the no man's land that separates the opposing traffic on this stretch of Connecticut Avenue downtown

then... just as the light was about to turn green
the riders regrouped in the cross walk in front of the car traffic in the queue
in anticipation of the light turning green they started pedaling forward
by the time the light turned green they were already half way through the intersection and on their way
riding in the left hand lane in front of car traffic

it was all pretty normal
they were riding as if they were on bicycles
this group of cyclists were DC Metropolitan Police
DC Police on standard police issued bicycles in standard police issued bicycle riding gear

these DC Police officers were riding as if they were on bicycles
doing the same thing that bicyclist do everyday on their bicycles
doing the things that make sense for a bicycle traveling through the city
doing the same thing that DC Metropolitan Police ticket cyclist for doing

I do not think their actions were wrong
I think that the sting operations penalizing cyclists for rolling through Stop Signs at vacant intersections or for pedaling the wrong way on One Way streets is wrong

there needs to be some consistency
there needs to be greater understanding
the attention of the police should be at the cars
when the cars become orderly... life will fall into place around them

my feeling... these are not the officers ticketing the cyclists around town
the officers ticketing the cyclists...
they need to get on the bicycle
not so much to understand the cyclist
but to understand how dangerous the car behavior is around town
so they know who to ticket and why...

yes... a jay walking pedestrian is putting themselves at risk
but... when the pedestrian is safe to cross in the cross walk when it says walk... well then you can consider ticketing them when they cross outside the limits of the law
but until then... the people on foot just like the people on bike are blending with the chaos
trying to put themselves where they are most safe

I am still not awake enough to know if this makes sense
more coffee...
walk the dog...
maybe proof read this later
more than likely not
best to just hit PUBLISH AND POST and get on with my day

and yes... I missed the shot

No comments: